Varicose veins 'not just a cosmetic problem'

Many people seek private treatment for varicose veins, with around 30 per cent of adults estimated to be affected by the problem.

The condition is not just a cosmetic problem though, according to the British Varicose Vein Centre (BVVC), as it can lead to a number of more serious medical issues.

David Greenstein, consultant vascular surgeon for the BVVC, revealed: "Varicose veins can cause leg ulcers, blood clots, eczema, and varicose veins can bleed.

"The NHS will fund varicose vein treatment for those criteria; they can be quite bad. Leg ulcers cost the NHS £600 million per year to treat."

Mr Greenstein explained that patients who want treatment for varicose veins for cosmetic reasons are required to pay for private treatment.

"Of my private patients who come to see me, 90 per cent are women, because veins are a fashion problem," he revealed.

"Men tend to not bother about the cosmetic side. Some do, but tend to only come when they've got bad symptoms."

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