Are Your Legs Giving Away Your True Age?

The holidays are over, and just when you thought you were done with family for a while, you look down and find…your grandmother’s legs attached to your body!!! I’m sure she passed on wonderful things too, like her blue eyes or her great sense of humor, but when it comes to DNA, we have no choice but to take the good with the bad. How did the limbs that once looked cute in a miniskirt turn into bulgy, blue-tracked road maps?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make some time for the things I complain about and see if they can, in fact, be changed. If they cannot, the next step is to stop complaining about them, but that is a whole other issue. I invite you to do the same, and if like so many women, your legs are bothering you, find out what can be done.

It has been a lot of years since I worked in any surgical capacity and the field has changed a lot. The best option back then was something called stripping, and I’m thrilled to say, the treatment has come a very long way. In order to give you the best information, I reached out to Dr. David Cohen, at Advanced Vascular Vein Care.

Here is what I learned:

Varicose veins are veins under the skin which enlarge and bulge. They are caused by leakage in the vein’s valves. Dr. Cohen explains, “These valves should be one-way valves, allowing blood to flow only upwards toward the heart. When the valves leak, gravity pulls the blood downwards and causes varicose veins.”

Risk factors include:
• previous, especially multiple pregnancies (of course!)
• family history (thanks Gram!)
• jobs that requires standing for long periods of time.

The symptoms are not only cosmetic. Varicose veins can cause leg pain, heaviness, and swelling in addition to the skin discoloration and damage. Varicose veins can also cause itching, restless legs and night cramps.

I asked Dr. Cohen about potential health complications in addition to the pain and discomfort. He replied, “While they are not typically dangerous, there can be serious complications such as clotting and phlebitis (inflammation of a vein), vein rupture and bleeding as well as severe skin damage resulting in ulceration.” There is good news though. Because the problem is usually restricted to superficial skin veins, which are not really needed for optimal cardiovascular health, they are easily treated.

Dr. Cohen’s before and after shots.

If you are a mother, and since you’ve read this far and are concerned about varicose veins there is a very good chance you are, you spend countless hours and energy on the health, well-being and even appearance of your children. In 2018, resolve to make a little time for yourself. Don’t wait until symptoms are unbearable. Make an appointment soon, and be sure to see someone who specializes in vein treatment to ensure you get the best and most up to date treatment.

If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Cohen and his colleagues at Advanced Vascular Vein Care, check out the website.

You can still rock the mini! Or at the very least, you can get a pedicure without embarrassment.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.