MYTH: Crossing your legs causes varicose veins.
FACT: Varicose veins affect more than half of all women in the US (55%). Causes include increasing age, genetics, pregnancy, obesity, gender (women develop varicose veins far more than men), high blood pressure and standing for long periods of time. Crossing your legs, however, will not cause varicose veins to form.
Complications are fortunately rare and include the development of ulcers and blood clots. If you are prone to varicose veins, have a strong family history, are pregnant, or stand for long periods of time, consider wearing support hose. There are now fashionable versions that no longer resemble your grandmother’s stockings.
Avoid wearing high heels for prolonged periods of time; this will aggravate the condition. Raise your legs when sitting down. Many treatments exist, including sclerotherapy, vein stripping, embolization, laser therapy and radio frequency ablation.