VARICOSE veins are a condition that will affect up to 30 per cent of us in our lifetime. There are a number of cutting-edge techniques available for treating symptoms - which include pain and itchiness - but an expert has revealed why removal in January and February is the best time of year.
Varicose veins occur when valves in the leg veins stop working properly, meaning the blood falls down the veins when standing up, rather than flowing upwards towards the heart.
In their simplest form, varicose veins can be identified as bulging veins which protrude from the legs but, up to half of all varicose veins sufferers will show no overt signs of the condition, as the problematic veins remain hidden under the skin.
If treatment is necessary, the NHS advises your doctor may first recommend up to six months of using compression stockings, taking regular exercise and elevating the affected area when resting.
Other common treatment options include endothermic ablation - where heat is used to seal affected veins - sclerotherapy - this uses special foam to close the veins and ligation and stripping - the affected verbs are surgically removed.
Whatever treatment option you decide to go with, a leading vascular specialist says January and February is the best time of year to do it.
Professor Mark Whiteley of The Whiteley Clinic said many people will feel self-conscious about baring their legs during the summer months because of varicose veins, especially as 50 per cent of varicose veins are visible with a bulging appearance.
So getting treatment done in good time will avoid this.
He said: “It is very common for patients to seek treatment later in the year when their summer holidays are looking, but unfortunately this does not allow enough time for the course of the treatment to complete - which is why January and February are the perfect time to start.”