Have varicose veins been an unforgettable part of your past year? Varicose veins can affect not only your self-confidence but your health as well. It’s time to start the year 2020 with a fresh new view on how to prevent spider veins and varicose veins. From at-home practices to medical vein treatments, you can begin improving the look of visible veins and better take care of your circulatory system.
First, you may wonder where these little colored veins came from and if they will go away.
What causes spider veins?
Telangiectasia, or more commonly known as “spider veins” can be caused by a variety of factors. They include underlying disease, aging, pregnancy, hereditary genetics, sun damage, and other vein diseases. Increased pressure on veins or damaged vein walls can increase the chances of these dilated blood vessels showing on the surface of the skin.
The permanence of spider veins depends on the cause in some cases. Spider veins might go away on their own if the root cause was from pregnancy or medication. By keeping physical fitness and staying within a healthy weight, you increase your chances of spider veins disappearing on their own or at least the possibilities of preventing new ones from forming.
What causes varicose veins?
The root cause of varicose veins is increased pressure on vein walls. If vein walls are weak or subjected to high pressure, they can stretch and become damaged. Damaged vein and valves can’t carry blood upward to the heart effectively. When blood pools in veins, it is possible to see underneath the skin surface, and it can cause pain and blood clots or other more serious venous diseases.
Varicose veins do not fully go away naturally on their own. Depending on health circumstances and care, they can be less visible at times but will require medical procedures to remove entirely. Sclerotherapy, thermal ablation, vein stripping, and microphlebectomy are medical procedures available to remove varicose veins, which can be considered minimally invasive.
How do you prevent spider veins and varicose veins? There are several healthy practices you can follow to improve your vascular health.
Ring in the New Year with these vein health tips:
- Don’t smoke! Tobacco smoke can decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood and thick it. This thickness makes it harder for blood to flow freely and puts stress on veins. The addictive chemical in tobacco, nicotine, also causes vascular hardening and narrowing that, again, creates an environment in which veins struggle to function.
- Drink water. In contrast to smoking, staying hydrated helps to thin the blood. This thinner blood can flow easily through veins and removes stress and pressure on vein walls. Keeping veins less stressed and functioning properly. Poor circulation and blood clots from thick blood can cause not only varicose veins but deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a more serious health concern.
- Use compression stockings. While they may not go with every outfit, wearing compression stockings when possible can give you veins a much-needed break. The tight compression material squeezes the muscles and veins in the lower leg. The additional pressure helps veins to move blood back up the heart, relieving stress, pain, and swelling. Even if you don’t want to wear this vein health aid regularly, wearing it during travel or often while pregnant can give your vein appearance a positive boost.
- Elevated legs. Whenever possible, you can manually help blood flow and circulation back to your heart. Lay back and raise your legs above your hip level. If you don’t have a space to lie down, like during the workday, use a chair or ottoman to help get your legs higher to prevent varicose veins. While lying in bed, use pillows to prop your legs up.
Once veins have appeared, there are a few choices on how to get rid of spider veins. One option is called sclerotherapy, which is an injected saline solution. Another option is laser surgery that removes veins using intense bursts of light.
Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure used to remove visible varicose veins and improve cosmetic appearances. With this method, veins are injected with a solution that irritates the vein wall. This causes the vein to collapse in on itself and stick together. When this happens, the body will remove the nonfunctioning material, and the vein will disappear. Doctors have a variety of injectable solutions to choose from like sclerosan, hypertonic saline, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, polidocanol, and chromated glycerin. The cost of treating varicose veins with sclerotherapy will vary depending on the location of veins, size, and number. Insurance will generally not cover the expense unless the varicose veins have become a medical concern.
Laser Surgery for Varicose Veins
Laser surgery and endovenous ablation therapy are two ways to treat varicose veins that don’t involve major surgery and that are less painful. Simple laser surgery may be enough to remove smaller varicose veins and spider veins, although more than one treatment may be necessary. This technique treats veins from outside the skin with bursts of high-intensity light. No incisions or needles are used, so this can be an easy way to remove visible veins that are still on the smaller side.
Endovenous ablation uses laser but is a little bit more involved way to remove veins. During this technique, a small incision is made to allow a laser fiber to be inserted into the varicose vein. This fiber is placed through the entire length of the vein being removed. The laser fiber will heat up, causing the vein to shrink and close up. After the vein is closed and no longer functioning, the body will dissolve the remaining matter, and the vein will disappear. While this procedure is quick, it requires more downtime and aftercare to ensure proper healing.
If you have varicose veins or spider veins that you would like to have removed before summer starts, give the board certified surgeons at The Vein Centre a call to schedule your consultation. Our expert vascular surgeons can help you maintain your vascular health and the cosmetic aesthetic of healthy, non-visible veins.