Our veins provide a vital service to our bodies, pushing blood back to the heart. Sometimes factors such as genetics, weight, and even gravity itself can weaken blood vessels and cause undesirable effects. Varicose veins and spider veins are some of the unsightly results of these factors and can be uncomfortable as well as ugly.
There is nothing you can do to prevent varicose veins from happening, but there are some things you can do to reduce their appearance. The best bet is to simply put less strain on your veins. Losing weight can help, daily exercise can improve circulation health, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time can also reduce the risks.
Another self-care tip is to wear compression stockings and elevate your legs when resting. These can all help reduce the symptoms of varicose and spider veins.
When varicose veins do become a problem, there are medical things you can do as well. Vascular clinics who specialize in vein removal can help reduce the unsightly appearance of your veins, and also the discomfort associated with them.
Sclerotherapy is the most common form of vein removal. During this simple procedure, the vein is injected with a chemical that irritates the vessel. For safety, you are observed for a few hours after treatment, and compression stockings are worn for 2-3 weeks. During this time the vein will stick together, blocking blood flow to the weekend veins. The result is better blood flow in the area, reduced swelling, and eventually, the disappearance of the veins.
You may need several treatments in order to complete the process.
Laser treatment is another option to treat both spider veins and varicose veins. Laser therapy is strong enough to destroy the problem vein, but won’t damage the skin above it. This option will require slightly less time in compression socks, but you will have to avoid the sun during this process. Sun exposure to the area can result in dark spots developing on the skin.
This method of vein removal is less common but is used on those who prefer not to wait for their vein to disappear. In this procedure, the vein is hooked out of the leg with a crochet hook like device. The vein is immediately gone, and thus so is the visible lines.
This choice is not a good option for those who are on blood thinning medications, due to the risks associated with clotting.
There are a few other, more invasive options such as endoscopic vein surgery, but these are usually not the most desirable choices. They may require a longer recovery period, or cause minimal scarring. Talk to your doctor about your varicose or spider veins in order to determine what is the best choice for you.
A doctor can take a look at your health history and help you form a plan that is both good for your health and good for your appearance too.