Varicose veins or spider veins on your legs or face can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance and age. But did you know that half of the women get them at some point in their lives? The important thing is that they can be treated, both for cosmetic reasons as well as health reasons.
A varicose vein is a term used for rope-like vessels that appear near the surface of the skin. Spider veins are a smaller-scale version with tiny veins showing through the skin and sometimes breaking. Spider veins can be caused by sun exposure, heat, genes, pregnancy, rosacea, and alcohol consumption.
Varicose veins are caused when small valves in the veins fail, which then causes blood to pool in the vein below it. The result is that the veins get darker and show through the skin. Larger varicose veins can also become enlarged and cause pain and heaviness in the legs, cramping, swelling, and even blood clots.
Pregnancy can be one cause of varicose veins because blood volume increases and the weight of the baby presses on veins in the pelvis. This increases the blood pressure in the legs. If others in your family had varicose veins, you may be predisposed to getting them, too. Occupations such as nursing, waiting tables and retail jobs that require a lot of standing can also force your blood vessels to work harder, which can lead to varicose veins in the legs.
Diagnosing Varicose Veins
If you notice varicose veins, discuss it with Dr. Stemmerman. She can evaluate the severity of the varicose or spider veins and determine what treatment is needed. Some procedures can be done at Infinity Medical Clinic.
Varicose vein treatment usually begins with simple solutions, such as compression stockings for varicose veins in the legs. These stockings compress the legs to assist blood in getting back to the heart. In addition, you can put your feet up a couple of times a day to relieve any swelling or pain. You can also assess your clothing to make sure you’re wearing loose enough garments and low-heeled shoes. You want to ensure you’re not cutting off circulation at the waist, thighs, and legs. Opting for low-heeled shoes is better for your calves and helps to move your blood through your veins.
Treatment with Sclerotherapy
For larger varicose veins, laser therapy and vein removal may be required. For smaller varicose veins and spider veins, one way to eliminate them is through sclerotherapy. This procedure can be performed at Infinity Medical Clinic to eliminate cosmetic spider veins.
What is sclerotherapy? Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a liquid into the spider veins. The liquid causes the blood vessel to swell shut. It gradually turns to scar tissue, then it is resorbed and disappears. The procedure of injecting the liquid into veins doesn’t take a lot of time, which is why Dr. Stemmerman can perform it in the office. During your recovery time at home, you may see bruising and experience some itchiness. Within a month to 6 weeks, patients who receive sclerotherapy will notice their spider veins disappearing.
There are a few complications of sclerotherapy, which Dr. Stemmerman will tell you about. Inflammation, blood clot, air bubbles, and allergic reactions are rare side effects, but you should be aware of them.
When you have your visit with Dr. Stemmerman to discuss your varicose veins or spider veins, be sure to ask her about your treatment options. If there are underlying medical reasons for your condition, she may advise you on other ways to improve your health in order to reduce the chance of new varicose veins forming.
If you notice varicose veins or spider veins, contact Infinity Medical Clinic for an appointment. Dr. Stemmerman looks forward to taking a comprehensive approach to help you with your health concerns.