Posted October 31, 2014 in Blog
Affecting more than 50% of the population, spider and varicose veins are a common cosmetic concern for both men and women. But did you know this common issue can be an indicator of a more serious health risk?
CAUSES OF SPIDER AND VARICOSE VEINS
Spider and varicose veins are typically seen on the legs and can be caused by a variety of factors including lifestyle, age, and genetics. Sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time can debilitate veins as you age, creating minor clots that cause blood to pool and stagnate in the veins.
Our veins transport blood back to the heart from the rest of the body, and have one-way valves to prevent the backflow of blood. If these valves are weakened, the backflow of blood can cause increased pressure, leading to the bluish, thick, and swollen appearance of varicose veins.
While most blood clots eventually dissolve and pass through the bloodstream, more serious ones can make their way into the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism—a potentially life threatening condition caused by a blocked artery in the lung.
WARNING SIGNS THAT TREATMENT MAY BE NEEDED
Varicose veins are associated with a wide range of symptoms, and some may indicate medical treatment is needed. Warning signs include:
- pain or cramping
- skin ulceration
- hyperpigmentation of skin in the affected area
- restlessness in the legs
Varicose veins tend to get progressively worse with time. Genetics, body weight, and occupation may determine the progression of spider and varicose veins. If you are experiencing health issues in combination with having varicose veins, it’s important to seek the care of a qualified physician.
REDUCING THE APPEARANCE OF SPIDER AND VARICOSE VEINS
In the early stages of spider and varicose veins, compression hose can be worn to improve blood flow and reduce swelling, but that’s not always convenient or effective. Medical treatment is often the best choice for busy patients wanting to lessen the appearance of minor to moderate varicose or spider veins. Involving little pain and performed as an outpatient procedure, sclerotherapy treatment involves injecting a solution into problem veins using a very fine needle. This collapses the problematic vein and reroutes blood flow, thus diminishing the vein’s appearance at the surface of your skin.
In sum, if you’re not showing any warning signs of greater health issues and are simply struggling with the cosmetic appearance of varicose and spider veins, sclerotherapy may be your solution. Contact our office today to schedule a personal consultation.