If you’re suffering from varicose or spider veins, you’re not alone. In the United States alone, 80 million people have some occurrence of varicose veins. And with summer right around the corner, if you have them, NOW is the time to do something about them!
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Are Not Just A Vanity Issue
Most people think of varicose veins as a cosmetic concern, but they can lead to other, more serious problems. For example, when blood pools in the vein, it can clot. This can cause phlebitis, a superficial clot that can be painful, but usually not life threatening.
Spider veins are often associated with varicose veins, and can be an early indication of a problem. They appear just under the surface of the skin as a collection of broken capillaries and tiny blood vessels that are often visible on the face, legs or ankles with a web-like appearance.
But if a clot in a superficial (close to the skin) vein grows, it can move into a deep vein. People with superficial phlebitis have a 20 to 40 percent chance of having a deep vein clot at the same time. Such a clot, also known as deep vein thrombosis, can break loose and move through the bloodstream to the lung, where it can cause a sudden, potentially life-threatening blockage.
Before such problems can arise, clots can be identified through ultrasound and then treated, typically with blood thinners.
Varicose veins are also sometimes the first stage of a more serious, progressive condition. In some people, what starts as varicose veins may progress to swelling in the legs.
What factors put me at risk for varicose veins and spider veins?
Many factors increase a person’s chances of developing varicose or spider veins. These include:
- Increasing age;
- Medical history;
- Lack of movement;
- Hormonal changes;
- Sun exposure;
Eliminating the Problem Before It Gets Worse
Treating varicose veins often begins with the use of compression stockings, which gently squeeze your legs to promote blood flow. In some cases, the stockings do the trick.
But some patients with small or medium-sized varicose veins may opt for sclerotherapy, a procedure in which your doctor injects a solution that irritates the vein lining, causing it to scar and close. After a few weeks, the treated veins will fade from view, though the treatment is sometimes repeated to achieve the desired cosmetic result.
Sclerotherapy is safe, painless and fast, with sessions that normally last only 15 to 30 minutes. There is also no downtime so you can go right back to your normal activities.
(Note: Ideally the patient who chooses sclerotherapy should be healthy and should be non-smokers. This procedure is not preformed on pregnant women.)
Prepare yourself for summer and enjoy legs that are dramatically healthier-looking and youthful with professional spider vein removal. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation and book an appointment online.