Varicose VeinsVaricose veins are the abnormally stretched and enlarged veins most commonly seen in your legs, although they can be found in other areas of your body as well. The cause of varicose veins is that your blood doesn’t flow properly and becomes backed up in the veins. It may be due to faulty vein valves or weak vein walls. The difference between varicose veins and spider veins is usually a matter of size and depth. Varicose veins affect larger blood vessels and can develop deep in the tissue, whereas spider veins usually involve small, broken superficial vessels. Spider veins exist just below the surface of the skin on your face or legs. What Causes Varicose Veins? Varicose veins occur for many reasons. The more risk factors that apply to you, the more likely you’ll be stricken. Risk factors include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Being older than 50
- Standing for long periods of time
- Being overweight or obese
- Weakened veins due to a medical treatment or injury
- Being female, because of hormone changes during puberty, pregnancy or menopause
- Taking a hormone-based medication, such as birth control, anti-cancer or postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy
- Lengthy exposure to ultraviolet light
- A sedentary lifestyle, which keeps blood from pumping efficiently to your extremities
- A history of blood clots
- Previous vein surgery
Varicose Vein Symptoms to Share with Your Manhattan DoctorYour cosmetic dermatologist can treat your veins, but you have to discuss your concerns. Symptoms can range from the unsightly to the very uncomfortable, such as:
- The presence of large veins seen under the surface of your skin
- Swelling of your ankles and feet
- Painful or heavy feelings, throbbing or cramping in your legs
- Itchy calves or ankles
- Discoloration of the skin on the legs
- Dermatitis, especially of your lower leg or ankle
- Leg ulcers
How to Prevent Varicose VeinsNatural varicose vein treatments and prevention are conservative measures to try first. For example:
- Exercise to improve circulation; try walking, running, biking, rowing and yoga
- Wear graduated compression stockings, tighter at your ankle, which encourage good circulation and discourage blood pooling
- Elevate your legs on pillows for at least an hour after a lengthy time standing
- Keep your legs uncrossed to reduce pressure on the veins in the back of your knees
- Lose weight to reduce pressure on varicose veins in your groin and legs
- Eliminate tight clothing to reduce constriction
- Take vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, butcher’s broom, horse chestnut seed extract and gotu kola if your doctor agrees
- Get professional massages to temporarily relieve symptoms and improve circulation
- Stimulation of your muscles to tone and keep the vascular system in good condition
Varicose Vein TreatmentsIf left unattended, varicose veins can lead to blood clots. Your doctor for varicose veins has several options for varicose vein treatments when natural options haven’t helped, such as:
- Sclerotherapy uses a irritant solution to treat smaller veins and spider veins. After this in-office treatment, your legs are wrapped in elastic bandaging to help with healing and decrease swelling. You may need additional treatments in four to six weeks.
- Laser treatments rely on applied light energy to specifically target vessels and makes small varicose veins fade without cutting or injecting chemicals.
- Endovenous ablation therapy (EVLT) or Endovenous radiofrequency ablation uses lasers or radio waves within the vein placed through a hollow needle. The energy and heat damage the vessel walls, causing it to collapse. This same-day surgery is painless and minimally invasive.
- Endoscopic vein surgery requires placing a camera into a vein in a small tube. A surgical device at the end of the camera closes the vein. This more extensive varicose vein surgery is used for severe cases involving skin ulcers. After varicose vein surgery, you return to normal activities within a few weeks.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy involves your dermatologist making small incisions in your skin to remove small varicose veins close to the surface of your skin. You’re able to go home the same day.
- Vein stripping and ligation procedures are used for the most severe cases of painful varicose veins. It involves tying them shut for varicose vein removal while you’re under general anesthetic. Recovery time is one to four weeks.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Varicose Veins treatment in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, best dermatologist in New York City, Dr. Susan Bard of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC office for consultation with cosmetic and laser dermatologist.
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