As you grow older your body naturally changes. One of those changes can be the appearance of varicose veins. With the help from at-home treatments or treatments performed by dermatologists, specifically sclerotherapy, you can start to get your body back to its old self.
Varicose veins or spider veins are twisted, enlarged veins, most commonly but not exclusively affecting the legs. The cause of varicose veins is often from damaged valves, causing blood to flow backward or pool in the vein, ultimately stretching or twisting the veins. While any vein can become varicosed, standing and walking increases the pressure on the veins of your lower body. Milder versions of varicose veins are referred to as spider veins. For some people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern, but for others they can cause aching pain and be extremely uncomfortable. Once varicose veins begin causing discomfort or more-serious problems, it is time to reach out to a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute for a solution.
Varicose veins develop based on age, sex, obesity and family history. Common symptoms of varicose veins include an achy or heavy feeling in your legs, burning, throbbing or swelling in the lower legs, itching around the veins and/or worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time. Those with varicose veins are also at risk for blood clots, bleeding, and ulcers. Luckily, treatment of leg veins can include both self-care and medical attention.
Self-care treatment of Varicose veins can include exercise, elevating the affected legs or wearing compression stockings. Wearing compression stockings should be the first approach when trying to treat varicose veins. They squeeze your legs that help the veins and leg muscles move blood around more efficiently. If they don’t improve there are a variety of medical procedures that can be performed. Procedures performed by a dermatologist include sclerotherapy, laser treatments, catheter-assisted procedures, vein stripping, ambulatory phlebectomy and endoscopic vein surgery.
The most common treatment of varicose veins is Sclerotherapy. During this procedure, the doctor injects leg veins with a solution or foam that scars and closes the veins. The patient may experience mild discomfort and cramping for up to two minutes, with the entire procedure only taking up to 15-30 minutes. The amount of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of them. Within a few weeks the injected veins should fade.
Before sclerotherapy treatment, the dermatologist will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Those who are pregnant are not eligible and those who have had a blood clot in the past will be determined eligible on an individual basis. Certain medications should be avoided and no lotion should be applied to the legs either. After the procedure, you may not participate in any aerobic activity for at least a few days, but walking daily is encouraged. Additionally, you will need to wear compression stockings on the leg(s) that were treated. Lastly, it is recommended to avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, hot baths, direct sunlight, whirlpools/saunas and hot compresses for at least 48 hours.
With a success rate of 50-80 percent of injected leg veins being eliminated during each sclerotherapy session the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute look forward to providing that successful treatment. Fill out this form if you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas to determine if you are a candidate for treatments.
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