LEG VEINS: WHY THEY APPEAR AND HOW TREAT THEM
Why we get visible leg veins
Varicose and spider veins are damaged veins. We develop them when tiny, one-way valves inside the veins weaken. In healthy veins, these valves push blood in one direction — back to our heart. When these valves weaken, some blood flows backward and accumulates in the vein. Extra blood in the vein puts pressure on the walls of the vein.
With continual pressure, the vein walls weaken and bulge. In time, we see a varicose or spider vein.
Some people have a higher risk of developing these veins. If blood relatives have them, you have a higher risk. Many people get them because they sit or stand for long periods most days of the week. These veins also become more common with age and during pregnancy.
Spider veins can also be caused by sunlight, hormonal changes, or an injury.
How treat leg veins
Treatment options range from self-care to minor surgery. may use one or more of these treatments:
Self-care: we can give you tips to improve your circulation. These tips include:
- Elevate your legs
- Sit for long periods? Get up and walk around every 30 minutes
- Stand for long periods? Take a break every 30 minutes
- Avoid soaking in hot baths for long periods of time
Self-care tips can help prevent new varicose and spider veins but cannot get rid of existing ones.
Compression stockings: These stockings apply steady pressure to help move the blood back to your heart. The steady pressure also lessens swelling in your lower legs and reduces the risk of getting a blood clot. You’ll still have visible leg veins, though.
Sclerotherapy: This is the most common treatment for leg veins. Over the years, have improved sclerotherapy to make it safer and give patients better results. Today, use it to treat spider and small varicose veins.
Laser treatments: we use lasers to treat spider veins and small varicose veins. During laser treatment, your provider directs the laser light at the vein.
Laser light can destroy the vein without damaging your skin.
Small spider veins may disappear immediately after treatment. Larger spider veins and varicose veins will darken, and you’ll likely see them for 1 to 3 months before they disappear. To get complete clearing, you may need 3 or more treatments.
Most patients can return to work and many of their normal activities the next day.
After each treatment, some patients need to wear compression stockings for a short time.
Every patient will need to protect the treated area from the sun for 3 to 4 weeks. This helps prevent dark spots from developing. Protecting your skin from the sun year round helps to prevent new spider veins and skin cancer.
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA): EVLT and RFA are newer treatments. They often replace the need to surgically remove a vein.
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