Side Effects Of Sclerotherapy For Varicose Or Spider Veins
- no compression has been applied
- the applied compression has not been enough
- you are on the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy
- you have an underlying tendency to clotting
- the treatment has been performed just after long-distance travel or a major operation
- the underlying source of leakage in the vein has not been treated adequately
- the inflammation extends to the deep veins, causing deep vein thrombosis . DVT is a rare but serious complication of sclerotherapy. It can extend to the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism and even death
- it is recommended that women stop all hormonal supplements before sclerotherapy .
How Can I Prevent Varicose Veins And Spider Veins
You may not be able to prevent varicose veins and spider veins, especially if they usually happen in your family or when you are pregnant. There are other parts of your life that you cannot control, such as getting older, that can also contribute to varicose veins and spider veins.
There are steps you can take at home, like exercising and losing extra weight, that can make you healthier and may prevent new varicose veins or spider veins from forming. These steps may also help your legs feel better by relieving pain and discomfort.
How To Get Rid Of Varicose Veins
For nearly 2025 million Americans, varicose veins are a common conditionespecially for those who spend an excessive amount of time sitting or standing, or for those who are obese, elderly, smokers or pregnant.
Thankfully, symptoms of varicose veins are usually very mild. Although there is some swelling and aching, these veins are mostly just an eyesore with little to no real health threat associated with it.
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Keep That Body Moving
Sitting and standing in the same place for long periods aggravate varicose veins. If you have to sit for long periods for work, take a few minutes every hour to get up and move your body or, if thats not possible, change position frequently to keep the blood flowing smoothly. If you have to stand for long periods, move your body as much as possible, take quick walks, or do some squats.
What Are The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins And Spider Veins
Some women do not have any symptoms with varicose veins and spider veins. If you do have symptoms, your legs may feel extremely tired, heavy, or achy. Your symptoms may get worse after sitting or standing for long periods of time. Your symptoms may get better after resting and putting your legs up.3
Other symptoms that may be more common with varicose veins include:
- Throbbing or cramping
Changing hormone levels may affect your symptoms. Because of this, you may notice more symptoms during certain times in your menstrual cycle or during pregnancy or menopause.
How Veins Become Varicose
Our venous system is an extensive network of channels, varying from large to tiny, that carries oxygen-poor blood from the bodys tissues and organs back to the heart and lungs. The reoxygenated blood is then delivered to the needy organs by our arterial system.
Because we spend a lot of time in the upright position, fighting the forces of gravity, the veins in our legs are equipped with valves that allow blood to flow upward toward the heart. By closing shut, these valves prevent backflow.
But an estimated 10 to 30 percent of the populationaided and abetted by heredity, occupations that involve an inordinate amount of time standing or sitting, old age, pregnancy, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and smokinghave valves that malfunction and begin to permit backflow.
The increased pressure of gravity distends those veins and thins their walls, especially the veins just under the skin . This creates the characteristic appearance of superficial varicosities.
What Are The Risk Factors For Varicose Veins
Varicose veins may be more common in some families . Increased pressure in the veins may cause varicose veins. Factors that may increase pressure include:
Overweight or obesity
Taking oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement
Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition with blood clots in the deep veins. This condition does not usually happen with varicose veins. That is because varicose veins affect the veins close to the surface of the skin. However, with severe varicose veins, there is a small chance of developing blood clots in the deep veins. Blood clots need medical care right away. Symptoms of blood clots include pain, swelling, and redness of the leg. Blood clots may also happen in the arms or other parts of the body. If you have symptoms that may mean a blood clot, call your healthcare provider.
A piece of a blood clot may break off and travel to the lungs . A blood clot in the lungs is very serious and may cause death. Symptoms include chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing , a fast heartbeat, sweating, and fainting. If you have symptoms that may mean a blood clot in the lungs, call 911 or get emergency help.
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Youve Tried Everything But Nothing Worked
If varicose veins are causing you severe discomfort, or maybe you are just tired of looking at them, non-invasive medical treatments are available. In our office alone, you have access to a variety of treatments, including:
- Endovenous laser therapy
- Injection sclerotherapy
- Ambulatory phlebectomy
These treatments are performed at an in-office visit, have very few side effects, and require little recovery time. You may be surprised at just how easy it is to have your varicose veins removed. And the best part is that not only will the symptoms go away after removal, but you wont have to look at those ugly twisted veins anymore!
Every individual is different. Discussing your particular situation with a doctor can help you make the best decision about the right treatment to reduce your varicose veins. Whenever you are ready for a consultation, were here to help!
Who Gets Varicose Veins
Age is the most common risk factor. More than 40% of women over age 50 and 75% of women over age 70 have varicose veins. Not only do blood vessels weaken with age, so do calf muscles, which normally help squeeze veins and send blood back toward the heart as you walk.
Other risk factors that can predispose you to varicose veins include the following:
Gender. Women are slightly more susceptible to varicose veins than men. Pregnancy may be one reason: increased blood volume, extra weight, and greater abdominal pressure subject the leg veins to more wear and tear. The more full-term pregnancies a woman has had, the greater her risk. Hormones can also cause blood vessels to dilate, and there’s some evidence that taking either oral contraceptives or hormone therapy increases the likelihood of developing varicose veins.
Heredity. Varicose veins tend to run in families, probably because of inherited weakness in vein walls or valve functioning.
Occupation. A large Danish study found that women who spent more than 75% of their working time standing or walking were nearly twice as likely to be treated for varicose veins as women who spent fewer working hours on their feet.
Weight. Excess weight, particularly around the middle, puts added pressure on leg veins. Moderately overweight women are more likely to have varicose veins than their thinner counterparts, and the risk is tripled in obese women.
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What Types Of Surgery Treat Varicose Veins
Your doctor or nurse may recommend surgery for very large or severe varicose veins. Types of surgery for varicose veins include:
- Ambulatory phlebectomy. This surgery removes varicose veins that are just beneath the skin’s surface. The doctor makes tiny cuts in the skin and uses hooks to pull the vein out of the leg. The doctor usually removes the vein in one treatment and leaves only tiny scars. Many people can return to normal activity the day after treatment. Healthy veins will then take over the normal flow of blood.
- Surgical ligation and stripping. This surgery is for larger varicose veins. With this treatment, problem veins are tied shut and completely removed from the leg through small cuts in the skin. Recovery can take up to a month. Healthy veins take over the normal flow of blood.
Surgery For Varicose Veins
- ligation and stripping the surgeon cuts and ties off the vein . Stripping the vein involves inserting a slender instrument into the vein through a small incision. The vein is then pulled out through a second incision
- phlebectomy the surgeon makes small incisions, then removes the veins with a special hook.
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Does Insurance Cover Varicose Veins And Spider Veins Treatment
Maybe. Your insurance plan may cover certain treatments for varicose veins and spider veins, such as compression stockings, medicine, or a procedure, if you have symptoms, such as pain or swelling. Insurance may also cover surgery if wearing compression stockings has not helped.
- If you have insurance, check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.
- If you have Medicare, find out about Medicare coverage for varicose veins.
- If you have Medicaid, the benefits covered are different in each state, but certain benefits must be covered. Check with your state’s Medicaid program to find out what’s covered.
- If you need health insurance, check to see if you are eligible.
Youll Need To See A Specialist To Actually Treat Visible Veins
If youre wondering how to get rid of spider veins for good, know that Dr. Hollingsworth says those wacky home remedies wont work. Dry brushing? Nope. Fancy body lotions? Nah. Massage? It might feel good, but there wont be a visible difference.
Theres nothing really that you can do aside from the small minimally invasive treatments we have that is going to make spider veins look any better, he says. Creams, ointments, or rubbing arent going to make spider veins go away.
The primary way that spider and varicose veins are treated is by using different surgical methods to close off the vein so that it collapses and the residual scar tissue stops the blood flow completely. These are all superficial veins, so other healthy veins just take over their circulation duties and the procedure wont impact your overall health. Also, those with more serious, bulging varicose veins can have them removed completely once the vein is closed off.
Sclerotherapy: This is one of the more popular options for spider veins and varicose veins. A doctor injects a foamy detergent or concentrated saltwater solution into the problematic vein, which irritates the walls of the blood vessel, explains Neil Sadick, M.D., founder of Sadick Dermatology. This causes scar tissue to form, which leads the blood vessel to close. If someone is allergic to the sclerotherapy solution, there are other treatment options.
How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed
Varicose veins are close to the surface of your skin and easy to see. Healthcare providers can diagnose the condition during a physical examination. Theyll feel your veins and examine them while youre sitting and standing.
To see detailed images of your veins and check for complications, your provider may recommend an ultrasound. This safe, painless test uses sound waves to produce pictures of tissues inside your body. Ultrasounds can show blood clots and how your valves are working.
Varicose Veins And Exercise
In almost all cases, the best way to fight knee pain and improve your vascular system is through physical activity. Once your doctor says its safe and your knee is close to healing, you should start exercising. Physical activity benefits your knees and overall quality of life. The best exercises work your leg muscles and improve blood flow to your heart.
With improved circulatory health, your body can absorb more nutrients and reap the benefits of a better flow of oxygen-enriched blood. This doesnt only apply to varicose veins. If youve experienced a physical strain, or if youre living with arthritis and the aches that come with it, exercise can greatly ease your condition.
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Risks Of Essential Oils
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate essential oils. However, these oils do fall under the generally recognized as safe or GRAS classification.
To be safe, essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil before use. Put 3 to 5 drops of the essential oil in 3 tablespoons of sweet almond oil, coconut oil that has been warmed up, or olive oil and apply gently to the skin.
Essential oils do not often cause significant side effects, though they can be toxic when swallowed, leading to nausea and vomiting.
Applying essential oils to the skin may also cause allergic reactions or skin irritation in some people. A person should always do a patch test before they use the oil. This involves applying a small amount of essential oil to a small patch of skin and waiting overnight to test for swelling or allergic reactions.
Lastly, a person applying citrus oils may find that their skin becomes more sensitive to the sun.
Complications Of Varicose Veins
If left untreated, varicose veins in the lower leg can cause open sores or skin ulcers, bleeding, and skin discoloration. If you have severe varicose veins, you may have chronic venous insufficiency. Blood clots are something that people who have varicose veins are vulnerable to since these can affect the ability of the veins to pump blood smoothly to the heart.
Clotting disorders include superficial thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Superficial thrombophlebitis is painful, but it’s treatable and not usually dangerous. Pulmonary embolism, however, is a blood clot that usually results from having deep vein thrombosis and can become lodged in the lung. It requires immediate treatment as this is a life-threatening condition.
Varicose veins arent usually dangerous, but there are certain signs that can make enlarged vein and venous reflux a more serious concern and require immediate medical attention. If the skin and veins are bleeding, discolored, swollen, painful, reddish, or warm to the touch, you should get in touch with your doctor immediately.
Millions of people have varicose veins, and most of the time, they live normal lives without having to worry about serious health problems. Home remedies and lifestyle changes usually help relieve the symptoms and prevent the veins from getting worse.
If the pain and appearance of your varicose veins are bothering you, ask your doctor to recommend safe and minimally invasive treatments for you.
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Is Your Knee Pain Caused By Varicose Veins
No matter how you get it, knee pain is trouble. It can be a result of too much exercise, a fall, or some kind of strain. But if youre experiencing knee pain with no clear cause, that could be a sign of a deeper issue, like a problem with your veins.
Circulation problems often start in the legs and could be the cause of your knee pain. Take the time to schedule an appointment with a physician for a checkup, and they can determine whether you need early vein treatment.
Skill Is The Key To Getting Best Results
The results you will see depend largely on the person performing the leg vein treatment. Because dermatologists made many of the advances that have given us safer, less invasive treatments for leg veins, they have a leg up on using these treatments.
You can find a dermatologist who treats leg veins by going to, Find a dermatologist and coose the specialty of Cosmetic Dermatology.
When you call the office, ask if the dermatologist regularly treats leg veins.
Related AAD resources
ImagesImage 1 used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 38:461-75.
Images 2 and 3 from Thinkstock
ReferencesAmerican Academy of Dermatology, Dermatologists have a leg up on newer minimally invasive treatments for leg veins. News release issued July 31, 2013.
Moul DK, Housman L, et al. Endovenous laser ablation of the great and short saphenous veins with a 1320-nm neodymium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 70:326-31.
Nijsten T and van den Bos RR, et al. Minimally invasive techniques in the treatment of saphenous varicose veins. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009 60:110-9.
Weiss RA and Dover JS. Leg vein management: Sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy, and laser surgery. In: Kaminer MS, Dover JS, et al. Atlas of Cosmetic Surgery . WB Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 2002: 407-32.
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Varicose Veins Vs Spider Veins
Varicose veins are not the same as spider veins those small, thin blood vessels that appear on the skin. Spider veins can be red, blue, or purple in color, and take on a shape that resembles a spider web . Spider veins are harmless themselves, but can be a symptom of poor circulation or a sign of increased risk for varicose veins.
Varicose veins are more prominentbulging out from just beneath the surface of the skin. They may also appear swollen, twisted, or engorgedalmost like they might burst. Although they can develop anywhere in the body, they are most often found on the legs and ankles and can be blue or dark purple in color.
Am I At Risk Of Developing Varicose Veins
You have a greater chance of getting varicose veins if any of the following apply to you:
We hate to break it to you, but if your mom had varicose veins, youre more likely to develop them as well. Half of those with varicose veins have a family history of them, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
As you age, the valves in your veins may not work as well as they did when you were younger. This is another risk factor for varicose veins.
Sorry ladies, but the hormonal changes you experiencealong with the use of birth control pillscan raise your risk.
Your growing baby doesnt just put pressure on your bladderit also places pressure on your leg veins. Fortunately in this case, the veins usually improve three to 12 months after delivery.
- Being overweight or obese
This excess weight exerts more pressure on your veins, leading to an increased risk.
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
Were looking at you, office workers. Staying in one position for an extended time forces your veins to work harder, which can place you at risk.
- Previous blood clots
If youve had any trauma to your legs or veins, this may weaken them, increasing your chances of developing varicose veins.
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