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Why You Should Treat Varicose Veins

Olympic swimming gold medalist, actress and television host, Summer Sanders is a great example of what one would consider excellent physical health. Often linked with older people, Summer Sanders is not what you might consider the typical candidate for varicose veins. However, varicose veins come with no age discrimination. Soon after the birth of her second child, Sanders found herself suffering from varicose veins and chronic vein insufficiency. These painful veins can affect anyone, keeping them off their feet for many hours a day.

Twisting and bulging around the thigh and stretching down the calf, varicose veins can be cosmetically unsightly. However, this is not merely a matter of vanity. They could also be signs of more serious health conditions. Ignored long enough, the seemingly superficial issue can become painful, potentially developing into major forms of venous disease. While these conditions are not viewed as life threatening, they do contribute to a significant amount of pain and disability. If you find that pain, bleeding or extensive skin discolorations accompany your varicose veins, Vein & Skin Laser Center can help you find relief from these uncomfortable circumstances.

What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins are an extremely common problem in the United States. An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from the condition (Chicago Vein Institute, 2014). Varicose veins are a sign of weakened valves in the leg. When a valve in the leg fails to move blood up toward the heart, blood remains in the veins and collects in the leg. This triggers veins to engorge and rise over the skin’s surface. Other factors that contribute to vein disease are pregnancy, prolonged periods of standing or sitting and obesity.

How do I prevent them?

There is no surefire way to fully prevent varicose veins. Fluctuating hormone levels make the risk for varicose veins highest in women (especially around pregnancy and menopause). Risk for both sexes increases with age as veins lose elasticity.

Luckily, there are some lifestyle changes that may work to limit the sprawl of varicose veins:

  • Exercise. Walking and other coordinated leg movements help improve leg circulation and muscle tone.
  • Monitor Your Weight.  Losing weight helps improve blood flow and ease the pressure on leg veins. By managing blood pressure and sodium intake, you can prevent swelling associated with diets high in salt.
  • Watch What You Wear. Wear loose clothing. Tight clothes restrict circulation around your waist, hips and legs. Avoid wearing heels for hours on end.
  • Keep Shifting.  Try not to sit or stand for extended periods. Considerable time on your feet or in your seat increases risk for varicose veins. Kick your feet up. Literally. Elevating your legs helps improve circulation.

Once I get them treated, are they gone forever?

Treatment is a rapid, routine procedure that closes off targeted veins. However, treatment does not prevent new varicose veins from forming. Keep in mind that this condition is passed down generationally, so even with treatment, there is a possibility of new varicose veins appearing.

What if I decide not to get painful veins treated?

It’s important to know that varicose veins don’t get better. They tend to remain stagnant or get worse over time. If varicose veins remain in superficial veins (those closer to the surface of the skin), they may remain a cosmetic issue. Olympic medalist Sanders tried to train and push through the pain the veins were causing her, but by then, her condition had already developed to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

It is in the rare instance that varicose veins affect deeper veins that they become a true health hazard. CVI is a condition where the veins cannot pump blood back to the heart. It increases the risk of developing a blood clot called a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). If traveling to other parts of the body, this blood clot can result in potentially fatal conditions.

Millions of Americans suffer from vein disease and may not even know it. Thankfully, this is a problem that can be easily resolved. If your varicose veins are causing you extensive pain, or itching, discolored skin, what’s standing in the way between you and healing? Our board-certified physicians use advanced diagnostic techniques to choose the best non-surgical or minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of varicose veins and other venous disorders. Please browse our website to learn of our treatment methods. Call in for your appointment today!