Painful and unsightly leg veins
With the Arizona heat, a summer day, winter day, or any day is ideal for wearing shorts. But for those with varicose veins or spider veins, the thought of wearing shorts is troubling and leads to severe anxiety. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 55% of adult women experience abnormal leg veins as well as 45% of men. If you suffer from varicose veins, you don’t have to resign yourself to living with them if they bother you as there are many ways they can be treated in the office without surgery or painful vein striping.
What are varicose veins? Can varicose veins be prevented? We break it all down for you.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins can form when the vein valves that move blood back to the heart weaken and malfunction, resulting in swelling and inflammation. As the valves weaken and no longer keep blood flowing in one direction, the veins become enlarged or stretched due to the abnormal blood flow, blood begins to back up or pool. This often results in bulging, twisted veins with a purple or blue appearance.
Varicose veins most commonly occur in the legs because gravity and other factors make the normal flow of blood returning to the heart more difficult. The lack of circulation and blood pooling means the veins can be painful, make the legs feel heavy or cause a burning, aching, or throbbing sensation.
Why do I have them?
Your genes are the primary factor contributing to your risk for developing varicose veins. When one or both parents have varicose veins, your risk increases. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, obesity, older age, prolonged standing, and physical inactivity.
What do I do about them?
- Physical activity is a great place to start. When we walk, the contraction of the calf muscle helps circulate blood back to our heart, alleviating the build-up that contributes to varicose veins.
- Prescription grade compression socks will also aid with the circulation of blood.
When these aren't enough, new procedures to treat varicose veins are producing excellent results:
- One is the VenaSeal Closure System, which uses medical adhesive and this adhesive is placed in the location along the diseased vein.
- Another is the ClariVein Device, the device uses Mechanico-Chemical Ablation (MOCA). It provokes natural vein spams to produce closure.
- Endovenous ablation is a treatment that uses heat or radiofrequency energy to close off a vein that is not functioning properly, redirecting blood flow through other veins.
- Sclerotherapy uses an injection of a specific chemical to make smaller veins shrink.
Advanced Vein Institute of Arizona
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