Most commonly affecting blood vessels in your legs and feet, varicose veins are enlarged and gnarled when compared with regular veins. Any vein in your body could become varicose, but the pressures of standing and walking typically create issues in the legs first.
As you get older, veins lose elasticity, which may result in stretching and weak valves, causing backward flows of blood, away from instead of toward your heart. Blood pools in these veins, causing further stretching and enlargement, creating varicose veins.
In many cases, there’s no pain or discomfort associated with the changes to varicose veins, it’s simply a visual condition. However, when pain occurs, there are several sensations, of which you may feel one or more. These include:
If you’re not bothered by the appearance, and there’s no pain or other symptoms arising from your veins, you may not need to treat this condition at all. However, you can reduce discomfort and prevent varicose veins from getting worse with a few points of self-care.
Losing weight, exercising, and avoiding long spells of standing or sitting can reduce the load on your leg veins. Resting with your legs in a raised position also helps. Compression stockings may also help, and these are often the first line of treatment recommended by Dr. Heilbron. If your varicose veins are more severe, there are other medical options for treatment.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting varicose veins with an irritant that closes the veins and starts the natural process of removal by the body. This is a simple procedure done in the Encore Surgery and Aesthetics office, and treated veins typically fade in a few weeks.
Cosmetic laser treatments may help, particularly with small, red spider veins, another type of varicose vein condition.Dr. Heilbron was one of the first physicians in Southern California to perform minimally invasive endovenus vein ablation. There are several surgical techniques for varicose vein removal, should your case require more advanced treatment.
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