Almost 30 percent of American population suffers from spider and varicose veins conditions – unsightly blood vessels on their legs that become increasingly common with age. Women are four times as likely to suffer from varicose veins. In fact, more than 40 percent of women have some form of varicose veins conditions. In this article we will discuss various effective prevention and treatment methods for spider and varicose veins.
The Difference between Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Spider veins are small blood vessels located near the skin surface. This type of veins looks like a web of red and purple lines, and is in fact, a web of broken capillaries that can develop on the legs or even on the face. Spider veins are usually a result of genetic predispositions, sun damage, pregnancy and childbirth, injury, estrogen replacement therapy, or use of corticosteroids.
Varicose veins are enlarged blood vessels that swelled and expanded as a result of internal pressure and weakness of the vein wall. Varicose veins appear only on the legs and differ from spider veins in a number of ways. They are larger, darker with red, purple or bluish tint and tend to bulge and twist. Varicose veins are located deeper than the spider veins and are more than a simple cosmetic concern. They are often painful and pose some serious health risks. Because the vein doesn’t provide a necessary amount of oxygen or an adequate fluid drainage from the skin, the surrounding skin may develop ulcers, or the vein itself may become inflamed or develop blood clots.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
You might have heard it is all about heredity, but while heredity truly does play a role, there is a number of lifestyle factors that contribute to development of varicose veins. These factors are excess weight, sedentary lifestyle, tight clothing, stockings that restrict blood circulation in your legs, uncomfortable high-heeled shoes. Varicose veins may also develop in response to changes in hormonal levels like pregnancy, menopause and use of birth control pills.
Prevention of Varicose Veins
Walking regularly will not only prevent varicose veins development but will also reduce the existing ones. Walking tones your muscles, improved blood circulation in your legs and reduces your body weight.
Another good way to prevent varicose veins is to take several ten- to fifteen-minute breaks during the day and put your legs up to take pressure off them. You may also use specially developed compression stockings that can help control symptoms and prevent varicose veins conditions from developing even further. Compression stockings concentrate the pressure near the ankles, which helps to push blood upward reducing the pressure on the veins. Compression stockings are easily available in most pharmacies.
Varicose Veins Treatment
A needle injection technique called sclerotherpy was a primary form of treatment for spider veins and varicose veins for many years. During this procedure a hardening solution us injected right into the vein. This causes the vein to collapse and the body reabsorbs it over the time. Typically you would need several sessions spaced four to six weeks apart. Sclerotherapy is generally safe but can be painful because typically several vessels are injected during each treatment session. This may create bruises and brown streaks immediately after the procedure, however they will disappear over time. Less common side effects of this varicose veins treatment include hard lumps, redness, or open sores.
There is another famous varicose veins treatment known as closure technique. During this treatment a small catheter is placed inside the vein. This catheter bombards the vein with radio frequency energy causing the vein to shrink and close down. Over time the healthier veins take over and restore normal blood flow to the area.
There are some less invasive ways to deal with varicose veins problem. Lasers and IPL technology are especially effective in treating spider veins and small varicose veins.
During IPL treatment the vein is exposed to intense light energy. The light is absorbed by blood creating enough heat to destroy the vein.
Laser treatments provide effective and relatively painless methods of treating varicose veins and spider veins. Precisely targeted laser light heats the blood in the vein causing the blood to transform into semi-solid mass. The vessels shrink in size and gradually fade away as they are naturally eliminated by body’s immune system while the skin stays unharmed.
You might need several laser treatments over a period of time to ensure complete removal of the veins. Laser varicose veins treatment doesn’t cause much discomfort and you will be able to return to your normal activity immediately after the treatment. Usually all you will have is a sensation similar to sunburn which will last for several hours. Some patients develop a blue-black bruise that lasts for around a week.
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