If you are one of the 30 to 60 percent of adults who suffer from spider veins or varicose veins, you know that they can be very painful or irritating on top of looking ugly. Spider veins become more prominent as you age and seem to afflict women more than men.
What Do They Look Like?
Red, purple, and blue colors that appear to twist and turn, these veins can become a serious problem. They are caused by venous insufficiency, which is when the valves in the veins weaken and allow some blood to flow back into the veins instead of returning to the heart. They can become worse through standing long periods of time and obesity. As they worsen, they may bulge out from the skin.
Methods To Alleviate Them
Exercise: There are a few methods besides surgery to ease these spider veins. The first and one of the easiest methods to diminish spider veins is to get more daily exercise. Take a short walk daily to improve your circulation all over your body, including where these veins show up, such as legs, feet, and ankles. When you sit, don’t cross the legs, as this slows down circulation. Wear looser-fitting clothing with flat or low-heeled shoes. When you rest, make sure you can elevate your legs to help get the blood moving back to the heart.
Lose Weight: If you lose some weight, even if you are not considered obese, it can help control these veins. Being overweight adds more weight that the legs have to carry around and also contributes to a decrease in blood circulation. Exercising may also lead to weight reduction.
Sclerotherapy: You might consider sclerotherapy, which is where a physician injects a high saline solution or a special detergent directly into the smaller veins. This procedure has been used since the 1930s and is generally performed as an outpatient treatment that is fairly inexpensive and simple. The solution irritates the vessel, causing it to swell and clot, which turns to scar tissue before it fades away. You should see relief within six weeks.
Laser Surgery: You might consider a form of laser surgery, which is not an invasive surgery. One method is Endovenous Laser Surgery, which is an ultrasound guided technique where an optical fiber is inserted into the vein. The infrared part of the laser light shines into the vein, causing it to contract. The procedure takes between one to two hours. New technology may allow this procedure to be done on larger veins also.
Invasive Surgery: Invasive surgery is the last option for people who really suffer from spider or varicose veins. Although invasive, surgery does offer a permanent solution. Surgery is not recommended for smaller veins.