Sclerotherapy: What You Need to Know Varicose veins appear on the legs and arms for many reasons. While varicose veins are usually visible and blue, cause a bulge in the skin, and typically appear on lower legs. Spider veins are a kind of varicose vein, affecting smaller blood vessels. They appear as thin threads on the face, arms, or legs. |
You’re not alone: one in four Americans have them. Statistically, women get them more than men. It’s not a sign of aging, either: young adults develop them as well. Sedentary lifestyles, where blood can pool in the legs, is a major factor. While they can be benign, varicose veins increase the chance of a person developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT is something that’s in the news, frequently related to airline passengers on long-distance flights (which is why moving about the cabin is important on longer flights). Because DVT means a clot forming in a vein, this can be a life-threatening situation.
Varicose vein symptoms might not be visible. Frequent cramps, aches, and swelling in the legs might be a sign that a varicose vein lurks deep enough not to be seen. Dermatologists, or qualified physicians such as ones found in vein treatment centers, can best diagnose varicose vein issues.
Sclerotherapy is a safe and easy way to remove both types of veins. Varicose vein removal or varicose vein surgery is usually performed as an outpatient therapy at a vein treatment center. Sclerotherapy is a procedure that’s been performed by doctors for almost ninety years. The treatment consists of injecting compounds into the varicose or spider veins. This irritates them, causing them to clot, collapse, and scar. The procedure itself can take as little as 30 minutes. Within a few weeks (or a few months for larger veins) the vein discolorations fade from view.
After surgery, taking a break from aerobic activities for a few days is important. And then, while you can get back to your normal life, there are some things you can do to ensure you heal properly. Wearing compression clothing, such as special socks, keeps the swelling down.
There are alternatives to chemical sclerotherapy, including laser removal, and endothermal abrasion. In extreme cases, surgery may be required for varicose veins deeper in the limb.
There are misconceptions about varicose veins. Running isn’t thought to create varicose veins. In fact, aerobic exercise and strong calf muscles keep the veins in check and increase foot health. If you have varicose veins and run or jog, use a compression stocking to keep the pressure on the veins while you exercise. And while people point to standing as a factor, it’s probably the fact that they are more visible, and more irritating, when standing, and blood might pool in the lower extremities. Lastly, removing varicose veins doesn’t hurt your body’s blood circulation. There are plenty of veins throughout your body, and when varicose veins are treated, other veins take up the slack and can even expand their ability to oxygenate your body.
There’s no cure for varicose veins or spider veins. While they are usually easily treated, they can reappear. Sclerotherapy is a great solution for any future ‘crops’ of varicose veins.
For more information about sclerotherapy, visit VeinSolutions.
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