Varicose veins occur when the veins that are under the skin become bulging, widened and twisted. They are most common in women and older people and are not usually a serious medical problem.
The legs have two main systems of veins that carry blood to the heart. The deep veins are inside the legs and carry most of the blood. The superficial veins are right under the skin and are the ones that form varicose veins.
Veins in the legs have valves that push the blood against gravity back to the heart. When these valves become weak, they do not function properly and the blood pools in the vein. This is when the vein becomes enlarged and can be seen just beneath the skin.
As the blood remains in the vein, there is added pressure and the vein widens. Once this happens, spider veins can form from the raised pressure in the veins.
There are several causes for varicose veins, but the most common is hereditary. Hormones also play a part during menopause, pregnancy and even puberty. Women who use birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are also more at risk.
Other factors that may contribute to the development of varicose veins are long periods of sitting or standing and obesity.
There are several treatments that are minimally invasive and do not mean a long hospital stay. We usually treat varicose veins on an outpatient basis.
During a consultation with our expert, you will learn about things that you can do at home to prevent your varicose veins from getting worse.
Exercising, wearing loose clothing, losing weight, elevating your legs and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing can all help reduce the symptoms.
Our expert may ask you to wear compression stockings that help the veins move the blood.
Other treatments for more severe varicose veins are:
Sclerotherapy – this is the most common treatment because it is easy to do and very effective. A solution is injected directly into the vein. Gradually, the vein closes, and in a few weeks, fades away. In severe cases, more than one treatment may be required. It does not require anesthesia, and you can usually go home immediately.
Laser treatments – this is effective for smaller varicose veins and spider veins. The procedure sends a strong burst of light into the vein, which also makes the vein gradually fade and disappear. There is no needle or incision used.
With offices in Manhattan, Atlantic Highlands, Fresno and Hanford, Rao Dermatology offers various treatment options for both varicose and spider veins. Our team of highly skilled professionals will help you decide the best treatment for your specific problem.
Varicose veins are very unsightly no matter what your age, but fortunately, they can be easily treated, and you can enjoy smooth legs again. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at one of our locations.