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Treatment Approaches for Unsightly Veins

If you are one of the millions of Americans who avoid wearing shorts, skirts or dresses because you have swollen, twisted veins visible just under the surface of the skin, then you know what it means to have unsightly veins. The culprits hampering your style may be either spider or varicose veins.

Unsightly Varicose veins

Varicose veins are most commonly found in the legs. They occur when the valves of the vein are weak or become damaged so that the blood begins to flow backward, causing fluid buildup and, ultimately, swelling. Varicose veins may bulge through the surface of the skin and can cause pain, burning, and throbbing. In other words, varicose veins are typically regarded to be thoroughly unpleasant — both cosmetically and functionally.

Varicose veins affect men and women alike, particularly those who are overweight, have fluctuating hormone levels, or those who stand or sit for long periods of time.

Unsightly Spider Veins

Spider veins are bothersome in a somewhat different way. Though they most often form in the legs like varicose veins, they do not bulge or cause pain. Instead they tend to form larger designs of red or blue clumps resembling tree branches or spider webs. The causes of spider veins correspond with those of varicose veins.

Fortunately, there are several proven treatments available for spider and varicose veins.

Sclerotherapy is the most widely used procedure today for treating unsightly varicose and spider veins. A sclerosing agent is injected into the vein, causing the walls of the vein to seal shut, and the vein to collapse. Over time, the unsightly vein turns into scar tissue.

Lifestyle changes can benefit sufferers of both spider and varicose veins. Your vascular surgeon may recommend that you maintain a healthy weight and to exercise regularly. He may also suggest that you take breaks if you have a job that requires you to stand or sit for long periods of time. Be sure to consult with your vascular surgeon to find out which changes will benefit you most.

Surface laser treatments remove the varicose or spider vein without surgery or the use of needles. In this treatment, energy from a laser passes through skin to vein, heating it so that the unsightly vein collapses.

Vein stripping is reserved for patients with severe varicose veins. In this case, the vein is surgically removed. During treatment, your vascular surgeon will thread a plastic wire in one incision at the top of the leg and out an incision made in the lower leg, removing the vein in the process.

Read more about vascular surgery and vein treatments

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