Millions of North Texans are faced with Varicose Veins. Those are the dark blue or purple lines bulging underneath the skin. For most, varicose veins are simply unsightly and not the thing they want to be noticed by. However for others, varicose veins are painful and make it difficult to walk or sleep. The good news is, you don’t have to live with the unsightly and painful reality of varicose veins. But let’s first take a look at what they are.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are those large, twisted, purple veins that bulge out from the skin most often appearing on the legs and feet. They tend to appear when the valves in the veins stop working properly, resulting in the blood not flowing properly.
How Did I Get Varicose Veins?
We learned in school that arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your tissues. Veins return the blood to your heart, so the blood can be circulated back through the body. To return blood to your heart, the veins in your legs must work against gravity.
In order to return the blood back to your heart, your body experiences mini muscle contractions in your lower legs that pumps the blood back to your heart. Tiny valves in your veins open as blood flows toward your heart then close to stop blood from flowing backward. If these valves are weak or damaged, blood can flow backward and pool in the vein, causing the veins to stretch or twist. That is where you get the purple looking bulge under your skin.
Treatment Options for Varicose Veins:
Regular, low-impact exercise that gets the legs moving will create better blood circulation in the legs. For those with varicose veins, exercise helps to push along the blood that has collected in the veins. This is key because often times it will reduce the size of the varicose veins.
There are key low-impact exercises that specifically work out the calf muscles without excessive strain. Our doctors recommend the following low-impact exercises:
2. Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are a fantastic clothing option because they can be worn all day, helping treat varicose veins by applying continuous pressure to the legs. This continuous pressure aids the muscles and veins to move blood toward the heart. Compression stockings can be ordered by your doctor, or can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies. Check with your local pharmacy first when deciding on using compression stockings.
In 2018, a European study found that people, who used knee-high compression stockings with a pressure of 18 to 21 mmHg for one week, reported a reduction in the pain and aching associated with varicose veins.
Massage is a wonderful way to get the blood flowing. Gently massaging the affected areas can help to keep the blood moving through the veins. A person can use gentle massage oils or moisturizer for optimal effects. A professional masseuse will know how to use massage to start moving the blood properly.
Find a masseuse who has experience in massaging areas that have varicose veins. Your doctor will have a list of massage therapists who have the experience and expertise to provide massage relief. Be sure to point out which areas have varicose veins so that he or she can avoid putting pressure directly on the varicose area, thereby avoiding damage to the fragile tissues.
4. Sclerotherapy, A Minimally Invasive Procedure
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure used to eliminate varicose veins. This treatment involves injecting a salt solution directly into the varicose vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to collapse and stick together.
If you were treated for small varicose veins or spider veins, a simple sclerotherapy procedure can be done in office and you can usually expect to see definitive results in three to six weeks. However, if you are faced with larger veins, this same procedure can be successful but may require three to four months before you see the results you want. However, multiple treatments may be needed to achieve the results you want.
Another option is ambulatory phlebectomy, an outpatient procedure that removes superficial varicose veins through small, slit-like incisions in the skin. This minimally invasive procedure completely eliminates the affected varicose vein leaving smooth, clean skin. The phlebectomy treatment is usually performed on larger veins that bulge above the surface of the skin and varicose veins.
Contact Trophy Club Family Medicine
If you need one of our doctors’ assistance or need more information about sunburns, sunburn treatment options or perhaps other heat related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, contact our Trophy Club Family Clinic in Trophy Club, TX, off of Trophy Club Dr. Don’t forget to follow and ‘like us’ on Facebook to keep up with our latest news and information.