Almost 50% of women suffer from varicose veins or spider veins, and most wonder how they can be prevented/treated. There can be many factors causing varicose veins like fluctuation in hormones, high-heeled shoes, occupation or obesity. Today, I have a few tips for diminishing the appearance of spider and varicose veins from New York City’s top vein specialist, Dr. Luis Navarro of the Vein Treatment Center. He also explains the newest non-invasive treatments available to fix existing veins.
1. Though staying active is important to maintain good health, many question the correlation between running and varicose veins. But it’s actually important to keep those legs moving… walking, running, cycling and swimming are beneficial for good circulation in legs and keep deoxygenated blood flowing towards the heart, reducing pressure and blood pooling.
2. Any type of exercise that strengthens the “second heart” – the muscles of the calf and foot – is beneficial and can help prevent spider/varicose veins. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
3. If you already have varicose veins, or if they run in your family – wear compression stockings. Compression stockings act like an added layer of muscle, aiding the performance of the “second heart” and venous circulation.
4. Birth control pills can constrict blood vessels and can weaken vein valves and vein walls.
5. If you are standing/sitting for long periods of time, try to rotate your ankles/feet whenever possible, walk for a few minutes every hour, and point and flex your toes to promote leg vein circulation. Flexing calves muscles frequently is also a good exercise to do at your desk on long car/plane trips to keep up circulation. When you get home, raise your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart whenever possible to assist circulation.
6. Try to maintain a healthy weight which helps eliminate excess pressure on your legs that might cause veins to surface.
7. Avoid long hot baths or relaxing in a hot tub for too long. Keep it to a minimum as the excessive heat from hot tubs can actually increase vein swelling and lead to blood pooling.
Spider and small varicose veins can be treated with sclerotherapy – a painless injection treatment. During treatment, a mild chemical solution is injected into the vein that is causing the issue. The sclerosing agent irritates the walls of the vessel, causing it to collapse. The body then reabsorbs the vein and blood is re-routed to a healthy vein, restoring proper venous circulation in the area. For large varicose veins, surgery is not performed anymore. We use in office Endovenous Laser Abliation (EVLA), in which a laser fiber is used to close the main vein from the inside under local anesthesia and no down time.
Hope you find these tips useful!