Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spider Veins? Quick Tips for Coping

Spider vein is the common term for blue or purple-colored veins that occur under the skin but are close enough to be seen on the surface. They are similar to varicose veins but smaller, and like varicose veins, they can cause physical discomfort and be a source of embarrassment and self-consciousness, especially during the summer season.

If you have spider veins, some simple tips can help you feel better and help stop their progression.

4 Quick Tips for Coping with Spider Veins

1. Elevate your legs above your heart as often as possible— for as long as 30 minutes or as briefly as three minutes. The ideal time is after you have been standing for a long period or after a hot shower.

2. Sit properly. Focus on good posture and avoid crossing your legs, or sitting in ways that can compress veins for prolonged periods.
    3. Walk. Walking causes the rhythmic contraction of calf muscles and helps promote blood flow to the heart. Just 30 minutes every day—all at once, or in shorter increments.
    4. Contact a board certified phlebologist for an evaluation. In the past, treatment for spider veins has been considered merely cosmetic, but they can be the tip of the iceberg.

    Coping with spider veins? 
    You've got options. Find out more about venous disease and its treatment, or contact the Vein Healthcare Center to schedule an appointment to get started with your vein care.  

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Spider Veins: Appearance or Something More?

    Tiny, Web-Shaped Veins Could Be a Symptom of Venous Disease

    Telangiectasia is the technical term, but most people know them as “spider veins.” The tiny red-, blue- or purple-colored veins occur just below the skin but are close enough to be seen on the surface. They may appear as short fine lines, clusters, or in a spider web shape.

    Treating spider veins can improve appearance, and that can be a tremendous advantage for those struggling with them. But spider veins can also be an indication of early stage venous disease; treating them not only can improve appearance, but can also help stop the progression of venous disease at its source.

    Are Your Spider Veins a Symptom of Venous Disease?

    Vein health is a continuum, so while spider veins may appear minimal, there could be a larger vein ‘leaking’ underneath.

    A basic understanding of how veins work can help one understand what causes disorders like spider veins. Veins carry blood from the legs and arms back to the heart. The blood in the legs travels up against gravity, so when the valves in the veins become damaged, blood “leaks” back into the legs and creates a “pooling” effect.

    Treatment – For Your Overall Health

    Effective treatment of spider veins begins with a thorough evaluation from a qualified phlebologist who will look for the source of the problem: the leaky valve or valves. An ultrasound is the best way to accurately determine the problem. Then, the physician can recommend the appropriate procedure or therapy.

    Sclerotherapy is frequently used to treat spider veins. In this procedure, small needles provide access to the vein so that a sclerosing agent can be injected into the vein's interior wall. This substance causes the vein to become sticky and seal shut, allowing it to disappear. Blood then finds a healthy path back to the heart.

    While these effective forms of treatment can be the solution to better looking legs, it's important to remember that they can be part of maintaining good health as well. You can learn more about spider veins and their treatment at The American College of Phlebology, where you can read about Vein Conditions and Treatment including information about sclerotherapy and other forms of treatment. You can also get the answers to common questions about vein disorders at the Vein Healthcare Center and request an appointment with a board certified phlebologist.

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    For Moms-to-Be, Varicose Veins Are Common – And Treatable

    Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate being a mom whether you already have a family or yours is just beginning. It’s a perfect time to celebrate good health as well. If you are pregnant, being an expectant mom can be full of surprises. Some of them, like the appearance of varicose veins, just aren’t welcome.

    About 40% of pregnant women will develop varicose veins.  Hormone surges are part of the biological process of pregnancy, and varicose veins are sometimes part of that process. Varicose veins tend to run in the family as well. Expectant mothers might ask their own moms or other women in their family if they had vein issues during or after their pregnancies

    Pregnancy & Vein Health: What You Should Know
    Varicose Veins

    First Trimester: The first trimester is an especially important time to think about vein health. Women with known risk factors for venous disease should consider wearing compression stockings throughout the first three months of pregnancy and possibly longer. Specially designed maternity graduated compression stockings are available with a doctor’s prescription or at many maternity stores – check with your doctor before you purchase.

    Second & Third Trimester: While the most damage seems to happen in the first trimester, the second and third trimester may also carry some risk of developing varicose veins. The volume of blood in a healthy woman increases to about 50% more than before the pregnancy, with the largest increase in the second trimester. With more volume to move, all of the blood vessels are under increased stress. In this final trimester, the uterus continues to expand and put pressure on the veins in the abdominal region.

    Varicose Vein Prevention For Moms-to-Be 

    Paying attention to vein health can go a long way toward treating, and even preventing varicose veins for mother-to-be. There are several ways to decrease or prevent varicose veins during pregnancy:

    • Wear graduated compression stockings, especially in the first trimester.
    • Exercise often—even a brisk walk will help circulation and reduce symptoms.
    • Frequently pump the foot (heel to toe), even if on bed rest.
    • Avoid tight clothes or high-heeled shoes.
    • Gain only as much weight as recommended by the obstetrician.
    • Take a pre-natal vitamin daily.

    Many women find that their varicose veins go away a few months after labor, while
    others continue to suffer with them. There are many options available to treat varicose veins. You can find out more about varicose veins and their treatment at the Vein Healthcare Center. Happy Mother’s Day & happy vein health!

    What are Varicose Veins?

    Varicose veins are visible veins in the leg that bulge, often protruding through the skin. They are the result of venous insufficiency: blood that pools in the vein because of a faulty valve and causes the protrusion.

    Varicose veins are a symptom of early stage venous disease. They affect approximately half of the U.S. population, and in addition to causing pain and discomfort, those with varicose veins struggle unnecessarily with their appearance.