& Spider Vein Treatment
Overview and Treatment
Have you ever wondered how a varicose or a spider vein developed, and became visible on the skin? What is the cause of varicose and spider veins? In the medical field, varicose vein is defined as swollen, bulgy and palpable blood vessels that usually seen on the lower extremities. The spider vein, however, is the smaller version of the varicose vein, which appears on the face and legs.
Why is it important for you to see your doctor, or dermatologists to treat these noticeable veins? Is the condition alarming to human’s health? Let us find out more about the varicose and spider vein, and how can we treat them.
The cause of the varicose vein happens when there is a blood reflux inside the blood vessels of the legs going to the heart. The muscles of the legs help out in pumping the blood back to the heart against the gravity. Now, both sides (pumping mechanism and pull of gravity) are putting pressure on the wall of the vein. Once there is a backflow due to some factors, the blood vessel will accommodate the blood that is not being pumped back to the heart, by enlarging its wall. The enlarged vein is called a varicose.
This condition is more common in women than in men. Based on studies, common causes are the following:
- And prolonged standing jobs
Once the varicose vein develops, a person may experience numbing or cramping sensation on the leg area. There will be a heavy feeling that aggravates during the night time or after strenuous activity. The vein will appear bluish to purplish color. You may observe dryness in the affected area that may lead to stasis dermatitis which is a result of blood leaking out due to high pressure from the vein. Typically, varicose and spider veins can be prevented by only putting your legs up (at least higher than the heart) every day for about 15minutes. But if you already have it, you might need to talk to your dermatologists for treatment, because it can lead to complications such as below:
- Tenderness on the affected area
- Weakness in the leg area that can lead to inability to walk or stand
- Stasis dermatitis may result in skin ulcers
- Blood clotting which can lead to more serious health problem
Treatment of varicose and spider vein
Treatment for this condition can be a noninvasive or surgical approach. Your dermatologist will be the one to determine if there is a need for you to undergo surgery to remove the bulge blood vessel, or do the noninvasive treatment. There is two known procedure that you might want to discuss with your dermatologist. Know your options, and advantages.
Laser Vein Removal is the most advanced approached used by most aesthetic clinics around the world. This due to its efficacy, and minimal or no pain procedure. The treatment is just like any other laser treatment. The laser penetrates the internal of the skin reaching the affected blood vessel. The heat energy coming from the laser is being absorbed by the hemoglobin (red blood cells) and destroying the affected blood vessel wall. As a result, the varicose or spider vein will be destroyed, and reabsorbed by the body.
On the contrary, Sclerotherapy is one of the oldest approaches to eliminate varicose and spider vein. The Sclerotherapy approach has been used since 1930 and is proven efficient in eradicating swelling veins. The treatment requires a salt solution to be injected directly into the affected blood vessels with the utilization of a fine needle. The purpose of the salt solution is to irritate the lining of the affected vein. Subsequently, the disrupted vein wall will stick and forms a clot. After a couple of hours, the varicose will become a scar and disappears.
What is the difference of varicose vein and spider vein?
The varicose vein is termed for the enlarged bluish to purplish or even flesh-colored vein that commonly appears on the legs. It is sometimes twisted and swollen that protrudes on the skin. The cause of the varicose is due to venous reflux of blood going to the heart. The blood that will not deliver to the heart will be stuck in the leg part (pull of gravity is stronger in the legs compared to other body parts) and pressure the vein wall causing it to enlarge.
Spider veins are the smaller version of the varicose. These tiny blood cells are closer to the skin’s surface. These blood vessels are like the spider web with either blue or red in color. Commonly developed on the face, and even in the legs or other parts of the body.
What is the cause of Varicose and Spider Vein?
The primary cause of varicose and spider vein is the venous reflux. Here are the factors on why a person may suffer from venous insufficiency:
- Aging makes the blood vessel weaker, and vein walls become elastic. Even a slight pressure in pumping the blood going to the heart, the walls of the vein will then become enlarge as a defense mechanism.
- Hereditarily pertains to certain hormonal imbalances and other medical issues such as Hyperhomocysteinemia, which is an abnormal increase of Homocysteine. With the increase presence of homocysteine, there is a continuous decrease of B-
- Complex vitamins that maintains the elasticity of the blood vessel wall.
- Menopausal is technically an increase or decrease of certain hormones that either supports the strength of the blood vessel veins or weakens it.
- Pregnant women are susceptible to develop a varicose or spider vein due to more pressure on the leg part. It can be a result of a particular condition such as Gestational Diabetes (shoot up of blood sugar during pregnancy).
- Prolonged standing can cause more pressure to the vein in pumping the blood towards the heart due to the gravity.
- Injury to the leg can result to pressure on certain parts that cause the vein to enlarge.
- Obesity is one factor in developing a varicose vein due to much pressure on the leg area.
Is varicose vein prevalent to women?
Based on reports, about 50 percent of Women in the United States suffers from the varicose vein. Though this is common to women, men are also a candidate to develop this condition.
Why do varicose vein appear commonly in the legs?
The varicose vein shows to any parts of the body. It is only common though on the legs because the veins that network in the legs gets more stress compared to other regions of the body. And the lower extremities is more exposed which is noticeable. But there is a varicose vein in the inguinal area, especially during pregnancy. There are even varicose veins in the stomach, but they are not visible.
What are the common signs and symptoms of Varicose and Spider Vein?
Once you experience the following, suspect a varicose vein even you do not see any bulgy veins.
- The numb sensation on the leg area, especially during sudden movement.
- Cramping or tingling of the leg
- You may experience heaviness on your legs
- There may be a development of dermatitis
- Darkening of the skin may develop
How severe varicose and spider vein is?
Varicose veins and spider veins are merely a symptom of an underlying condition. Varicose are not a health issue, but if left untreated it can progress to a complicated health state especially on the skin. Dermatitis is one of the results of varicose that can lead to skin ulcers. Minor injury to the affected part may delay the healing process due to dryness, and impaired blood circulation within the skin tissues.
When to see a doctor?
You should visit your doctor once you have noticed the following:
- The varicose vein is swollen, warmish and painful
- The skin is developing ulcers caused by skin infection
- There is bleeding on the varicose vein
- There is weakness in the legs
- If the appearance will give you an emotional distress
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis is through physical examination by your dermatologist or phlebologist. If no visible varicose, an ultrasound may be necessary to confirm the presence of the swollen veins.
Is there any available treatment for varicose and spider vein?
The approach in treating the varicose and spider vein depends on your choice. A preventive approach will discuss to you which involves compression stocking and elevation of your legs every night for up to 15 minutes. If you like to eradicate the appearance of the enlarge veins the options would be Surgery, Sclerotherapy, and Laser Vein Removal.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is the most accepted procedure by experts since 1930 for the removal of varicose and spider veins. The physician will use a thin needle to inject a liquid solution to the affected vein. The solution will now irritate the vein wall, and scarring it until it fades. Sclerotherapy is a noninvasive procedure, which means you can go back to your normal daily activities right after the procedure. It takes more than one session to complete the treatment, and you will be asked to wear a compression stocking for prevention.
What is Laser Vein Removal?
Laser Vein Removal is one of the most advanced approaches that uses a state-of-the-art device. The goal of the procedure is to eliminate the pain during the process of removing the varicose with the utilization of the laser technology. Once the heat energy coming from laser, is absorbed by the red blood cells or hemoglobin, that part of the vein will then be destroyed, and reabsorbed by the body. There are reports that laser is useful only in eradicating spider veins, but with the consistent improvement using this approach it can treat both.
How to prevent varicose and spider vein?
- Prevention is one of the best options not to suffer this type of condition. Though not all varicose and spider vein can be blocked, you may follow these steps to avoid it.
- Avoid prolonged standing
- Elevate your legs for about 15 minutes
- Wear a compression stocking
- Exercise regularly to promote proper circulation
- Weight control
- Do not put much pressure on the legs
- Avoid salty foods