Causes and Treatments for Leg Veins

Varicose veins are tortuous, enlarged veins that bulge above the skin’s surface while spider veins are spindly, small veins that branch like spider webs. Both are undesirable. Both chronic venous diseases may appear blue, purple or red and feel uncomfortable, itchy or painful. People who have varicose or spider veins have a higher risk of suffering from open sores or blood clots. OC board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tony Nakhla can reduce the appearance, pain and likelihood of complications that accompany these venous conditions.

Causes and Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

When the venous valves that help blood travel to the heart become weak, some of the blood regresses and accumulates in the vein. In turn, the pooled blood puts pressure on the vein’s wall, which causes the vein to bulge and weaken. Those who are pregnant, sit or stand for prolonged periods or have a family history of varicose veins are more likely to suffer from varicose or spider veins. In some cases, injuries, hormonal changes and sunlight may cause spider veins.

Self-Care Tips

As the least invasive treatment option, self-care is designed to improve blood circulation through a series of patient-applied instructions. Self-care does not eliminate existing varicose veins. However, those who follow these tips can prevent the formation of new spider and varicose veins:

  • Avoid hot baths.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Elevate the legs.
  • Take short walks every 30 minutes when sitting for long periods.
  • Sit down every 30 minutes when standing for long periods.
  • Wear compression stockings to lessen swelling and facilitate blood flow.

The Effective Treatment Method Known As Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a safe cosmetic treatment that drastically reduces the appearance of small varicose veins in 3 to 4 months and spider veins in 3 to 6 weeks. A sclerotherapy treatment opens the affected vein’s walls, reducing swelling and improving circulation. During this procedure in our Orange County office, the dermatologist injects a sclerosant into the vein. Before a compression stocking is placed on the leg, the dermatologist will massage the treated area for the injected substance to dissolve. After a short observation period, the patient can recuperate at home and return to most activities the following day. Often, patients need 2 to 3 treatments to get the desired results.

Contact OC Skin Institute today to schedule a consultation regarding how you can get rid of spider veins, varicose veins or both.