As we age many of us experience the visible and sensible symptoms of spider veins and varicose veins. They can raise our awareness of deeper, worrying health issues, but our body image can also be ruined by them, especially if we start to develop them at a young age. Let’s see what they are, how they develop, and how we can stop them from spreading, moreover, make them disappear.
What are they?
Spider veins are the smallest blood vessels in our bodies and their first appearance on the skin’s surface only causes aesthetic worries as their red, purple, and blue colors start to show on the legs or face. While varicose veins are larger swollen, twisted vessels that are rather painful and have more texture than color.
What happens exactly?
These problems derive from faulty valves. Healthy vessels carry blood to the heart through a series of one-way valves. The vessels are surrounded by muscles which help in the process of pumping by contractions. If a problem occurs with the valves or muscles, blood will pool in the veins, and the vessel wall will weaken as a result of the pressure that has built. The visible and sensible results will show as spider or varicose veins, depending on the size of the blood vessel and the extent of swelling.
Who is likely to be affected?
Women are twice as likely to get them than men, but it is not only about genders but also about habits and obligations. Nurses, hairdressers, cooks, cleaners, teachers, waiters, office workers, cashiers, or anybody who works a job that requires them to stand or sit for rather long hours is in danger.
There are hereditary reasons as well. If you know anyone in your family affected by these results, you better watch out. Avoid crossing your legs, or if you are short, use leg support when you have to sit for long hours, and possibly avoid jobs that require you to be standing all day, or find a way to keep switching positions.
Mothers and pregnant women are also in great danger, as they carry extra weight. Obesity is also a great risk factor, for several reasons: vessels are at higher risk if obesity is caused by an unhealthy diet, and the extra weight burdening the leg vessels.
Hormonal influence is also common, due to pregnancy, puberty, or menopause. But too tight, unhealthy clothing, such as girdles can also factor into it.
What are the symptoms?
There are serious sensible symptoms beyond aesthetic complaints. Throbbing, aching due to heat, walking, or standing can occur. A feeling of heaviness. Burning, or tingling legs that are swollen to their limits.
Varicose and spider veins are easily diagnosable: the health professional will look for sensitive spots, swelling, and changes in color while also understanding the structure and type of your visible vessels. There are solutions for removing or lightening vessels for aesthetic reasons and at-home treatment options for relieving the pain.
Compression or support stockings
If the veins cause discomfort, throbbing, or pain, these easily affordable items are available in most surgical supply stores or pharmacies. They should be put on immediately in the morning. Some resources recommend putting them on before getting out of bed. This way the legs’ vessels will fill up with blood when the support is already around them. Find them in knee-high or pantyhose styles, depending on your outfit and symptoms. Or if you’re working remotely you can use whichever is most comfortable.
Warm – cold shower
Changing the temperature of the water during a shower (finishing with cold) is not only mentally refreshing but also commonly known as healthy for blood pressure and circulation. That is exactly the kind of thing that we are looking for here. If you like to start your day with a shower, either opt for the fully cold wake-up call or keep switching between the extremes.
Another thing you can affect without involving a surgeon is making lifestyle changes.
If you suffer from obesity or just have some extra weight on, changing your diet and dedicating yourself to regular exercise that matches your fitness level is a great start. Choose physical activities that involve leg movement.
Quit wearing super high heels for a longer period and opt for platform shoes or small and wide block heels.
Medical or surgical solutions
Home remedies and lifestyle changes can stop the condition from deteriorating, but most likely won’t make the already visible vessels disappear. If you want to wind the clock back, you will need an experienced medical professional and one of these practices:
This is a fairly affordable and low-risk treatment that involves the doctor injecting a solution directly into the flawed vessels. This solution will cause about 80% of them to fully dissolve and as a result, disappear from the top layer of the skin. This therapy has to be done by a professional, otherwise, it can lead to discoloration and other more dangerous side effects.
Laser and intense pulse light
The surface devices use intense heat energy to selectively destroy the flawed vessels. This therapy doesn’t require surgical methods or needles, but it might still cause some discomfort. The light treatment may take several sessions repeating every 6 weeks and is most effective in the case of spider veins. They might be combined with other treatments to reach 100% efficiency.
Endovenous laser ablation
This treatment also involves the power of light but in a different way. A small laser fiber is inserted into the vein through a small cut. As the catheter and warm laser travel in the vein, it causes the abnormal veins to collapse. This treatment is generally safe and recovery is fast, although in very rare cases it causes blood clots that can travel to vital organs in the body.
Radiofrequency is used in a very similar way to endovenous laser therapy. A small catheter is inserted in the vein which delivers radiofrequency. This causes them to heat, then collapse and disappear from the surface of the skin.
Surgery is recommended with larger varicose veins. This involves tying and removing the vein during a 2-3 hour surgery. There is not much to worry about, as complications are rare, recovery takes about 1-2 weeks, and the healthy blood vessels will continue the work that is left behind.
Whatever your state is at the moment, prevention and healthy lifestyle changes will only help you get a happier life. If you need bigger steps than just that, reach out to your health professional and consult about your options, tailored to you.