What You Can Do About Leg Veins
As the weather cools down, you might not plan on showing off your legs that much, but those with protruding leg veins may suffer from low self-esteem regardless of their veins’ visibility. Additionally, while varicose veins are primarily a cosmetic concern, they can cause discomfort, pain, and may suggest a more serious underlying issue. So, what can you do about these vexing veins?
How to Treat Leg Veins
As of now, sclerotherapy is one of the most common and effective treatments for varicose and spider veins. During this procedure, the practitioner injects the veins in question with a solution (or foam) of either hypertonic saline, glycerin, sotradecol, or polidocanol, which gradually seals the veins and causes them to fade.
Laser Therapy for Leg Veins
In recent years, laser treatments have become prevalent for a variety of cosmetic skin conditions, including varicose veins. Laser therapy for spider veins and smaller varicose veins, like sclerotherapy, ultimately closes off these veins so they disappear with time. In this case, the cauterization is performed via laser, where strong bursts of light/heat energy target unwanted veins. This option is less invasive then sclerotherapy, but it’s also not as effective as of now.
This procedure is almost a hybrid of the previous two mentioned here — energy from a laser or radiofrequency (RF) is applied to larger leg veins invasively via a catheter. The energy gives off heat which in turn collapses and seals the veins shut.
High Ligation and Vein Stripping
Another option for varicose and spider vein removal, high ligation and vein stripping refers to a somewhat pre-emptive procedure wherein smaller veins are tied off before they can connect to a deeper vein. The smaller veins are then removed by incision. This procedure is sometimes combined with sclerotherapy methods.
Your dermatologist or doctor may recommend this procedure for spider vein removal. During an ambulatory phlebectomy, your doctor will attempt to get rid of smaller leg veins by puncturing the skin in various relevant areas. A local anesthetic is applied to the areas in question prior to the procedure to minimize pain. Some scarring may occur but it’s usually minor.
Endoscopic Vein Surgery
Those with severe, advanced leg veins that are accompanied by ulcers and other complications may need to resort to this surgery, which is more involved, invasive, and complex than the others mentioned here. During endoscopic vein surgery, a thin camera is inserted into the leg to provide a direct visual of the enlarged veins, allowing the surgeon to carefully remove them through precise incisions.
Lifestyle Changes and Self Care
In addition to the methods outlined above, you can mitigate your varicose and spider veins by adjusting your lifestyle and adopting various self-care techniques that improve circulation and overall health. These include:
- Losing weight
- Exercising regularly (including walking, yoga, biking)
- Wearing compression stocking to promote blood flow in the legs (doctors often recommend that patients try this before resorting to surgical procedures and after undergoing a procedure)
- Avoiding tight clothing
- Elevating your legs
- Changing your diet (i.e. consuming more potassium, fiber, and flavonoids, and reducing salt and sugar intake)
- Receiving regular massages
While the above methods won’t eliminate your leg veins, they can help prevent their formation, reduce their appearance, and improve results after undergoing a leg vein removal procedure.
Eliminate and Limit Leg Veins
Don’t let leg veins hamper your self-esteem. The experts at Premier Dermatology Partners can help you find ways to reduce those unwanted veins and seek the right treatment for you. To learn more about our team and all the services we provide, contact us.