Let's face it, leg veins can be extremely annoying. Whether they’re varicose veins or spider veins, you're probably trying your hardest to get rid of them. Luckily, we know exactly how to do that.
What Are Leg Veins?
Leg veins usually refer to either varicose veins and spider veins. Both types of leg veins are twisted and enlarged veins usually found on the back of your legs typically concentrated behind the knee. These enlarged veins are easily visible and are a blue and purple color. The only difference is that spider veins are less severe and not as prominent.
For some, leg veins are painless and rarely cause discomfort. However, they can be cosmetically disturbing, forcing many individuals to seek treatment. Some individuals may experience aching pain and general discomfort due to spider or varicose veins. They can also cause skin discoloration and itching. Some may even experience pain while standing or after sitting for some time.
How Did I Get Leg Veins?
Generally, leg veins are caused by weakened or damaged veins. When the veins are damaged, they struggle to properly transport blood as intended, thus causing a pooling of blood in the legs. This is what creates the enlarged veins and misshaping them.
There are several factors that contribute to weak and damaged veins that lead to varicose veins:
- Age - Age is a primary factor for leg veins. The older we get, the more fragile our bodies become and thus us the case with our veins. For years, the veins have aided the blood flow in your system, but over time, gravity and general stress has put a serious strain on the veins, weakening them.
- Pregnancy - Due to the increased blood supply in a pregnant woman, the veins are forced to transport the larger amount of blood, forcing them to expand and enlarge.
- Obesity - Being overweight puts added stress on your legs. This pressure forces the veins to try harder to transport blood which will weaken them and result in varicose veins.
- Standing - Being on your feet for a long period of time can weaken the veins in your legs. Remember, they're already working with gravity. So the longer you stand, the harder it is for your leg veins to send the blood upward.
How Can I Treat Leg Veins?
Leg veins can be treated using various methods. Keeping your feet elevated when you're relaxing, exercising, and even wearing compression socks can help the blood to flow normally and prevent it from pooling in the veins.
You should also speak to your doctor about the following medical options for severe varicose veins:
- Sclerotherapy - Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a doctor injects a solution into the vein causing scarring that will eventually close the vein thus preventing blood flow. In several weeks, the vein will begin to fade.
- Laser Therapy - Laser treatment can be used to treat leg veins by having a laser send pulsing light onto the leg. This light will interact with the veins cells and rupture them, causing scarring. Like sclerotherapy, the scarring will close off the vein and soon, it will disappear.
- Radio frequency/Laser energy - With this method, a catheter is inserted into the enlarged vein. The tip of the catheter is then heated via radio frequency or laser energy. The heat weakens the vein itself until it collapses and becomes permanently closed preventing it from transporting blood. In just a few weeks, the varicose vein will be gone.
- Ligation & Vein Removal - This method is all about stopping blood flow and that is easily done by tying the vein. It's tied off just before it connects to a larger vein and is removed via incision. Since the varicose vein is removed, results are immediate.
In order to determine the right leg vein treatment method for you, you'll need to speak to a licensed professional.
If you are in Cincinnati, Ohio, you're in luck! Our experts at The Dermatology Group are here to help you explore treatment options, give you advice, resources, and more. Give us a call today!