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5 serious complications that can start with varicose veins

Painful varicose veinsMany of our patients come to us with varicose veins. The National Institute of Health says that 25% of women and 15% of men have them.

For most of our patients, varicose veins are caused by genetics, lifestyle, or occupational factors. When left untreated, they can cause discomfort, leg pain, and swelling. Many people don’t like the look of varicose veins, which bulge out along the leg. Some patients experience shame, embarrassment, or fear of others seeing their varicose veins.

Thankfully, varicose veins are easy to treat and remove. However, waiting to get your veins treated can lead to more serious health problems, as these issues will only worsen over time. Here are five complications that can arise from varicose veins.

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein in the body. Typically these clots form in the legs or thighs, but they can also form in the upper body and lead to Upper Extremity DVT. People with varicose veins are at an increased risk of developing DVT, which can cause swelling, cramping, and severe pain. Untreated DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism which is when a blood clot moves to the lungs. This is a serious condition that requires emergency care and could be life-threatening.
  • Leg Ulcers: Varicose veins are an early symptom of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Without proper treatment, CVI can worsen, affecting more veins and even leading to leg ulcers. A leg ulcer is a large, open wound usually located near the ankle. These wounds are challenging to treat and can be very painful. We offer treatments that reduce the risk of infection and gangrene.
  • Excessive bleeding. Varicose veins sit near the surface of your skin and are more susceptible to cuts and scrapes. When you cut or damage the skin near a varicose vein, it can lead to excessive bleeding that may be difficult to stop. Seek medical attention if you suffer a cut near a varicose vein, and the bleeding doesn’t stop when you apply pressure or elevate your leg.
  • Skin issues. One of the most uncomfortable side effects of varicose veins is varicose eczema. Eczema occurs when the skin is irritated. It’s like a rash but more difficult to treat. Some patients develop large patches of eczema near varicose veins or even blisters and sores.
  • Lipodermatosclerosis: Sometimes, varicose veins cause lipodermatosclerosis, a condition that causes the skin to harden and become tight. Lipodermatosclerosis causes your skin to change color and usually occurs near the calves. It is tough to treat and often non-reversible.

For many of our patients, varicose veins aren’t a big deal. They are common and easily treatable if you take action when they first appear. If you allow your varicose veins to progress, you’re more likely to experience potentially serious complications. Don’t wait. If you find varicose veins on your legs, call us to schedule a consultation.

4 ways to reduce your stress during COVID-19

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????We can all agree that 2020 was a rough year. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, and everyone has been affected. In a survey for the American Psychological Association, 8 out of 10 people said the pandemic is a significant source of stress in their life, and 7 out of 10 said they experienced increased stress this past year. The pandemic is still ongoing, and even though case numbers are dropping and vaccines are being distributed, the fear and uncertainty can still be hard on your mental health.

Stress doesn’t just affect your mental health. It also affects your physical health. Increased stress is linked to circulatory issues, including varicose and spider veins. Chronic stress triggers stress hormones which put increased pressure on the vascular system. Over time, this increased pressure can damage blood vessels and lead to vein health issues.

Unfortunately, many ways we like to deal with stress are hard to do during a pandemic. It’s not easy to see family or friends, go on a trip or other activities that help us relieve stress. So what are some ways you can reduce your stress safely? Here are a few suggestions we’ve found.

  1. Go outside. Spending time outdoors is a safe and easy way to recharge and relax. Go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride, whatever you have to do to feel a little better. Make a concentrated effort to spend more time outdoors to help reduce your stress.
  2. Seek mental health support. It may be harder to schedule a visit with a doctor or counselor right now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. There are options for virtual counseling sessions and other socially distanced ways to get the mental health support you need. Now is not the time to neglect your health. Seek help if you need it.
  3. Exercise. Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Even if you can’t go to the gym, find ways to stay active at home. Do at-home workouts, buy home exercise equipment, or go for a walk. Get your body moving, and you’ll start to feel better.
  4. Prioritize sleep. Poor sleep or insomnia can be an indicator of chronic stress. If you are struggling with sleep, seek professional help to fix the problem. Sleep is so important for your overall health. Talk to your doctor about ways you can fix your sleep issues.

We know that right now, life is hard for everyone. The collective stress we are all feeling isn’t easy to deal with, and it’s hard on our bodies. Don’t beat yourself up if you are struggling. Reach out to others for help and seek medical attention if you need it. That can include our clinic.

If your vein health issues have worsened because of increased stress, call us today. The last thing you need to deal with are the symptoms of varicose or spider veins. Let us help you get rid of at least one stress in your life. (205) 710-3800.

Don’t be afraid to walk barefoot!

41752601 - little feet on the grass, close up photoDo you remember how fun it was to run through the grass in your bare feet as a kid? There’s no feeling as freeing as the deep grass pushing up between your toes. Even better is the feeling of sand beneath your feet at the beach!

Any parent of young children can tell you that kids love the feeling – it’s why they fight so hard against wearing shoes! Shoes are great, but we could all take a lesson from our youth. Walking barefoot can be good for you! Here are a few benefits of barefoot walking you may not know.

  • It’s better for your balance. Your foot is the ultimate shoe. Your feet are designed for your body and how you stand. When you walk barefoot, you can better control how your feet strike the ground, which helps you maintain your balance. Doctors have even found that walking barefoot can improve your body awareness and help with pain relief.
  • It’s better for your body. Walking barefoot helps your body adjust to your natural gait and not how you walk in certain kinds of shoes. This can help improve the mechanics of your hips, knees, and other joints in the legs.
  • It helps strengthen your leg muscles. Those nice, comfy shoes are coddling your feet. Walking barefoot helps strengthen your hamstrings and calves because your legs are doing the work and not your shoes.

We all know that when you suffer from leg pain caused by circulatory issues, any relief can help. We always recommend vein treatment. It’s quick, easy, and gets rid of the pain once and for all. But it can’t hurt to try walking around barefoot a little more as well, even just at home. If you want to let your toes feel the breeze, follow these tips.

  • Start slow. If you wear shoes all the time, it can feel weird to go barefoot suddenly. So start slow, and take off your shoes at home. After a few weeks of adjusting, you’ll start to like how it feels, and your toes will love the freedom!
  • Get a pedicure. If you’re going to be showing off your little piggies, you want to make sure they look good. A pedicure is a great way to treat yourself, make your feet look good, and it’s super relaxing!
  • Have fun. Once you start the barefoot life, you’ll never want to go back. Remember, you’re not saying goodbye to shoes for forever, just in the right settings, like at home, on the beach, or in that nice, tall grass.

Summer is here and this year, let your feet be free once in and while. Remember how it felt as a kid and enjoy walking around barefoot on a beautiful day. If you’re nervous to show off your legs and feet, see us to get your varicose or spider veins removed. It’s quick, easy to recover from, and it will make you love walking barefoot even more!

Boost your self-confidence with vein treatment

Full-length photo of woman in white coat shaving her legs in bathWe all have days where we don’t like what we see in the mirror. Maybe it’s a bad hair day that you can’t fix or bags under your eyes that won’t go away. Who has time for a solid 8 hours of sleep? Days where you feel a little less confident can be draining. It’s hard to motivate yourself to see how truly beautiful you are when you don’t like your reflection.

Feelings like these are especially common if you suffer from vein health issues like varicose and spider veins. You can’t make them disappear with a curling iron and some makeup. The bulging, twisted veins are unsightly, painful, and embarrassing. All you can do to hide them is to wear pants, even on the hottest of days.

This is why treatment for varicose and spider veins is so important. Some argue that it’s merely a cosmetic issue, but it’s not. Vein issues affect your perception of yourself and your self-confidence. If you can’t feel good showing off your legs, you may avoid social situations like pools or beach days. You may miss out on special moments because you feel insecure and anxious about your body and appearance. You may even struggle with intimacy and body image issues. Sometimes, vein health issues contribute to depression and anxiety.

That’s why we believe so strongly in the treatments we offer. They not only help correct and remove a serious medical issue, but they also help our patients feel good about themselves and their bodies. Patients who seek treatment for vein issues feel a renewed confidence in themselves and freedom from the side effects of vein issues. They have the confidence to enjoy their bodies, participate in fun activities, and wear what feels good.

If you want to feel confident going to the beach, buying a cute skirt or shorts, or showing off your legs to your partner, see us. Don’t let your vein issues rob you of your self-worth and happiness. You’re beautiful inside and out. All our treatments do is help you see that in the mirror.

Is it safe to get a massage when you have vein issues?

Physiotherapist giving knee therapy to a womanThere are few things better than a massage. Just imagining the dim lights, the soft music, the warm sheets, and the smell of oil can help reduce your stress. If you’ve ever had a good massage, you know that once it’s over, your whole body feels like Jell-o. Everything tight is loose and free, and all the stress and tension are gone.

You might wonder if massage therapy can help if you have vein problems like varicose or spider veins. There are a few benefits of massage therapy for people with vein issues.

  • It can help reduce pain and stuffiness. Massage therapy can not get rid of vein health issues. Only vein treatment can do that. But some of the accompanying issues like swelling, leg and joint pain can benefit from regular massage therapy.
  • It can help reduce stress. Stress is bad for your vein health. Constant stress puts extra pressure on your veins and can exacerbate vein problems. Regular self-care and activities that reduce stress like massage therapy are a great way to lower your blood pressure and improve your vein health.

Massage therapy can be a powerful tool for helping relieve some of the symptoms of vein problems like varicose and spider veins, but it should not be considered a treatment. In some cases, massage therapy can be dangerous. Here are a few things to watch out for if you are undergoing massage therapy and have vein problems.

  • Stay away from deep tissue massage. Spider veins are very delicate to touch and can burst, or the vein can be further damaged from deep tissue massage techniques. In some severe cases, blood clots can be released back into the bloodstream from deep tissue massage.
  • Make sure you work with a therapist who is trained to work around vein problems. Be wary of any therapist who claims that massage therapy can cure vein issues. It can’t. A trained massage therapist should know to avoid or only lightly touch the area around varicose or spider veins to avoid causing further damage.

If you are considering massage therapy for help with your vein health symptoms, make sure to make an appointment with our doctors first. Massage therapy can be beneficial for your overall health and help with some of the symptoms of vein problems, but it isn’t a cure. The only thing that can do that is treatment from vein specialists, like our doctors.

Call us today to book your consultation, and we’ll see what we can do to provide some relief for your vein issues.