BLOG

Can you shave your legs when you have varicose veins?

Full-length photo of woman in white coat shaving her legs in bathThere’s nothing worse than nicking yourself while shaving your legs. We’ve all done it. A tiny little slip, and you’ve got a cut. It can be tricky to shave your legs without cutting yourself, especially around those dang ankle bones! But when you have varicose veins, shaving can be even trickier.

Varicose veins are blocked veins that start to bulge and protrude out. In severe cases, they can form a large vein bulge that is not only painful and irritating but can also make shaving your legs very difficult. It’s hard to navigate around the bulging vein. If you happen to nick the vein and cut yourself, it will bleed significantly more than the average shaving cut, especially in a warm shower or bath, which will increase the bleeding.

How much blood can you expect when you nick a varicose vein? That depends. In some cases, affected veins may spontaneously burst and bleed on their own. Often there is usually only a small amount, and you can elevate your leg and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. But in some cases, the bleeding may be excessive, and you will need to seek medical treatment. It all depends on the pressure inside the damaged vein and the severity of the damage to the vein walls. That’s why you should always seek treatment for varicose veins before they become large and potentially dangerous.

So what hair removal options are the safest? Not very many. Two popular hair removal options, waxing and an epilator, are not recommended when you have large varicose veins. The heat from waxing can irritate the affected veins and your skin. An epilator, a device that pulls hair out by the root, can cause varicose veins to bleed. Your safest hair removal options are using a razor designed for dry skin or laser hair removal.

If hair removal is a challenge for you because of varicose veins, it’s time to seek treatment. We offer a few treatments for varicose vein removal, including endovenous laser ablation and microphlebectomy. These treatments are fast, easy to recover from and give you great results. If you miss the feeling of silky smooth, freshly shaved legs, it’s time to get rid of your varicose veins once and for all!

You’re not alone

Varicose veins on elderly asian woman leg,Close upVein problems like varicose or spider veins can be embarrassing. The ugly, blotchy veins can make you feel uncomfortable showing off your legs. Many people who develop vein issues feel ashamed. Some people may even think they are the only ones who feel this way. They’re not.

We’ve worked with many patients over the years from all walks of life. They were all tired of dealing with the physical and mental health symptoms brought on by venous disease. They aren’t alone. Here are a few facts about vein health from a study by the Circulation journal:

  • Nearly 23% of us adults have varicose veins
  • If you include spider veins and reticular veins, then nearly 80% of men and 85% of women have vein issues
  • Varicose veins affect 22 million women and 11 million men between the ages of 40-80
  • 2 million of the men and women who have vein issues will develop chronic venous insufficiency or venous ulcers.

That’s a lot of people. Vein health is a serious problem that can negatively affect your life. It’s estimated that chronic venous ulcers, the most serious of vein issues, cost nearly $3 billion a year to treat.

It’s time to stop being embarrassed by your vein health issues. Everyone has them. What is most important to your health is to get them treated before they develop into more serious problems. We can help. Our treatments can help you feel more confident in your skin and get rid of your symptoms. It’s time to make an appointment for treatment today.

Chronic constipation can make vein problems worse

74161640_M (2)We’ve all been there. It’s a universal problem that the littlest baby to the oldest senior can relate to –– feeling bloated, clammy, uncomfortable, and tight because of constipation.

It’s a far too common condition. Everyone has a different schedule for bowel movements. For some people, it’s a daily occurrence or even several times a day, while others may struggle with days between movements.

Chronic constipation occurs when you regularly experience periods of three days or more between bowel movements.

Several factors can cause chronic constipation such as:

  • Poor diet
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Too much dairy
  • Stress
  • Medication use
  • Eating disorders
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Colon Cancer and other chronic conditions

Chronic constipation doesn’t feel good, and it can be very hard on your body, especially your veins. If you suffer from constipation caused by obesity, poor diet, or a lack of water or fiber, you are more at risk of developing vein health issues like varicose or spider veins. The stress of constipation can also put more pressure on your veins, which can cause blockages.

If you are suffering from constant constipation issues, you know that finding a solution isn’t always easy. Work closely with your family doctor and a specialist, if need be, to find something that helps you feel better. If you are concerned about developing vein issues as a side effect of your constipation, see our doctors.

We can perform ultrasounds to look for underlying blockages that may be developing into varicose or spider veins. The earlier we identify the problem, the easier it will be to treat the issue and prevent more serious developments.

Many of the treatments we recommend for the early prevention of vein issues may also help improve your constipation. Try these strategies:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Losing weight
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables
  • Eating plenty of fiber
  • Reducing your sodium intake
  • Increasing your exercise and daily activity

These prevention steps may also help improve your digestive health and may help resolve your constipation. You should always work with your doctor to find the right treatment to improve your gut health and reduce the frequency of constipation.

Just like your vein health, prevention is key to reducing your chances of developing constipation. Take these preventive steps to address your overall health, and you may find you feel better. If you still struggle with vein issues, book an appointment with us today.

Develop a healthy mindset this New Year

Morning time. African-american woman hugging pillow in bedWe can all agree that 2020 was a bad year. It was hard and everyone is ready to start fresh. Things may continue to be difficult in 2021, but at least we know what we’re getting into. If you’re ready to face the challenges of the new year, you’re in good company. More than 50% of Americans say they set new year’s resolutions.

One way to face a challenge is to develop a healthy mindset. A positive, realistic attitude can help you break down your goals into concrete steps that will make them come true. Many of our patients who strive to live healthy, active lifestyles succeed because of their mindset. They focus on small, attainable, daily habits that help them change over time.

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to be healthier, more active, or less stressed, start by adopting a healthier mindset. A healthy mindset will help you feel encouraged to keep trying, even when things get hard. It will help you deal with unexpected circumstances, and teach you to learn to love yourself. Here are a few ways you can adopt a healthier point of view:

Practice gratitude. It may seem odd to be grateful when things are hard, but counting your blessings actually makes you feel better. Appreciating small victories makes them sweeter and encourages you to keep trying. Each day, try and think of a few things that make you happy. Try writing them down, sharing them with a friend, or meditating on them. You’ll be surprised how quickly you start to appreciate the beauty of life.

Reach out to others. For many of us, the hardest part of this past year has been isolation. We’ve all felt lonely as we’ve practiced social distancing. It may still take some time before we can safely gather again, but that doesn’t mean we’re alone. Reach out virtually to friends, family, and loved ones. Look for ways you can serve and uplift one another.

Take time for yourself. It’s not easy to find time for yourself. We all struggle with this, but even a few minutes a day can make all the difference. Indulge in something you love to do. Develop a talent, learn something new, or do something that makes you smile. Taking a little time for yourself each day can help you feel happier and less stressed.

Stress and anxiety don’t just hurt your mind. They hurt your body too. Many of our vein patients suffer from high stress, which exacerbates their symptoms. A healthy mindset may not cure the stress in your life, but it can help. Talk to your doctor about ways you can manage your stress along with these tips. Remember ‘a healthy outside starts from the inside.” – Robert Urich

How to survive the holidays with vein issues

cooking Christmas cookiesThe holidays can be rough, and it looks like this year, they may be even more challenging. The last thing you should have to worry about is dealing with circulatory issues like varicose or spider veins. So we’ve created a holiday survival guide to help you manage your vein health symptoms until you can get treatment.

  • Drink lots of water. Water is the best thing for your body and your vein health. It improves circulation and helps reduce painful swelling.
  • Watch your sodium intake. All those tasty holiday treats don’t just hurt your waistline. They can also harm your blood pressure and vein health.
  • Stay active. Go for a mid-day walk before your holiday meal, go sledding, skating, or do your regular exercise routine. Keep moving, and you’ll feel a lot better.
  • Wear your compression stockings. Don’t skip out on wearing your stockings for the holidays. They are the best way you can manage your symptoms without treatment. Make sure to keep them on, especially if you will be traveling long distances.
  • Get lots of rest. Sleep helps your body feel better. It may be tempting to stay up late and sleep in, but sticking as much as possible to your regular sleep routine will keep you healthy and strong.

It may not be easy to schedule treatments during the holiday break, but don’t let that stop you! If your goal in this coming new year is to improve your health, start planning your vein treatments now. The start of a new year can be a busy time for our office, so book early. We offer various treatments to reduce the discomfort of varicose veins, spider veins, and venous ulcers.

The holidays are supposed to be fun, but if you’re feeling unwell because of vein health issues, they won’t be. Many of our patients have experienced incredible results. Here’s a recent review from one of our happy clients, Nancy Battle. She writes:

“I am a work in progress since May 2020. So very glad to have Precision Vein in Tuscaloosa. Dr. Barlow is highly skilled and very personable. His consults are thorough, and no question is left unanswered. His practice is family owned and operated. [The] office staff is friendly, discreet, and professional. In the midst of COVID, he makes all the efforts to treat his patients with continuous care and [practice] safe measures. Precision Vein gets five stars!”

If you would like to feel the same happiness and joy that Nancy feels, call us to get started on your own vein treatments. Sometimes it takes several sessions to completely clear a problematic vein issue, so it’s best to get started right away. Give yourself the gift of beautiful, healthy legs this new year!