One day you hop out of the shower, and as you dry off, you notice an itchy spot on your leg. You give it a scratch, and then you realize it’s a thin red or bluish web of veins – your first spider vein.
Don’t be too shocked. Spider veins are incredibly common. This issue happens when the one-way valve in the vein wall is damaged over time. Instead of keeping your blood flowing through the vein and back to the heart, the blood begins to pool, increasing the pressure against the vein wall. The vein starts to twist and bulge, creating the spider web that you can see.
Now that we know the basics, here are ten facts you may not know about spider veins.
Women are more likely to develop spider veins than men, especially during pregnancy. The extra weight and pressure of a growing fetus puts more pressure on the veins in your legs.
A sneeze or a cough can cause spider veins on your face. Forceful coughing or sneezing can increase pressure on the delicate veins in your face and cause spider veins to appear.
Sun damage can also cause spider veins, especially on your face.
Your genetics play a big factor in determining if you will get spider veins. 90% of people with a history of spider veins in their family will develop them too.
Spider veins can cause itchiness, swelling, muscle aches and skin problems.
Spider veins are often a minor problem and easily treated, but they will get worse without treatment. If left untreated, you may develop a large painful sore near the affected vein known as a venous ulcer.
Compression stockings can help improve circulation and relieve discomfort when you have spider veins, but they are just a temporary fix. To completely remove the issue, we recommend treatment from a vein specialist like us.
Vein treatments like sclerotherapy are often very successful at removing the issue. It may take multiple sessions to dissolve the problem area completely, but recovery from the procedure typically takes only a few days.
Walking is a recommended part of your aftercare instructions when you seek treatment for spider veins.
Maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle is the best way to prevent spider veins.
If you’ve discovered a few spider veins on your legs or other areas of your body, don’t worry. Call us today to book a consultation for treatment to remove the problem!
Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a serious health condition that causes blood clots to form in the lower extremities. It can also develop throughout the body and can be fatal if left untreated. Many of our patients ask about developing DVT symptoms. Watch for signs like:
cramping in the legs
foot or ankle pain
areas of the skin that feel warmer than others
a red or bluish color patch of skin
DVT is a serious medical condition. The reason it can be so dangerous is that there is a potential for the clot to travel up the body to the heart or lungs. This can cause a blockage that can lead to severe health conditions like a pulmonary embolism or heart attack. Patients who develop DVT are treated with medication such as blood thinners and, in severe cases, require surgery to remove the blockage.
One of the misconceptions about many of the vein treatments we offer is that they put you at risk of developing blood clots. Fortunately, this is rare. The majority of patients who seek treatment for varicose or spider veins improve their odds of avoiding severe blood clots by removing problematic vein issues before they get worse. The recovery process for vein treatment for varicose and spider veins is quick and easy. Many of our patients find that they can return to regular activity within a few days, provided they follow the aftercare instructions correctly and wear compression stockings.
If you are concerned about developing DVT, there are some risk factors you should be aware of including:
an injury that has caused vein damage
family history of DVT
use of birth control or hormone therapy
a history of blood clotting disorders
a diagnosis of cancer, heart failure or IBS
If you are concerned about DVT, take preventative measures like losing weight, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and using compression stockings if necessary. Make sure to follow up with your doctor if you are at risk of developing blood clots so they can monitor any warning signs.
It’s rare for our patients to develop severe complications after a procedure. We have years of experience and monitor our patient’s health closely to ensure that they stay healthy for years to come. If you have questions or think you may be a risk of developing blood clots after a procedure, talk to us. We are here to help you feel at ease and get the care you need for your vein issues.
The summer heat can be brutal. If you don’t have air conditioning, it can be hard to cool down. When you suffer from vein issues like varicose or spider veins, the heat can make your symptoms worse. Your legs may swell and ache more. It can be hard to find relief, especially if you usually wear compression stockings to ease your symptoms. Compression stockings will make you feel even hotter.
If you aren’t able to beat the heat in some fresh air conditioning, try a few of these suggestions to cool your body off naturally. They may not be as effective, but it’s better than nothing!
Drink plenty of water. Insufficient hydration not only makes you hotter, but it can also lead to sunstroke (if you are outdoors) or dehydration. Both of these conditions can be dangerous if left untreated. Try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Cool it off with ice cubes for refreshing relief. If you struggle to drink water, try infusing your water with fruit or herbs. Here are some great recipes to try!
Eat plenty of fresh food. Plant-based foods contain more water than processed foods, so eating fresh fruit and vegetables will help cool you down. Some fruits like watermelon even help keep you hydrated. Avoid spicy foods. They’ll just make you feel hotter!
Wear loose clothing (and less of it). Tight clothing keeps all your body heat trapped. Avoid tight, synthetic fabrics. Instead, opt for breathable, natural fabrics like cotton or linen. Don’t be afraid to show some skin, either. The less you wear, the cooler you will feel. If you’re nervous about showing your legs off in the summer heat, our vein treatments can remove unsightly vein clusters so you’ll feel confident in your skin.
Change your workout routine. Avoiding the heat during the hottest part of the day is a great way to cool down. Avoid hanging outside or exercising during mid-day, instead opt for early morning or late evening outdoor workouts when the sun isn’t so high in the sky.
Go swimming. There is nothing as refreshing as jumping into the water on a hot summer day. It’s the perfect way to cool off. Get your suit on and head to your nearest swimming hole. Your body will thank you.
The symptoms of vein disorders are often worse in the heat. That’s why it’s a great idea to book your treatments now. Recovery takes only a few days, and you’ll feel relief from your symptoms right away. You’ll be so happy with your results that you’ll want to show off your beautiful legs! Book an appointment today.
Exercise is powerful medicine. Even a slight increase in daily movement can help improve your health, especially if you are suffering from vein disease. Vein issues like varicose and spider veins can be caused by poor circulation and venous reflux. Exercise helps to pump blood throughout your blood and may reduce your risk of developing vein issues.
Which types of exercise are best for your circulation? The answer is all of them! Anything that gets your blood pumping will help to improve your circulation. Some work a little better than others, especially if you are dealing with the discomfort of vein issues. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Walking/Jogging: Walking or light jogging is one of the most natural forms of exercise to start with, and the easiest to see improvements quickly. No matter where you are on your fitness journey, increasing your daily step count by walking or jogging will help improve your health.
Yoga: Yoga is another excellent beginner exercise that is easy to do anywhere. It can be especially helpful if you have vein issues because the stretching and bending can provide pain relief from uncomfortable vein issues. These movements are also great for compressing and decompressing your veins, which helps to improve how they function.
Bicycling: One of the hardest parts of exercising with vein issues can be the discomfort of swollen or heavy legs. Biking is a low impact way to reduce the weight on your legs while still working those muscles and your circulation in the lower half of your body.
Swimming: Hopping in the pool for some laps is another low impact exercise that can relieve some of the discomforts of vein disease. The water acts as a natural lubricant for your body to ease the pressure so you’ll feel lighter and more capable. If you aren’t ready for laps just yet, try water aerobics or another water exercise class to get started.
Leg workouts: Your legs contain some of the most massive muscles in your body. Moving and strengthening those muscles is vital, especially if you are at risk of developing vein issues like varicose or spider veins. There are many varieties of at-home bodyweight leg workouts. Simple movements like leg lifts, calf raises, bicycle legs, squats, and other exercises can go a long way. Make sure to make your legs a priority in the gym. Seek the advice of a trainer if you want to try more specific exercises.
Regular exercise is critical in the fight against vein disease. It gets your heart pumping and your blood circulating. The better your body learns to do that, the better your veins will work. Keep in mind that anyone can develop vein issues, even very physically active people, so if you suspect you are at risk of vein disease, see us. We’ll take a look and recommend proper treatments, including regular exercise!
There are a lot of uncomfortable symptoms when you are pregnant. One of the lesser-known potential symptoms is the development of varicose and spider veins. This issue occurs because of the increased blood flow, hormones and weight gain that come with pregnancy.
Many women start to develop vein issues beginning in their second trimester. It usually starts with a pain in the legs, feelings of itchiness, throbbing or aching. These feelings will get worse over the day and may disrupt your sleep at night. Some women may even start to notice vein clusters as their pregnancy progresses.
Can you seek treatment while pregnant? Unfortunately no. It is not recommended that pregnant women attempt surgical procedures for vein issues while pregnant. However, there are some measures that you can take to relieve your symptoms.
Exercise. Frequent movement helps to improve your blood flow and may help with the increased weight gain during pregnancy, which can exacerbate vein issues.
Don’t stay still too long. Staying in one position for an extended period can reduce blood flow and put pressure on your veins. Make sure to get up and move every hour and to change positions often when sitting.
Drink plenty of water. Hydration will help improve your blood flow.
Recline your legs. During pregnancy, your blood moves slower to your lower extremities, which can cause vein issues. Reclining your feet can help reduce swelling that is common in pregnancy and improve circulation.
Wear supportive footwear. Your gait and posture change while you are pregnant. Supportive footwear can reduce aches and pains in your legs and help keep your blood flowing properly.
Reduce your salt intake. Increased sodium levels can cause swelling and bloating, especially when you are pregnant and already susceptible.
Wear compression stockings. They may not feel comfortable (or be easy to put on), but they can help reduce the pain of varicose and spider veins while pregnant.
Many women experience vein issues while pregnant. The problem may get worse with each subsequent pregnancy. Once you have delivered, our team can recommend surgical treatment options that are quick, easy to recover from and give you a great result. If you are experiencing pain while pregnant, we can still help identify the issue and recommend nonsurgical options. Book a consultation today.