Have you spent years wearing pants to hide varicose or spider veins on your legs? Maybe you even tried self-tanner or body makeup to cover them.
No matter how young you are or how youthful you feel, nothing can bring you down like having to constantly cover your legs to hide varicose veins, raised—bumpy and distorted blood vessels that appear above the skin.
To put it simply, varicose veins aren’t pleasant.
Barbara Norr first noticed varicose veins at age 19 and was later treated at Vein Specialist Centers in New Jersey. “Genetics was the cause of my varicose veins,” she said. “My dad had painful varicose veins, and I inherited them.”
Although Norr said she never took the time to “hide” her varicose veins, she said, “They were unsightly and painful and that prompted me to seek help.”
Sometimes you need to do more than hide them, especially if they’ve become painful, which could indicate a higher-risk, circulatory problem. The only way to make those pesky varicose veins go away is to undergo minimally invasive treatment.
Here’s nine things your doctor hasn’t told you about varicose vein treatment:
#1. Home remedies don’t work, but lifestyle changes may help.
You may have tried Horse Chestnut, CBD, essential oils, garlic, witch hazel or even massage to eliminate varicose veins. Although those sound like promising and convenient treatments, natural remedies may help with symptoms, but only medical treatment will eliminate varicose veins. Lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly to remove toxins, eating a healthy diet, wearing compression stockings, elevating your feet and avoiding tight clothing can complement treatment.
#2. An ultrasound may be needed for an accurate diagnosis.
Imaging is important before varicose vein treatment begins. The primary tool for diagnosis of venous insufficiency is an ultrasound, which provides vital information about the underlying diseased veins and helps identify the best treatment options. A duplex ultrasound is one of the most important tools in vein treatment because it allows the doctor to explore beneath the surface of the skin and accurately diagnose symptoms of venous insufficiency.
#3. Treatments are safe and effective, but they aren’t a cure.
Varicose veins are treated through minimally invasive procedures, which help the vein seal off and dissolve. Vein ablation is the “gold standard” in varicose vein treatment and includes radiofrequency vein ablation (RFA) and endovenous laser vein ablation (EVLA). RFA is a simple, in-office procedure. Using ultrasound guidance and a small IV line, a thin catheter is inserted into the feeder vein, which delivers radiofrequency energy to the vein wall to collapse the diseased vein. EVLA is very similar to RFA. Using ultrasound guidance, a laser fiber is inserted into the problematic vein through a tiny incision in the skin. Laser energy is then delivered directly into the vein to close it permanently. The procedure takes less than one hour, and patients can drive on their own after the procedure. Sometimes varicose veins do reoccur or pop up in new areas. After your initial treatment, you may seek “touch ups” to maintain healthy, smooth legs.
#4. Varicose veins can be dangerous.
Varicose veins may signal underlying venous insufficiency in which blood circulating in the superficial veins of the legs is hampered by poor functioning valves. If untreated, it can result in serious complications that require medical intervention. Ulcers can also form on the skin near the varicose veins or veins deep within the legs can swell, which could indicate a blood clot. Of course, there are medical reasons to treat varicose veins, however; some people simply choose treatment because of their aesthetic.
#5. Insurance may cover varicose vein treatment.
When varicose veins are the result of underlying chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), treatment is often covered by medical insurance. If CVI is left untreated, serious complications could develop. About 90% of cases are covered by medical insurance and many providers offer virtual consultations.
#6. Don’t assume every “doctor” is a vein specialist.
Proper evaluation of vein disease requires the expertise of a vein specialist. Many types of doctors, including dermatologists and general practitioners treat varicose veins at medical spas or clinics, however; not all doctors are vein specialists. Seek a board-certified surgeon who specializes in venous and vascular disorders, as well as a facility that focuses exclusively on circulation conditions
When Norr finally sought treatment at Vein Specialist Centers, she said, “The caliber of attention and treatment I received was unmatched. I could not have found a more compassionate team of vascular experts. My treatment plan was explained to me in detail—no question went unanswered. The entire team at Vein Specialist Centers treated me like family.”
Although varicose vein and spider vein treatment does not require surgery, you want to be sure that a board-certified physician—not a nurse practitioner or physician assistant—will be providing your treatment.
#7. Winter is the ideal time for treatment.
Varicose vein treatment can be performed all year long. However, when you begin treatment in the fall or winter, you’ll be ready to wear shorts when the warm weather returns. Following treatment, you will likely need to wear compression stockings and it may be easier to keep them on in the winter when socks add an extra layer of warmth.
Treatment will likely require two or three sessions—spaced out over a few weeks. Typically, it takes a few weeks for the sclerosant to cause the veins to fully disappear. You may also experience bruising that lasts for several days.
#8. Wear compression stockings every day.
Whether you have varicose veins or are hoping to avoid them, compression stockings can help by improving circulation—and many people find them to be comfortable and supportive! Wearing them regularly can help reduce the appearance of varicose veins. Compression stockings are designed to apply pressure to your lower legs to maintain blood flow and reduce swelling. Your doctor will measure you to determine the right size, length and strength of compression. That’s especially important since the wrong fit can actually worsen your condition.
#9. Varicose veins can interfere with sleep.
In most cases, restless leg syndrome (RLS) and venous insufficiency go hand-in-hand. Restless legs syndrome can occur as a result of varicose veins. Sometimes underlying venous insufficiency is the primary cause of RLS, which is characterized by a persistent desire to move your legs. It іѕ often considered a ѕlеер disorder bесаuѕе it can impact ѕlеер.
Stop hiding your legs!
It’s time to schedule a consultation with the top vein doctors in New Jersey. With eight locations throughout New Jersey, Vein Specialist Centers has offices conveniently in Clifton, Edison, Freehold, Mt. Laurel, Paramus, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Wayne. Request a consultation online or by calling 609-257-2095.
The caliber of attention and treatment you will receive at Vein Specialist Centers is unmatched. The team of physicians excels in providing cutting-edge and innovative solutions to treat cosmetic concerns, as well as complex vascular issues.