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FAQ on how to get rid of Varicose Veins

March 19, 2013

Whether they're in our lower legs, hands, arms, feet, groin, thighs or genitals, varicose veins are frustrating at best - and painful at worst. Fortunately treatments are available for this common but unsightly problem.

Read this FAQ on varicose veins to discover all the answers to your commonly asked questions, including how to get rid of them without going under the knife.

Who suffers from varicose veins?

Two out of ten Australians suffer from varicose veins. Depending on the degree of severity, home remedies such as exercise or compression stockings can relieve the discomfort, while others are not so lucky. For them, constant pain, intense swelling and uneasiness are all part of their daily experiences. Both males and females suffer from varicose veins.

Is it true that hormones can affect varicose veins?

Yes. Some women experience excessive pain from varicose veins during their menstrual cycle due to hormones and blood flow, which occurs due to venous reflux, or reversed flow of blood in the veins. Misbalanced hormones and pregnancy can also cause varicose veins.

What are some other causes of varicose veins?

About 70% of people suffering from varicose veins have a direct genetic link to it. Other causes include standing for long periods of time, but contrary to a popular belief, wearing high heels doesn't cause them!

Can varicose veins lead to serious complications?

If they're not taken care of at the right time, varicose veins can be a continuous condition that leads to phlebitis, blood clots, dermatitis and venous ulcers. Also, anyone with varicose veins has a higher risk of developing other circulatory problems.

What are some common symptoms of varicose veins?

  • Enlarged veins: bulging and enlarged veins that are very clearly visible and can be felt with fingers.
  • Swollen body parts: some people may experience swelling in lower legs, ankle or feet especially if they have been standing or sitting in a same position for a long time.
  • Cramps: you might feel burning, throbbing or warmness in your veins.
  • Bleeding: bleeding is definitely a sign of a vein tearing near the surface of your skin. It can also be a signal of a more serious vein disease. If it is the case with you, see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Blue or red veins: varicose veins differ from spider veins, which are the small blue or reddish streaky lines often found near the ankles.
  • Changes in skin: your skin may start to darken or even become hard around affected veins.
  • Continuous pain: affected portion may hurt immensely when touched.
  • Tired and heavy feeling: varicose veins generally ache, not sharply but rather a dull ache, which gives the feeling of heaviness.
  • Itching: varicose veins may itch or produce a rash in the area and can lead to a more serious skin condition.

What treatments are available for varicose veins?

Safe, fast procedures like sclerotherapy, laser and endovenous laser can help treat varicose veins without much pain. You can walk out of the medical facility immediately after having the treatment.

What's sclerotherapy and how does it get rid of my varicose veins?

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical treatment which involves administrating injections directly into the enlarged veins which aggravates the inside layer of the damaged blood vessels. It makes the varicose or spider veins shrink and disappear after some time, and is used for both large and small veins with an excellent success rate. Depending on the severity of your varicose veins, each vein may require several injections within a space of a few weeks. Sometimes, multiple veins are injected in one session. People start witnessing the effect of sclerosing in about 3-4 weeks.

How does laser treatment work on varicose veins?

If you don't want to use needles or incisions to make your varicose veins disappear, try laser. It sends strong bursts of light into the veins - a typical session lasts for 15 to 20 minutes and depending on the severity, visible results can be achieved in 3-4 sittings. Just like sclerotherapy, you can walk in and walk out directly after the treatment.

My varicose veins are large. Is there a treatment for me?

Yes. Endovenous laser ablation, which is a minimally invasive procedure, is used to treat large varicose veins. It involves firing a laser fibre inside the leg and along the length of the faulty, varicose vein. The energy emitted by this laser damages the vein walls and shrinks them so that blood can no longer flow through.


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