Veins: Causes, Types & Treatment Options
one complaint that people have about the appearance of their legs
is unsightly veins. Indeed, leg vein problems - including reticular
veins, spider veins and varicose veins - are equal opportunity offenders,
striking people of all ages and of varying degrees of health. Being
embarrassed about the appearance of your legs can damage your self
esteem and make you reticent to wear shorts or to go to the beach.
Learn more about the various types of leg vein problems, and what
can be done about them, by reading on below.
Most Common Types Of Leg Veins
speaking, there are three types of leg veins:
Veins - Small, fine, light blue veins that appear just beneath
the surface of the skin.
Veins - Small, blue or red veins that lie within a deeper
layer of the skin and can spread over a large area.
Veins - Swollen, ropey veins that are very close to the surface
of the skin, often giving it a bumpy, uneven appearance.
Causes Leg Veins?
in the legs contain valves that keep blood from flowing the wrong
way, back down the leg. When those one-way valves malfunction - something
that is called valvular incompetence - blood experiences reflux, in
which it seeps into the smaller superficial veins and back down the
leg. As it travels into the leg's superficial veins, the blood causes
reticular veins and spider veins. Reflux also prompts the development
of varicose veins, making larger veins swollen and misshapen. Once
that occurs, veins can't "bounce back" on their own, and
the problem worsens over time.
Options For Leg Veins
are several different options for treating leg veins; information
about each, along with their pros and cons, is listed below:
Methods - Compression stockings, weight loss, exercise
and leg elevation are popular, noninvasive ways to treat leg veins.
While these are less complicated ways to handle leg veins, they
are also the least effective.
- Medication called sclerosant is injected into the affected vein
during sclerotherapy, causing it to seal shut. In the past, the
sclerosant was rather painful; today, it is much more mild. This
outpatient procedure is quite effective, but multiple sessions are
Laser Therapy - Using an ultra-thin catheter or fiber,
physicians apply a laser to the interior of the troubled vein, causing
it to close. One drawback to this increasingly popular procedure
is that local anesthesia is required. Otherwise, it is a short office
visit and patients can get back on their feet - and on with their
lives - immediately.
- This procedure is reserved for particularly stubborn leg veins
and involves a series of small incisions through which sections
of the troubled vein are pulled out. It is much more painful and
invasive than other modern procedures.
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