Legs and More: Where will You Find Spider and Varicose Veins?

March 28, 2017

spider varicose veinsWhen you think of spider and varicose veins, those visible lines on your legs are probably what come to mind. While the legs are the most common place to see these veins develop, they are not the only one. Check out these surprising areas where those visible veins might crop up.

Arms and Hands

While more unusual than the legs, it is not unheard of to see varicose veins appear on the arms and hands. However, bulging veins on the backs of the hands do not necessarily fall into this category. These veins may look varicose because the skin surrounding the veins has thinned and made them more prominent. However, treatment will likely involve restoring volume to the back of the hand rather than eliminating the vein. When varicose veins do appear, they can be treated in a similar fashion to varicose veins on other areas of the body.

Face

Spider veins can form on the face, creating a significant cosmetic nuisance. These veins are often caused by sun exposure or may be the result of an underlying medical condition. Facial veins can also appear with too much alcohol consumption or the use of certain medications. Spider veins on the face can often be treated with minimally-invasive procedures, clearing up your complexion and restoring your confidence in your appearance.

Breasts

Bulging blue veins can also appear on the breasts, particularly in women that have implants. These lines can also make a woman self-conscious about her appearance, especially when they develop in the cleavage. While these veins do not typically indicate a serious medical issue, they can be treated for cosmetic purpose, often using the same methods that are used to remove varicose veins on the legs.

Vagina

Most women never expect to get varicose veins “down there,” but it can happen. These veins often develop during pregnancy, when veins in the area can become damaged due to the additional pressure from the expanding uterus. Unfortunately, vaginal varicose veins can also be very uncomfortable.

Anus

Varicose veins in this area are more commonly referred to as hemorrhoids, and they can also be irritating and uncomfortable. These veins usually become damaged because of straining during bowel movements. In addition to their discomfort, hemorrhoids can bleed from time to time, which can be distressing to sufferers.

Most varicose veins are caused by an underlying vein condition known as venous reflux, which occurs when small valves inside the vessel stop working. This allows blood to reflux into the vein so the vein weakens and swells. These veins can often be treated by eliminating the damaged vein so that blood can reroute naturally to healthy veins nearby.

At the Vein Center of Florida, Dr. Jimenez primarily focuses on treating spider and varicose veins that appear on the legs. However, we can also address spider veins that appear on other areas of the body in certain patients. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346 to find out how our treatments can help you say goodbye to spider and varicose veins for good.

Vein Health 101

March 14, 2017

Vein Disorder TreatmentYou may not think much about your veins – until one of those bulging varicose veins suddenly appears on your lower leg. While it may seem like that vein came out of nowhere, there was an entire process that went on inside your veins to contribute to its development. To understand varicose veins, it is helpful to know how the veins function and what can go wrong inside of them to make those swollen vessels form. Check out these basics on vein health from the team at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin.

What are Veins?

Veins are the vessels that move blood back to the heart. The arteries take the blood to all of the tissue and organs of the body, providing essential oxygen and nutrients the body needs to function. The veins then return deoxygenated blood back to the heart so the process can start all over again.

Unlike the arteries, the veins don’t have help from the pumping heart to get blood where it needs to go. Instead, they contain small valves that move the blood in a single direction. Muscle contractions throughout the body also help blood to continue pumping through the veins efficiently.

Types of Veins

Since our primary goal is to understand varicose veins, we will focus on the veins in the leg. There are three basic types of leg veins:

Deep veins are found near the center of the leg and are typically the largest type of veins. These veins carry blood from the smaller veins directly back to the heart. These are also the veins that are most vulnerable to blood clot formation, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

Superficial veins are those found closer to the skin’s surface. These veins are responsible for bringing blood from the outer skin and tissue to the main veins in the center of the leg. They are also the veins that are most likely to become visible as spider or varicose veins.

Perforator veins connect deep veins and superficial veins.

Vein disorders of the superficial veins are typically the ones that lead to the development of spider and varicose veins. Fortunately, there are many superficial veins in the body, which means if one becomes damaged, blood can be redirected to healthy veins nearby.

When Things Go Wrong

Varicose veins are frequently caused by an underlying vein disorder known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition occurs when those small valves inside the vessel become damaged or wear out over time. The damage is more common in the lower leg veins because these vessels have to work much harder to move blood all the way up the leg to the heart. The valves in these veins are more likely to wear out because of all the pressure that is placed on them over a lifetime.

There are steps you can take to protect those hard-working lower leg veins and lower your risk for CVI and varicose veins. Maintaining a healthy weight avoids excessive stress on the veins, while regular exercise gives flexing calf muscles the opportunity to support the veins. It is also a good idea to avoid prolonged periods of sitting and standing, since this also places excessive strain on the vein.

Treating Vein Disorders

If CVI and varicose veins do appear, there are minimally-invasive treatment options to address the conditions. These treatments primarily focus on eliminating damaged veins so blood naturally redirects to healthy veins in the vicinity. Dr. Jimenez and the staff at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin have numerous options in vein treatments that allow them to tailor your procedure to your precise needs.

Don’t suffer with CVI and varicose veins. To find out which treatment is right for you, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

Progression of Vein Disease

March 2, 2017

Progression of Vein DiseaseVein disease is a common condition that could affect as many as half of all adults by the time they turn 60. The key to effective treatment is to address the condition as early as possible. The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin have listed the major stages of vein disease to help you understand if your condition requires the evaluation of a vein specialist.

 

Spider Veins

In the earliest stage of vein disease, you might notice networks of red or blue lines on the leg that resemble a spider’s web. Known as spider veins or telangiectasia, these patterns can be an indication your lower leg veins are being over-taxed. This means small valves inside the vessels may be wearing out, allowing blood to pool inside the vein so that it enlarges and becomes visible on the skin’s surface. In most cases these are simply a cosmetic nuisance, however, in some cases, spider veins can signify an underlying more significant venous problem. If this is left unattended, this may progress to visible varicose veins.

 

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are larger visible vessels that can be red, blue or flesh-colored and often protrude above the surface of the skin. These swollen vessels are nearly always found on the lower leg, often behind the knee. Varicose veins are a sign that your vein disease is progressing, particularly when they are accompanied by heaviness and pain.

 

Edema

Many times, progression of vein disease can be characterized by swelling of the lower leg, ankle, and foot. Also known as edema, this symptom can cause tightness in the skin. The symptom may improve when the legs are elevated, but will typically return when the elevation stops. The swelling may be worse at the end of the day, when the legs are fatigued.

 

Skin Discoloration

If the vein disease is not addressed at this point, it may continue to progress with signs that may become permanent even if the veins are treated later on. One of those signs is discoloration of the skin around where the varicose veins have appeared. The skin may turn red or brown and may take on a leathery look and feel. Skin may also become thinner at this stage, which can make the leg more vulnerable to injury.

 

Skin Ulceration

At this final stage of vein disease, skin ulcerations begin to form. These large, gaping sores can be the result of a small nick or scratch that quickly progresses to a more serious wound due to the poor circulation and increased pressure caused by the damaged veins. These ulcerations can be difficult to treat, often taking many months to heal completely. They also have a very high recurrence rate, particularly if the underlying cause of the vein disease is not detected and properly treated.

 

Because of the potential of permanent damage to the leg, it is best to treat vein disease before it progresses too far. Physicians like Dr. Jimenez that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of vein diseases can provide you with an early diagnosis and the best prognosis for eliminating the varicose veins and other symptoms permanently.

 

If you have noticed some of the early signs of vein disease, it is best to seek care sooner rather than later. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-310-8346 to find out how we can help you treat your vein disease and eliminate unsightly varicose veins.

Winter and Your Veins

February 14, 2017

Winter and Your VeinsYou may not be giving your veins much thought this season, as cooler temperatures allow you to hide unsightly, visible veins under tights and pants. However, out of sight and out of mind won’t give you the sexy, vein-free legs you want when warm weather rolls around again. In addition, if those swollen vessels are causing physical symptoms like pain and swelling, you are destined to suffer all winter long if you don’t seek treatment for your condition sooner rather than later. Fortunately, there are plenty of good reasons to use the winter months to treat those unattractive, uncomfortable varicose veins.

 

Time to Treat, Time to Heal

Vein treatments have come a long way since invasive surgical procedures. Today’s procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and often require no anesthesia. In most cases, patients are able to return to their daily activities as soon as treatment is completed. These procedures have proven just as effective as surgery, if not more so, with less trauma to the body and less disruption to the patient’s schedule.

When you decide to move forward with your vein treatment during the winter months, you may find the scheduling at Vein Center of Florida is much more flexible. With fewer people thinking about their veins this time of year, appointment times may be more available than in the spring when there is a rush to get those legs summer-ready. In addition, treating veins in the winter offers ample time for healing if you do experience any side effects like bruising or swelling after your procedure.

The Sun Factor
Most of our vein treatments at Vein Center of Florida require you to keep your treated legs out of the sun for a few days. UV rays can affect healing after your procedure, which could mean skin discoloration for some patients. By treating your veins during the winter, it is much easier to keep your legs out of direct sunlight until they are fully healed.

Goodbye Symptoms!

You may not see your varicose veins during the winter season, but if you suffer discomfort as a result of your swollen vessels, you will certainly know they are there. Pain, restless legs and swelling of the lower leg and foot are common symptoms associated with varicose veins and a sign your vein disorder may be progressing. By seeking treatment now, you will enjoy relief from those uncomfortable symptoms, sometimes as soon as your procedure is over. Whether you spend your season participating in winter sports or simply curling up by the fire, the relief you experience with significantly increase your quality of life.

Multiple Treatment Options

The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin offers a variety of vein treatments, which allows us to tailor your procedure to your specific needs. Dr. Jimenez will discuss your concerns with you and perform a complete evaluation of your veins before determining which procedure will work the best for you. All of our treatments feature excellent, long-lasting results for our patients, ensuring each person we treat enjoys full satisfaction from their procedure.

 

Don’t let varicose veins affect your winter season. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is the right one for you.

Are You at Risk for Spider Veins?

February 7, 2017

Risk for Spider VeinsNo one welcomes the appearance of those visible networks of lines known as spider veins. Why do some people get them and others don’t? While there is no way to tell for sure if you will develop spider veins at some point, there are some factors that put you at higher risk they will make an appearance. Some of those risk factors are under your control, while others you won’t be able to do much about.

The Problem with Genetics

One of the biggest factors influencing whether you will develop spider veins (and one that you can’t control, unfortunately) is your family history. If one or both of your parents have spider veins, you are much more likely to get them as well. This may be due to the fact that spider veins can appear because of faulty veins, particularly the hard-working veins in the lower legs. Weak veins may be a family trait, which increases your odds for those visible vein networks.

The Hormone Factor

There is a reason why spider veins tend to appear around pregnancy or menopause. The small, superficial veins of the body can be vulnerable to the hormonal fluctuations that accompany these events. During pregnancy, the problem can become even more pronounced as the expanding belly puts additional stress on vessels. Some women also find spider veins make an appearance when they begin taking hormone replacement therapy.

The Link to Your Weight

There is a definite association between visible spider veins, weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle. When you don’t work your legs regularly, the calf muscles don’t provide the support the lower leg veins need to move blood back up the legs to the heart. This can allow the vessels to wear out or become damaged over time. When you pack on a few extra pounds, the additional weight further stresses the veins and increases the odds they will swell and become visible on the skin’s surface.

How Your Job Plays a Role

Even your occupation can have an impact on whether you will eventually see those unsightly spider veins appear. Professionals that log long hours on their feet, such as hair stylists, flight attendants and healthcare workers, put a lot of wear and tear on the lower leg veins, increasing the odds they might become damaged over time. By the same token, people that work behind a desk all day may also be at higher risk, since their calf muscles are never working to give the lower leg veins the support they need.

Sun Dangers

Stress on the veins is not the only reasons spider veins appear. Veins can also become visible due to too much sun exposure. The UV rays can damage the skin around the vessel, making the vein more apparent. This problem is particularly prevalent in fair-skinned individuals that are already more vulnerable to sun damage overall. In addition to spider veins appearing on the legs, this problem can result in the formation of the visible vessels on the arms and face.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, you don’t have to live with unattractive spider veins forever. If they do appear, there are a number of effective and minimally-invasive procedures that will eradicate those vein networks. At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer proven therapies like sclerotherapy and endovenous laser ablation to eliminate those vessels from the inside out. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and patients are usually able to return to their regular activities immediately following treatment.

If you have spider veins you would like to eliminate, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is right for you.

Favorite Winter Activities on the Emerald Coast

January 26, 2017

Winter Activites Emerald CoastWhile much of the country goes into hibernation in the winter, the Emerald Coast comes alive. With smaller crowds and an abundance of activities indoors and out, this is the perfect vacation spot for visitors and residents alike. Rates for hotels and condos tend to get slashed, while retailers and restaurateurs beef up the deals, making the Emerald Coast a value in winter that is not seen during the hustle and bustle of the summer season. The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin has a wealth of ideas to help you make the most of your winter.

Feast Fresh

Fresh seafood may come to an abrupt halt in the Northern states in the winter, but down here, we enjoy our fresh fish year-round. Some of our restaurants even offer customers the ability to see where and when the fish on their plates were caught. The other bonus? No lines to get into your favorite eateries this time of year, making dinner fast, convenient and more relaxing.

Shop ‘til You Drop

Shopping along the Emerald Coast is a true feast for the eyes and the wallet, with outlet stores and specialty shops abounding. The Destin Commons Outlet Mall has been newly expanded with even more designer names to tickle your fancy. Take a break from shopping to catch a flick at the AMC Theatre in the complex. If specialty shops are more your thing, the Festive Waterfront Marketplace at Harborwalk Village is the place to spend a few hours or an entire day.

Meet a Sea Turtle

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is open year-round, featuring more animal encounters and shows than you can see in a day. This facility offers opportunities to feed and play with the dolphins or come face-to-face with a sea turtle. Snorkel with the stingrays, feed the penguins or watch the energetic sea lions in action. The facility also provides food and drink throughout the park so you can spend the entire day getting to know the marine life that calls this park home.

Golf in Comfort

If you find the summer season a bit toasty for golf, the winter temperatures provide the perfect environment for eighteen holes. With eight championship courses to choose from, you will never be at a loss for where to tee off. In addition, the crowds dissipate during the winter season, making it easier than ever to get the tee time of your choice. Prices are typically cut as well, giving you a bargain on the greens.

Search for Dolphins

Discounted dolphin cruises are also abundant on the Emerald Coast this time of year, allowing you a glimpse of the friendly creatures on the open waters for less. In addition to dolphin sightings, these cruises might offer history tours of the area or sunset cruise options complete with refreshments. You can even board one of the few remaining schooners in the area to tour the coastline in high style.

If painful varicose veins are getting in the way of your enjoyment of some of these activities, winter is also the perfect season for vein treatment The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin offers a variety of vein treatments that we can tailor to your specific needs. To learn more, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

5 Reasons to Treat Your Varicose Veins

January 15, 2017

5 Reasons to Treat Varicose VeinsYour varicose veins may be unsightly enough to keep you out of shorts and bathing suits, but is it really worth the time, effort and money to treat them? This is a debate many varicose vein sufferers have as they contemplate eliminating the swollen vessels completely or simply learning to live with them. While a comprehensive assessment can ultimately tell you whether vein treatment would be beneficial, the staff at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin has a number of good reasons to consider vein treatment even before your examination takes place.

It’s More than Cosmetic

Varicose veins are often more than a simple cosmetic concern. These bulging vessels are often an outward sign of an underlying vein condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition occurs when small valves inside the vessels stop working properly, which allows blood to back up into the vein instead of flowing in a single direction to the heart. When CVI is left unchecked, it can worsen over time. This is why vein treatment sooner, rather than later, may be recommended to stop CVI before significant symptoms develop.

You Have Pain

Varicose veins can be more than unattractive, they can also be painful. You might feel heaviness or aching in your legs, particularly at the end of the day. The pain may also keep you from participating in some of the active pastimes you have always enjoyed. You may discover that elevating your legs for a period of time in the evening relieves the pain and pressure – often a sign that CVI is present. Some sufferers also experience swelling of the lower extremity, which further exacerbates the discomfort.

Your Skin is Changing

Increased pressure inside of varicose veins can do more than damage the vessel itself. The damage can also spread to surrounding tissue, which may become evident on the skin’s surface. You may begin to notice the skin around the vein becomes irritated and itchy. Over time the skin’s color and texture may begin to change as tissue damage leads to a brown, leathery appearance. If the cause of the skin change is not treated, large, open sores known as venous ulcers can form from even the smallest nick or cut to the skin.

Your Veins are Interfering with Your Sleep

Some varicose vein sufferers find out those bothersome vessels start to act up as soon as they are ready to retire for the night. Once in bed, you might experience cramping of the legs that can be intense at time. You may also notice a restless feeling in the legs that gives you the irresistible urge to move them. Known as restless leg syndrome, this condition can be severe enough in some individuals to actually prohibit them from getting a good night’s rest.

Procedures are Quick and Comfortable

Despite the embarrassment and even physical discomfort, some varicose vein sufferers simply won’t pursue treatment because they believe any procedure to treat their veins will take them out of commission for a period of time. While that has been true in the past when surgical treatments were the only solution, today’s non-surgical procedures can be performed quickly and almost painlessly. Treatments can be done using local anesthetic and patients are usually back to activities the same day or the day after their procedure.

Don’t suffer with unattractive varicose veins that are interfering with your comfort and your quality of life. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346 and find out how we can help you say goodbye to those bulging veins for good.

Which Sclerotherapy is Right for You?

January 7, 2017

Which Sclerotherapy is Right For YouSclerotherapyis one of the oldest treatments used for spider and varicose veins, but its safety and efficacy continue to make it one of the most popular for doctors and patients alike. This injectable therapy has been modified over the years to allow for greater versatility in treating a broader range of visible vessels. The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin offers both cosmetic sclerotherapy and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy to provide all of our patients with the treatments necessary to meet their specific needs.

Say Goodbye to Spider Veins

Spider veins are the visible networks of red and blue lines that commonly occur on the legs. These networks get their name because they can resemble the legs on a spider or a spider’s web in terms of their pattern. Like varicose veins, spider veins can be caused by an underlying vein disorder known as venous insufficiency. However, they can also be due to sun exposure, trauma to the skin, hormonal fluctuations or heredity.

Spider veins are rarely a serious medical issue, but they can be a significant cosmetic concern. These small networks can often be effectively addressed using cosmetic sclerotherapy.

How does cosmetic sclerotherapy work?

Cosmetic sclerotherapy involves injections of a liquid sclerosing agent directly into the visible vessels. The solution seals the vein closed so it collapses and is eventually reabsorbed by the body. The vein disappears from view, while blood naturally reroutes to healthy veins nearby.

Cosmetic sclerotherapy is a quick outpatient procedure that does not require any anesthesia. Patients report slight burning when the solution goes into the vein, but find the procedure to be very tolerable. Most return to regular activities immediately following their sclerotherapy procedure.

Eliminate Unsightly, Uncomfortable Varicose Veins

Varicose veins tend to be larger than spider veins and typically appear behind the knees and up the lower leg. These veins may also be blue or purple in hue, although many are also flesh-colored. The veins may protrude from the skin’s surface and look like winding ropes snaking up the leg. These swollen vessels are often caused by venous insufficiency, which can worsen if it is left unchecked.

In addition to their unattractive appearance, these veins can cause pain, cramping and swelling in the lower extremity. Advanced cases may also lead to skin changes and the formation of skin ulcerations around the ankle. For this reason, it is usually recommended to treat varicose veins before these complications appear.

How does foam sclerotherapy work?

Smaller varicose veins can often be treated using a special technique known as ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. This procedure is similar to cosmetic sclerotherapy in that a solution is injected directly into the affected vein. However, the solution used is a much thicker foam formulation that more effectively coats larger vessels to seal them closed so they can be eliminated by the body.

Ultrasound imaging is used during the procedure to locate the vessel and ensure the foam fully displaces the blood and coats the vein lining. The procedure can be used alone or in conjunction with endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), which treats larger varicose veins while foam sclerotherapy addresses smaller tributary veins that can be contributing to the problem.

Dr. Jimenez at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin is experienced in both of these sclerotherapy techniques and can help you determine which procedure will work best for your specific needs. The procedures are quick and relatively painless, while the results are long-lasting. To learn more about your options in sclerotherapy, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346.

What’s the Difference between Vein Treatments?

January 1, 2017

Difference in Vein TreatmentsThere are many ways to eliminate spider and varicose veins today, which can make it difficult to know which treatment will serve your needs best. The right procedure for you will depend on the type of veins you want to treat, their size and their location. To help you understand the difference between the vein treatments now available at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we have put together a few basics to help you distinguish between all of them.

Spider Vein Options

Spider veins are smaller, visible veins that often appear in a network on the surface of the skin. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is considered the “gold standard” for treating these vessels. The procedure injects a special solution directly into the visible veins, which seals the veins closed. The sealed vein collapses and is reabsorbed by the body over time. Blood reroutes naturally to healthy veins nearby so vascular function is not negatively affected by the procedure.

Procedures for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are larger than spider veins and often protrude above the skin’s surface. They are usually found on the lower leg and behind the knee. These veins may also be accompanied by aching and swelling if the underlying condition that leads to the visible vessels has advanced.

There are more treatment options for varicose veins today. At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer the following procedures:

Foam Sclerotherapy

This is an updated version of the traditional sclerotherapy technique that allows the injectable treatment to be used on larger varicose veins. Instead of injecting the liquid solution, this procedure uses a foaming agent that has a similar consistency to shaving cream. The thicker texture displaces blood inside the vessel so the vein walls can be sealed closed. Ultrasound imaging is used to guide the foam solution into the vessel and then monitors the vein after treatment to ensure it closes properly.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

Another effective option in treating larger varicose veins is an innovative therapy known as endovenous laser treatment or EVLT. This procedure uses a small fiber that is inserted into the visible vein using a very small incision. The fiber delivers laser energy into the vein, which seals the vein closed in a similar fashion to sclerotherapy. This is the most common treatment prescribed to patients suffering from larger varicose veins.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

For some patients, the actual removal of a varicose vein is the best treatment option. Fortunately, this process can be completed with much less discomfort and downtime than surgical treatments of the past. Ambulatory phlebectomy uses very small incisions made along the length of the vein and a special tool that grasps the vessel and removes it from the leg in small sections. This procedure is often recommended to patients that have vessels too large to treat with sclerotherapy, but too small to safely treat with EVLT.

Vein Treatment Benefits

No matter which vein treatment turns out to be the best choice for you, you can rest assured your procedure will be minimally invasive and involve almost no downtime afterward. We perform all of our varicose vein treatments using local anesthetic and patients are able to return home or to other activities as soon as the procedure is over. Because the vein is completely eliminated, the results are considered permanent.

Don’t let too many choices in varicose vein treatments hinder you from getting the relief you need from painful vessels. Dr. Jimenez will assess your condition and help you select the best treatment option for you. To learn more, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

Women and Varicose Veins

December 15, 2016

Women and Varicose Veins

Women and Varicose VeinsVaricose veins plague both men and women, but women seem to suffer from these swollen vessels much more frequently. There are a number of reasons why women are more vulnerable to varicose veins than men overall. The good news is that if you do experience a few varicose veins over time, there are plenty of effective treatment options to eradicate the unsightly vessels and uncomfortable symptoms that often accompany them.

What causes varicose veins?

Most varicose veins are actually a visible sign of a vein disorder known as venous insufficiency. This condition develops when veins stop working properly, allowing blood to reflux back in the vessel rather than moving in a single direction back to the heart. The extra blood in the vein leads to weakening and swelling of the vessel. Eventually, a varicose vein appears on the surface of the skin.

Venous insufficiency does not go away or improve on its own. Like any medical condition, this disorder must be properly treated to ensure the disorder is sufficiently addressed and no further complications arise. Venous insufficiency tends to occur more often in women than men for a number of reasons. Understanding risk factors will help you to understand why the female population is more prone to this disorder.

Risk Factors

There are a number of reasons why some people are more prone to venous insufficiency than others:

  • Genetics – when your parents have varicose veins, you risk increases significantly
  • Age – the condition is more common in adults over the age of 50
  • Weight – added pounds tend to put more pressure on those lower leg veins
  • Lack of Exercise – flexing of the calf muscle helps move blood back up the body
  • Occupation – If your work requires long periods of sitting or standing, your risk may be higher

There are also risk factors that are common to women, which makes this disorder more prevalent among the female population.

The Female Factor

The American College of Phlebology estimates that as many as half of all women suffer the cosmetic embarrassment of varicose veins and many also experience uncomfortable physical symptoms associated with venous insufficiency. That is four times more women than men that experience these conditions. One of the primary reasons women are more vulnerable is estrogen, a hormone in the female body that tends to relax vein walls.

This function is important during pregnancy to accommodate the increased blood flow in a woman’s body during those nine months. In addition to the hormonal factor, the increasing size of the uterus during pregnancy stresses a woman’s hard-working lower leg veins, making them more vulnerable to damage. This is why many women see varicose veins form during pregnancy. In some cases, the veins disappear after the baby arrives, but other women see those bulging vessels linger long after their pregnancy.

Women may also have a higher risk for varicose veins if they tend to wear high heels frequently. This type of shoe prevents the calf muscle from flexing properly when you walk. Since the flexed calf muscle helps to push blood through the lower leg veins, when it doesn’t work properly, the veins have to work that much harder. This can also make them more prone to damage and varicosity.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, women have a number of treatment options for varicose veins available at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin. We offer state-of-the-art procedures to eliminate swollen veins and their uncomfortable symptoms with minimal discomfort and downtime involved. To learn more, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.