For us Canadians – especially us Albertans – we don’t need to wait until the 21st of December to begin calling it “winter”. When it’s cold, it’s really cold! And for many of us, that makes winter a difficult time of year. Then again, there are many more of us who relish the cold weather. It allows us to bundle up and go out to enjoy winter sports such as skiing, skating and snowboarding. And then there are those who just like the “bundle up” part!
Spider and varicose veins are often referred to as “unsightly”. So it stands to reason that those who have spider or varicose veins in their legs would prefer to keep them covered up. Naturally, winter gives them a perfect excuse to do so. There are, however, some things that can be done to help diminish the appearance of spider and varicose veins. Here are some “do’s” and “don’ts” with help from the American Society for Dermatologic Society.
Do listen to your body. If you’re experiencing such health complications as fatigue, night cramps, leg swelling or itching around certain veins, it’s important to consult a physician, says the ASDS. While spider and varicose veins are generally considered cosmetic concerns, you’ll want to ensure that you prevent any health issues that may arise as a result. Contact a dermatologist with any questions you have right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time. “Being in one position for an extended period of time can place pressure on veins, so it’s important to keep your legs moving,” says the American Society for Dermatologic Society, “Changing positions every 30 minutes will help blood flow and keep veins healthy. Flexing calves muscles frequently is also a good exercise to do at your desk on long car trips or on a plane to keep up circulation.”
Do keep active. By contrast, it should probably be an obvious point that regular exercise is recommended. When you keep your legs moving through such activities as walking, cycling and swimming, you promote blood circulation. This works to significantly reduce the pressure on your veins and stave off the pooling of blood. Not to mention, regular exercise is good for your overall health anyways!
Don’t assume all treatments will work for you. The ASDS writes that “advertisements that claim to be ‘unique,’ ‘permanent’ or ‘painless’ could be tempting, but may not be legitimate.” Therefore, they recommend that you “speak to a dermatologic surgeon about a variety of treatment options available, such as lasers or injections. Depending on the severity of vein damage experts can determine the best treatment option for you.”
Do consider Sclerotherapy. This treatment just so happens to be the “gold standard” when it comes to eliminating large spider and smaller varicose leg veins. It uses an injection of “sclerosing solution” that works to close the “feeder veins” under the skin. These feeder veins are what cause spider veins to form. By closing them off, a recurrence of spider veins in the treated areas is a lot less likely to occur.
Following an injection, a patient’s leg is compressed with either stockings or bandages. These are worn for approximately two weeks after the procedure. As you may have guessed, regular walking is recommended during that time. For more information about Sclerotherapy, please don’t hesitate to call Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818. Let’s make this the last winter you have to worry about covering up those spider and varicose veins!