August means spending time in the warm weather with shorts, and shorts can reveal how your legs have changed over time. From scars to a tan, your legs look different over time, and you may have realized that veins are now visible on your skin. These veins can appear as webs of lines or as thick and painful ropes across your legs. You may even see bunches of these veins forming that are painful and make walking comfortably more difficult.
If you have noticed these veins forming on your legs, you may be wondering “What are they?” These veins are an indication of the health of your veins, so don’t wait! Visit a vein specialist to solve the mystery of these veins and make sure your legs are beautiful and healthy!
What causes Veins to Appear?
Did you know that 25 to 30% of the US population is affected by vein disease?
Vein disease, also known as chronic venous hypertension (CVH) is a condition where the high pressure put on the veins in your legs causes the vein valves, which carry blood from your heart throughout your body, to break. When one vein breaks, more pressure is added to the veins below, eventually causing those veins to break as well. The pressure and breakage caused by chronic venous hypertension will continue to cascade through the veins of your legs, leading to the appearance of varicose veins.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are thick, ropey branches of damaged veins which impede healthy blood flow. These veins bulge through the skin and they can be swollen, twisted, and painful. Although varicose veins can appear on any area of the body, they are most commonly found on the legs. With their dark purple or blue color, many people ignore varicose veins as merely a cosmetic issue, but that is not the case.
Vein disease is a real disease, and varicose veins are a sign that you should seek medical care from a vein specialist. Without treatment, varicose veins will continue to impede blood flow, leading to deep vein thrombosis, which can cause deadly blood clots to enter the lungs, edema, and venous ulcers.
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are another type of appearance that veins on your legs may take. Spider veins appear as very small or thin webs of veins on the surface of your skin with a red, purple, or blue color. Spider veins are not always indicative of a health risk, they can be a sign of underlying varicose veins if they appear around the ankles. Spider veins can also cause discomfort after long periods of standing, and the main causes of these veins are high pressure in the vein valves, genetic makeup, and changes in hormones.
For many, their appearance on the legs is something they’d like to get rid of.
Vein Care Treatments
Endovenous Laser Therapy
Endovenous Laser Therapy is one of the treatments we use at Illinois Vein Specialists to painlessly address vein disease, providing our patients lasting relief. This minimally invasive treatment is perfect for treating varicose veins specifically, closing down damaged veins, and redirecting blood flow to healthier ones. It is also covered by most insurance companies, including medicare.
Venaseal™ is another excellent treatment from IVS that is perfect for addressing varicose veins. A very small catheter is inserted into the damaged veins and a sealant is administered to close off the damaged veins and redirect blood flow to healthier veins in only about 30 to 40 minutes.
Sclerotherapy is the recommended treatment for surface varicose and spider veins at Illinois Vein Specialists. Sclerotherapy closes down damaged veins by injecting a sclerosing agent into the veins to seal them off. The sealed veins will be reabsorbed into the body, removing their appearance from the skin like magic!
All of our diagnoses and treatments employ an ultrasound guidance system to get the most detailed view of the veins and to make sure only damaged veins are targeted for treatment, leaving healthy veins untouched, all in about an hour!
For every vein condition, Dr. Perlmutter and the highly-trained staff at Illinois Veins Specialists will be able to recommend the best treatments and help you get healthy, beautiful legs!