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The Vein & Skin Center of Hawaii


Varicose Veins and Age

Dr. W. Y. Chung, MD - Friday, October 27, 2017

Varicose veins are a very common condition. Twenty-five percent of women and eighteen percent of men can expect to get them in their lifetime. Varicose veins are often located in the legs. Some are raised enough to be felt under the surface of the skin. Age is a factor. You are more likely to develop varicose veins once you pass forty. As we age, the vessel walls weaken and become less elastic causing the blood to pool, which in turn causes swelling. 

The veins expand to accommodate the increased blood flow and become lumpy and twisted. These blue, or purple veins have a gnarled appearance and most people consider them a cosmetic nuisance. But for some, varicose veins can actually cause discomfort and even pain. In certain instances, varicose veins are more than just a nagging problem. They can be an indication of a more serious underlying condition such as a blood clot in a deeper vein.

What You Can Do if You Have Varicose Veins

There are ways to alleviate the discomfort varicose veins can cause. Exercise, for instance, can get the blood flowing more smoothly. Since standing for long periods can cause varicose veins in the first place, it serves to reason that elevating the legs can help ease some of the pressure on overly-taxed blood vessels.  To relax your achy limbs, consider propping your legs atop a pillow while resting on the couch. Wearing compression stockings can help keep the veins from weakening further. Compression socks or stockings are made from elastic material which can feel quite snug. It is this tightness which squeezes the leg and forces the blood to flow rather than backing up. Though all these measures can help ease some of the issues associated with varicose veins there is a permanent solution which may allow you to dispense with those restrictive garments or having to elevate your legs when you would rather be doing something else.

Consider a Permanent Solution

Varicose veins can be removed through a process called sclerotherapy. With sclerotherapy a saline solution is injected into the problem vein to shrink it. Sclerotherapy boasts a high rate of success. This is a safe and efficient method which has been around for over a century and a half, a testament to its effectiveness. The procedure usually requires less than an hour of your time and you can return to your normal routine immediately.  A patient may feel some slight discomfort after the procedure such as, a slight burning sensation, but this feeling should quickly fade. Pressure bandages may be applied or the patient may be advised to wear compression stockings for a short period afterward. Side effects are usually minor.

Even people without symptoms should consider getting them removed as a preventative measure. Varicose veins can worsen over time, especially if you don’t modify your habits such as, standing or sitting for long stretches of time. Call our Hawaii center for a consultation. We are specialists in the care and treatment of varicose veins.

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