Unlike arteries, which carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your organs and extremities, your veins return deoxygenated blood back to your heart. To help them accomplish this essential task, veins have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing in the right direction. If those valves become weak or damaged, blood may back up and pool in your veins, making them swell. Repeated pooling and swelling can cause the affected vein to become varicose.
Varicose veins usually appear swollen, twisted, and purple- or blue-colored. The veins in your lower body are more likely to become varicose because working against gravity places them under more pressure. Although anyone can develop varicose veins, they’re most common in older adults and women, especially those who have had more than one pregnancy.
A lack of physical activity, being overweight, and having a family history of varicose veins can increase your risk of developing them.
Varicose veins may look like they’re painful, but they aren’t necessarily a source of discomfort. The unpleasant symptoms that do sometimes occur include:
Although varicose veins don’t usually cause medical problems, they can burst and bleed, or cause painful skin ulcers, most often seen near the ankles.
Yes. Spider veins, which can be commonly found in the legs as well as the face, are a milder type of varicose vein that occurs closer to the surface of your skin. Spider veins are smaller, web-like, and usually red or blue in appearance.
Exercising, elevating your legs regularly, wearing compression stockings, and other self-care measures can help relieve uncomfortable varicose veins and keep them from getting worse. If you’re concerned about the appearance of spider veins or varicose veins, or they worsen despite your self-care efforts, there are several treatment options available, including laser surgery, sclerotherapy, and intense pulsed light therapy.
Larger veins may require radiofrequency closure, endovascular laser venous therapy, or a surgical procedure that uses small incisions to remove veins called ambulatory phlebectomy.
Of these methods, laser surgery is the least invasive, most effective way to treat most spider veins and smaller varicose veins. The treatment involves using pulses of laser light to collapse spider veins and smaller varicose veins, effectively sealing them shut and making them less visible.
Treating varicose veins with laser technology won’t damage the surrounding tissues, and doesn’t require any incisions or downtime, and most people can return to work the following day. The team at Easton Dermatology Associates use advanced Icon™ laser technology to perform this non-invasive, in-office treatment.
At Easton Dermatology Associates, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.