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Varicose veins are veins that have become twisted and bent, and they are typically located right under the top of the skin. They are actually very common, as that almost half of people over the age of 50 have a few. Sometimes they become large and swollen, and most people do not like their appearance. Women, especially, go to great lengths to attempt to cover their problem areas, which is why getting rid of them is such a popular topic. Luckily, there are several ways to make them less noticeable, as well as surgical options. Let’s take a look at the most popular.

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Putting Your Feet Up

Something as simple as just putting your feet up and taking the weight off of them can help with varicose veins. As that varicose veins are usually caused by poor circulation, this is why elevating your feet can actually assist with the blood flow. When you have been walking or standing for a long time, make an effort to sit down and put your feet up, so as to increase the circulation through your legs and feet, as well as the rest of the body. Even something like grocery shopping can worsen varicose veins, so be sure to sit down and rest whenever given the opportunity.

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Compression Socks

Compression socks or stockings can help reduce varicose veins through daily wear. These socks are made to tighten around the ankle, loosening a bit as they work their way up the leg. Wearing compression socks on a regular basis can help increase the circulation in the legs, which will then assist with pain, swelling and the worsening of the varicose veins. While these socks were once rather plain, they can now be purchased in all sorts of colors, patterns and designs, making them a little easier to mix with your individual sense of fashion and style.

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Anti-inflammatories

When a person is suffering from varicose veins, medication can be very helpful in dealing with the associated symptoms, and none are better with this particular condition than anti-inflammatories. These medications may act as painkillers, helping with the burning sensations that varicose veins can often cause, and they may also assist in thinning the blood, which will help it to move more easily throughout the affected veins. They also reduce swelling, which should help with the areas around the veins. A physician will be able to prescribe these medications, as well as determine the proper regimen for taking them.

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Lifestyle Changes

As with a lot of other health conditions that we could mention, losing weight can greatly assist with varicose veins. Making a lifestyle change, rather than going on a fad diet, is the best way to go about this, enabling you to set a pattern of healthy living for the future. Eating healthier and setting up a light exercise plan will go a long way, making it simple to lower your blood pressure and its unnecessary strain on the veins. Removing the excess weight, especially from the legs, is also extremely helpful with this condition.

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Stripping

Stripping the veins is a very popular procedure, should you wish to resort to surgery to assist with your varicose veins. Stripping entails having some of the most problematic veins actually removed, which should lessen the chances of scar tissue building up. A surgeon will select the veins that are the largest, twisted or the most painful, and this should even help with the areas directly around those veins, as well. Most people that have stripping typically have the procedure more than once, as they may choose to have more veins removed at a later time, due to its successful results.

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Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Ambulatory Phlebectomy is another surgical procedure for varicose veins, but it is only suitable for patients who have mild cases. The surgery is very similar to stripping the veins, except that a small incision is made directly above the vein, and the entire vein tract is not removed. Instead, only the single vein is taken out, and it must be very close to the skin’s surface for this procedure to be viable. Many veins at a time may be removed with Ambulatory Phlebectomy, and patients may even have this surgery more than one time.

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Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is another procedure that can be used to help with varicose veins, and it has even been in use for over 150 years. A medication is injected directly into the vein, hoping to damage it so that it can no longer grow, therefore decreasing the pain involved when the vein begins to swell, twist and burn. Some time ago, this used to cause some severe side effects, when the medications used included iodine and sodium salicylate. However, now the veins are safely injected with sodium tetradecyl sulfate and polidocanol.

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Laser Therapy

Laser therapy can be amongst one of the most affordable solutions to help reduce or eliminate unsightly varicose veins. It is a simple, outpatient procedure, and it doesn’t require the patient to undergo anesthesia, which helps with the cost involved. The laser therapy is used to close off affected veins, but as that it is not used on the larger, “feeder” veins, sometimes a patient must have multiple procedures. However, due to the cost and the general ease associated with the treatment, it is still one of the most popular for varicose veins. There is also very minimal recovery time, as it is not invasive.

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Vein Ligation

Yet another practical surgical procedure to consider in ridding oneself of the pain and appearance of varicose veins is vein ligation. With this successful treatment, the veins are never actually removed from the body, so many people favor this over stripping or ambulatory phlebectomy. In this procedure, the veins are tightly tied off, typically with a form of suture, and the blood is drained slowly from the problematic vein. This relieves the swelling and the unsightly appearance of the veins. This can often be paired with stripping in more serious conditions, to be sure to reach the most optimal effects.

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Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery is a newer type of treatment for those dealing with the pain and other symptoms of varicose veins, and many are now opting for this treatment over stripping or sclerotherapy, which involves injecting medication into the damaged vein to stop its growth. In cryosurgery, a type of probe is placed into the vein. Freezing carbon dioxide or nitrogen dioxide is then injected to freeze up the veins. These veins are then removed from the same injection point, reducing any effects of scarring. Sometimes this procedure can cause freezing side effects for the surrounding areas, due to the freezing agent.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.