Varicose and spider veins effect hundreds of thousands of men and women throughout the United States. These ailments are not only painful, but strip people of their self esteem.
Varicose veins are are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. They usually develop in the legs and can be seen through the skin. Spider veins are smaller, red, purple, and blue vessels that are also twisted and turning. Spider veins are easily visible through the skin as well. They are most often seen on the legs, chest, or face.
A number of factors predispose a person to varicose veins. These include:
-Heredity (passed on from a parent to a child through genes)
-Occupations that involve a lot of standing, such as seen among nurses, hair stylists, teachers, and factory workers
-Hormonal influences during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause
-The use of birth control pills
-A history of blood clots
Other reported causes include trauma or injury to the skin, previous vein surgery, and exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a solution (generally a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to collapse and stick together and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Sclerotherapy is a proven procedure that has been in use since the 1930s.
In most cases of sclerotherapy, the salt solution is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. At this point, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes, especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
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