Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some

SUNDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Spider and varicose veins in women can be caused by a number of factors, including hormone fluctuations, wearing high-heeled shoes, age, heat, obesity and type of occupation, says the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS).

In 2005, U.S. dermasurgeons (doctors who specialize in skin and vein-related conditions) performed almost 300,000 vein-related procedures, of which 86 percent involved female patients, according to the ASDS.

"Due to some predisposed conditions, varicose and spider veins may be inevitable for some people. However, there are many preventative measures and medical techniques available to diminish the appearance and pain associated with these vein conditions," Dr. Robert Weiss, president-elect of the ASDS, said in a news release from the society.

He offered the following advice:

  • Listen to your body. Varicose and spider veins tend to be a cosmetic concern, but they can lead to problems such as fatigue, night cramps, leg swelling and itching around certain veins. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult a dermasurgeon.
  • Keep active. Moving your legs boosts blood circulation, which reduces pressure and blood pooling.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce/prevent excess pressure on your legs that can cause veins to surface.
  • Wear compression stockings to elevate pressure to the veins. Avoid restrictive clothing that can restrict circulation in the waist, legs and groin area and lead to spider and varicose veins.
  • Don't stand or sit for long periods of time. This can place pressure on veins. Changing position every 30 minutes will help blood flow and keep veins healthy. Flex your calf muscles frequently while sitting at your desk or on long car trips. This will help promote blood circulation in your legs.
  • Don't subject your legs to excessive heat. Soaking in a hot bath or hot tub increases vein swelling and leads to blood pooling.
  • If you do develop spider or varicose veins, speak to a dermasurgeon about which treatment option is the best for you.

More information

The U.S. National Women's Health Information Center has more about spider and varicose veins.

SOURCE: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, news release, June 20, 2008

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