Nowadays, it doesn’t take much to get rid of those horrible squiggles running down your legs. Here’s how it’s done.
This is the before (top photo) and after (bottom) from the Asclera website. Results at 26 weeks after treatment
Prognosis: Varicose veins are inherited, so if Mom had them, you probably will too. They usually pop up in midtwenties, worsen during pregnancy. Old cure, called ligation, was pretty much a nightmare-literally involved making incisions and stripping out problematic veins. Hospital stay was required; major scars resulted. Thankfully, a new procedure, called sclero- therapy, makes vein removal relatively effortless and painless-happens right at the doctor’s office, and you can walk around, even exercise, same day. But before we get to that, let’s talk…
You’ve probably heard most of this before: Don’t cross legs, sit or stand for long periods of time (blood pools up); try raising foot of bed with a phone book or sleep with feet propped up on a pillow (or a man…): get plenty of exercise; stay at ideal weight; wear supportive Lycra hose and sunscreen (sun damage exacerbates problem). If you take birth-control pills, switch to low-estrogen version (hormonal changes put pressure on vein walls, hence the pregnancy connection).
THAT FIRST VEIN
Once you’ve spotted the culprit, New York City dermatologist/vein specialist Howard Sobel recommends having it fixed right away. The idea is to keep ahead of the problem not wait for it to get more serious. Exception: Pregnant women shouldn’t start sclerotherapy until after giving birth, though it’s a good idea to have it done between babies to prevent a buildup. Continue reading »