Varicose veins can pop up for numerous reasons. Standing for long periods of time can do it. Taking birth control pills, being pregnant, or going through menopause can do it — which explains why women suffer from this condition more than men. Smoking and being overweight are also known culprits. And if none of those apply to you, the cause may just be getting older.
Whatever triggered your varicose veins, chances are you don’t have to worry. Typically, they don’t cause a health concern and are usually just annoying cosmetic issues. And if they’re bothering you, you don’t have to live with them. Dr. Hermoz Ayvazian at Glendale Foot and Ankle Podiatry Center can treat your varicose veins and help you reclaim your smooth legs and your confidence.
Understanding varicose veins
You probably learned this in school, but just to refresh your memory, here’s a quick primer on your circulatory system. When your heart beats, it sends blood to all the parts of your body through arteries. When it returns to your heart, the blood travels through veins.
One of the main differences between arteries and veins is that veins have special features to help the blood fight gravity as it attempts to get from your lower extremities (feet, ankles, and legs) back to your heart — valves. Special one-way valves prevent backflow and help transport blood upward.
When these valves begin to fail, the blood pools, and you get varicose veins.
When varicose veins get serious
As we mentioned, most cases of varicose veins are harmless, but they can develop into something more serious, which is why it’s important to come see Dr. Ayvazian to make sure you know what you’re dealing with.
Deep vein thrombosis
Varicose veins you can see are part of your superficial circulatory system. It’s the varicose veins you don’t see that could cause a problem. If you have failing valves in your deeper veins, you could develop deep vein thrombosis, which is the formation of a clot. Warning signs include pain and swelling, skin discoloration, and skin that’s warm to the touch.
Seek medical attention right away, because if the clot breaks, it can send a piece toward your lungs. This is a life-threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism and needs to be treated immediately.
How to get rid of varicose veins
If you have a mild case of varicose veins, you may be able to get rid of them on your own. Compression stockings do a great job of assisting your veins as they send blood up to your heart. Losing weight and quitting your smoking habit also reduce the symptoms of varicose veins.
If, however, your veins are beyond the point where conservative treatments can help, Dr. Ayvazian can treat your veins here in our Glendale or Burbank offices. He uses two of the most effective approaches to varicose veins: scleropathy and laser therapy.
Scleropathy is a minimally invasive procedure that only requires an injection of a solution that also seals off your varicose veins, causes them to die, and eventually flushes them out of your system.
Laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that sends light energy through the layers of your skin and targets your vein. The procedure destroys that vein and causes it to shrivel up and flush away. Your body naturally reroutes your blood to other healthier veins.
Although administered differently, both scleropathy and laser therapy have the same goal, and both are safe and effective ways to clear your legs of unsightly varicose veins. To find out if you’re a good candidate, call us for an appointment with Dr. Ayvazian in either Burbank or Glendale, California.