Spider Veins

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Spider Veins

Reviwed by Joshua L. Fox, MD.

Spider veins (telangiectasias) are broken blood vessels or capillaries that appear on the skin’s surface as fine red lines. They affect about half of the women in the United States, and many men, too. To read entire article “Click Here

New Painless Treatments for Varicose Veins

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New Painless Treatments for Varicose Veins

Unbeknownst to many women, varicose veins are often more than a cosmetic problem. Spider veins and larger varicosities can also lead to leg pain, sores, ulcers, night cramps, ankle swelling and leg heaviness that patients do not know to attribute to their unsightly varicose veins. Although it’s estimated that varicose veins affect about 75% of all adult women, and a significant number of men too (17%), many have opted in the past to avoid treatment because of the pain, side effects and scarring associated with traditional treatments. (more…)

NEW THERAPIES MAKE QUICK, PAINLESS WORK OF VARICOSE VEINS: Leading dermatologist discusses advances in better removal of spider veins, large varicosities

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NEW THERAPIES MAKE QUICK, PAINLESS WORK OF VARICOSE VEINS: Leading dermatologist discusses advances in better removal of spider veins, large varicosities

NY , NY October 2007 – Unbeknownst too many women, varicose veins are often more than a cosmetic problem. Spider veins and larger varicosities can also lead to leg pain, sores, ulcers, night cramps, ankle swelling and leg heaviness that patients do not know to attribute to their unsightly varicose veins. Although it’s estimated that varicose veins affect about 75% of all adult women, and a significant number of men too (17%), many have opted in the past to avoid treatment because of the pain, side effects and scarring associated with traditional treatments.

Until recently the primary option for varicose vein removal was a surgical procedure called “stripping and ligation,” during which the affected veins would be removed invasively. However, this approach requires general anesthesia, and often leads to scarring and an eventual return of varicosities. According to Joshua Fox, M.D., a leading dermatologist and founder/director of Advanced Dermatology, two new approaches – Sclerotherapy and Laser Therapy – are leading more and more patients to pursue relief from varicose veins.

“These breakthroughs are a boon to those who have shunned traditional surgery for varicose veins,” Dr. Fox says, “But they also have created new questions in the minds of patients about how each process works, and which procedures are appropriate for their specific conditions.”

Dr. Fox explains that with Sclerotherapy, a solution is injected into the veins, causing them to collapse, turn to scar tissue, and eventually become absorbed by the body. “Sclerotherapy eliminates the need for invasive surgery and the resulting scars and recovery time,” Dr. Fox says. “However, it usually takes up to six months for the sclerosed veins to disappear completely.” While sclerotherapy has been used for a number of years, the procedure was known to be painful, particularly during the injection process. However, newer solutions, anesthetic techniques and instrumentation have made the procedures almost pain-free.

Laser treatment involves the application of light changing to heat through the skin via the laser to the affected vein and/or valve. The latest in laser treatment uses an endoscopic laser, which results in little or no scarring or recurrence of the varicosities. The relief from pain or tenderness occurs usually in one day. The laser is used to shrink and seal the vein wall, and very strong bursts of light transmitted by the laser cause the vein to slowly fade and disappear. Again, the veins are normally reabsorbed by the body within six months and disappear.

Dr. Fox notes that, while every case is unique and should be treated according to an individualized protocol by the patient’s physician; there are some guidelines that can clarify whether Sclerotherapy, Laser treatment, or a combination of the two is most appropriate:

1. The size of the vein – Spider veins are usually a network of hair-thin veins that look like a spider web, a tree with branches, or a starburst. They usually respond well to Sclerotherapy, while larger varicose veins that appear deeper in the skin tend to respond better with laser therapy.

2. The location of the vein – Spider veins are usually found on the legs, a result of myriad factors including diet and fitness levels, hormonal changes like in pregnancy, heredity and a sedentary lifestyle or job. But sometimes, these ultra thin veins appear on the face. “Facial varicosities are usually very thin, and very close to the skin’s surface, and so we would be likely to use a laser, or a combination of Sclerotherapy and Laser therapy, for those cases,” Dr. Fox notes.

3. The level of discomfort the veins are causing – “Treatment of varicose veins is rarely considered strictly a cosmetic surgery,” Dr. Fox explains. “There are many lifestyle changes we recommend first to alleviate the symptoms of varicosities, from wearing tight stockings over the affected area to undertaking a regular exercise routine. It’s only when these measures fail, and the patient is experiencing discomfort, that we take a minimally invasive surgical approach.”

Dr. Fox advises patients seeking treatment for varicose veins to consult with a board-certified dermatologist or dermatological surgeon. “These procedures often require multiple office visits, utilizing highly specialized equipment and supplies, and sometimes involving a combination of therapies and approaches – factors that may not always be taken into consideration by other practitioners.”

THEY’RE NOT YOUR MOTHER’S VARICOSE VEINS

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THEY’RE NOT YOUR MOTHER’S VARICOSE VEINS

New Treatments for Bulging Veins Are More Effective, Less Painful and Invasive

New York, NY, February, 2007 – They are ugly and nobody wants them. Yet, almost 80 million Americans are affected by venous disease, bulging veins caused by weakening in the vein’s walls. More than 40 percent of women have some form of the condition. Venous disease can appear in the leg as varicose veins (swollen blood vessels) or as spider veins (dilated small blood vessels located close to the surface of the skin, most often on the face or legs). If untreated, severe varicose veins can lead to swelling, muscle cramps, pain standing or walking, skin color changes, eczema type symptoms and ultimately, to non-healing ulcerations and other severe consequences.

Until recently, the only treatments available required major surgery, anesthesia, and long recovery times and could cause scarring. “Today, thanks to many technological advancements in lasers, we can offer treatments that are more successful, almost painless which lets the patient resume normal activity on the same day,” says Joshua Fox, MD, dermatologist and founder of Advanced Dermatology PC and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery.

Using light waves to eliminate bulging veins, endovenous lasers can be used to treat a wide range of vein sizes. The most important component of these lasers is the wavelength: The Cool Touch CTEVTM has a 1320 nm wavelength, which studies have shown to be the most optimal. The non-scarring procedure is done in the doctor’s office and needs only local anesthesia. Patient can resume walking within 30 minutes and can go back to strenuous exercise within days. Patients see immediate improvement; but may find that they need one to two weeks to see complete relief.

In addition to laser therapy, there are other ways to reduce bulging veins that avoid the old, painful vein stripping of days gone by. Caution: These therapies — such as sclerotherapy (the injection of a solution into the vein that causes the vein to be reabsorbed) and radiofrequency (using electric current to close a vein) — have a slightly higher complication rate than lasers and may not be effective on larger varicose veins. Patients should consult with their dermatologist about their individual needs.

“With the many choices we have available today, everyone who would like to deal with their bulging veins, for either cosmetic or medical reasons, can receive fast, effective improvement for their specific case”, adds Dr. Fox.

Protecting Your Veins
“Of course, the best course of actions for your veins is not to get venous disease in the first place. Here are some good tips that can help in preventing its development particularly if you have an underlying problem like leg swelling, pain bulging veins or red scaly legs,” says Dr. Fox.

Keep your legs elevated, when possible.
Exercise daily, especially working the calf muscles.
If you are stuck sitting or standing still for a long time, flex your legs and ankles periodically.
Use support compression hose, especially during long car, train or plane rides.
Watch your weight.
Avoid hot tubs and hot baths. Heat can increase vein expansion and pooling of blood.

If you don’t see improvement you should see a doctor who can give you more advice or treatment.