33971 SELVA ROAD - SUITE 200 TEL:949-388-0996 DANA POINT, CA 92629

Conditions we treat

LEG VEINS

Veins are the vessels that return blood to the heart once it has circulated through the body (as opposed to arteries, which carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body). They have one-way valves that help keep blood flowing in the proper direction. If these valves stop functioning the way they are supposed to, blood can flow backwards and pool in the vein, causing it to stretch. These enlarged blood vessels are classified into two groups: spider veins and varicose veins.

Spider veins are visible red or blue blood vessels that may spread like a web across the skin anywhere on the body, most commonly on the legs, hands, and chest. Varicose veins are blood vessels with weak walls that swell or balloon outward, raising the skin surface.

woman in a traditional yoga pose

WHAT CAUSES SPIDER AND VARICOSE VEINS?

It is not entirely known what causes spider and varicose veins, although many likely factors have been identified. The most significant contributing factor is heredity. Others include:

• Aging
• Standing for long periods
• Obesity
• Leg Injury

Abnormal veins in the legs can cause pain (including fatigue, heaviness, aching, burning, throbbing, itching, cramping and restlessness) and prevent proper skin nutrition, leading to eczema, inflammation and ulceration.

TREATMENT

Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat varicose and spider veins. These unsightly veins are treated by injecting a sclerosant solution into the damaged veins, causing irritation and eventual collapse of the affected veins. Sclerotherapy has been used throughout the world since the 1930’s and remains the primary effective treatment for varicose and spider veins.

The affected veins are injected with an FDA approved sclerosant solution, which causes the veins to eventually collapse. This safe procedure can be performed in the office at Dana Point Dermatology and takes less than an hour.

Anesthesia is not needed for sclerotherapy, during which patients only experience a very mild burning sensation. After the skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, the sclerosant is injected into the affected veins with a very fine needle. The number of injections per session varies based on the number and length of the damaged veins. After the sclerotherapy procedure, cotton balls and compression tape are applied to the injection site(s).

After sclerotherapy, most patients can immediately return work and other day-to-day activities the very same day. Exercise and other strenuous activities, however, should be avoided for 7 to 10 days.

PREVENTION

Spider and varicose vein formation and complications may be prevented by exercising regularly, controlling your weight, elevating legs when resting, not crossing the legs when sitting, avoiding long periods of standing, and wearing elastic support stockings.