Varicose veins are discolored, twisted, large veins that can appear anywhere on your body, but are most commonly seen in the legs. Spider veins are similar, but thinner and smaller.
Throughout your veins there are one-way valves that keep your blood moving toward your heart. Varicose veins form when those valves become weak and leaky, allowing the blood to pool up in certain sections of your veins. The pooling blood enlarges the vein, and when it’s near the surface of your skin, it becomes visible as a varicose vein.
At Dr. Jovanovic, OBGYN & Cosmetic Surgery, we treat varicose veins for our New York City patients. Here we share some factors that increase your risk of developing varicose veins.
1. Having a family history
If people in your family have varicose veins, you’re more likely to get them than someone who doesn’t have a family members with the condition. Genetic predisposition plays a role.
2. Getting older
The older you are, the more likely you are to get varicose veins. The valves in your veins become weaker with time, and as they weaken, they’re more prone to leak or to fail.
3. Being female
Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men are, and some uniquely female body processes raise the risk even more.
Pregnancy is a risk factor for varicose veins because there’s more blood in your body when you’re pregnant. Sometimes varicose veins go away a few months after you give birth, but sometimes they don’t. Each successive pregnancy increases your risk of varicose veins.
Using hormonal birth control or taking hormone therapy during perimenopause or after menopause also makes it more likely you’ll develop varicose veins.
4. Being overweight
If you’re carrying extra weight, you have a higher likelihood of getting varicose veins. The excess weight puts more pressure on the veins in your legs.
5. Standing or sitting habits
Sitting or standing in one position for too long can raise your risk of developing varicose veins. If you find that you’re in the same position for four or more hours in a row, try to move around and change your position.
Also, sitting with your legs crossed or wearing tight clothing can make it more likely that you’ll develop varicose veins over time.
Our treatment options for varicose veins
Generally, varicose veins don’t pose a health risk and aren’t painful. However, many people consider them unsightly and are uncomfortable because of them. We offer laser treatments that can get rid of your varicose veins.
There are some things you can try at home, such as elevating your legs above the level of your heart several times a day. If your varicose veins are mild, this may be a good way to reduce their appearance and to reduce swelling.
A slightly more aggressive treatment that we may recommend is wearing compression stockings. The specialized stockings gently squeeze your veins and keep the blood from pooling.
We also offer laser therapy to get rid of varicose veins. The most appropriate treatment for you depends on numerous factors, including your goals and overall health and medical history.
Dr. Jovanovic, OBGYN & Cosmetic Surgery on the Upper East Side, New York City, New York, uses the most modern laser technology and Doppler ultrasound to restore your facial complexion to its original beauty and your legs to smooth, unblemished skin.
If you’d like to learn more about varicose veins and how to prevent or get rid of them, book an appointment online or by phone with either Dr. Jovanovic today. They’re happy to answer your questions and to suggest the most appropriate treatment for you.