Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are some treatments for varicose veins?"
My doctor says I have varicose veins. I'm a 38 year old female. How do I get rid of these?
Varicose veins occur when veins, typically in the legs, become dilated and distended, usually from the effects of aging. In addition, they are more common in women than in men, in no small part due the effects of pregnancy. Treatments for varicose veins depend a lot upon their severity. For example, if the varicose veins are isolated and small they may require no treatment at all, other than periodic evaluation by your primary care doctor. If the veins are unsightly or cause pain, itching, or swelling of the legs, then they might require treatment. Early forms of conservative treatment for varicose veins include elevating the legs, wearing compression stockings, and avoiding salt (to prevent fluid retention). More advanced or bothersome cases of varicose veins may require referral to a dermatologist or a surgeon for more invasive management. Small varicose veins can often be treated with sclerotherapy, which involves injecting "scarring" substances into the veins to make them contract and seem less notable. Larger varicose veins, however, may require surgical removal, a procedure typically performed by a surgeon. Start by asking your primary care doctor how severe they think your varicose veins are and what they think the first treatment steps should be.
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