Embrace Your Beauty
This fall I am going to be doing a lot of weekend car drives. My son started his freshman year at a college in Iowa and will be part of the football team. I am hoping to not miss a game! As someone who practices what I preach, I will be donning my compression hose for these lengthy car rides.
I frequently get asked about why you should wear compression hose while travelling. Vein disease is a chronic, progressive disease and there is only so much that treatment will do. After you have had treatment, your blood clot risk is diminished, but still higher than the people without vein disease. This is because you also can have bad veins that are located in your calf muscle. Unfortunately, we cannot identify these reliably and even if we could, current treatments cannot safely treat these. There is a very high rate of blood clot formation if we try to treat the calf varices.
Thus, we are left with a compromise. If you wear your thigh high graded compression hose, you will lower your blood clot risk while traveling. Traveling is defined as 2 or more hours in a car regardless of how many stops and any plane travel. Multiple studies have confirmed that the risk is lower while travelling with thigh high graded compression hose. Your legs will also feel better when you arrive at your destination.
I hope you all get to enjoy your favorite football team this fall and do yourself a favor and don’t forget to put your hose on if you have to travel to see them! Your legs will thank you.
Everyone enjoys being out in the warmth of the sun. However, did you know that exposure to the sun can make your vein disease worse? Sunlight has ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is what can damage your skin cells and lead to skin cancers. When you are exposed to infrared radiation, it will heat your skin. The combination of both types will also lead to a weakening of your collagen.
Remember that the basic genetic defect in vein disease is weak collagen. If you have vein disease and you spend a lot of time out in the sun, you may actually be accelerating the formation of surface varicose veins! So, while you are enjoying the outdoors, remember to use a mineral based sunscreen on your legs. Not only will it slow down the formation of new varicose veins, but it will also keep your leg skin as tight as possible.
If you have visible varicose veins, come and see us so we can keep your legs healthy and beautiful!
Have you ever noticed the brown discoloration on some people's or maybe your own legs? This is a sign of longstanding, untreated vein disease. If they don’t get treatment, they will likely progress to developing an ulcer on the leg. This is the result of vein disease and can be prevented by early intervention.
So how do veins turn the skin brown? The basic problem is increased pressure in the legs. When the internal veins allow blood to flow towards the feet and not back to the heart, some of the fluid leaks out into the tissues. This eventually causes the legs to swell. When the pressure internally is high, it decreases the blood flow to the skin. The first thing that happens is you lose hair from the ankles, and it progresses towards the knees over time. As the pressure continues to increase over time, eventually the blood flow to the skin is so poor that the skin begins to die from the inside out. Skin that has turned brown is very damaged and will be prone to infections and sores. This process takes place over 40, 50, 60 years and starts at birth since vein disease is hereditary.
However, if you get early treatment, you can avoid these problems. If your legs are discolored or if you have any visible varicose veins, you likely have vein disease. So come see us at Genesis Laser & Vein. The sooner you get treatment, the healthier your legs will be and the better they will look!
This month’s View on Veins post is written by Genesis Laser & Vein patient Sunny Carron, age 50.
Along with green eyes and a love of the outdoors, I realized at the age of 24 I had also inherited my dad’s vein disease. This started during my first pregnancy, and I was introduced to maternity compression hose for the first time. It was not love at first sight, but did relieve the aches and pains in my legs. After each pregnancy, the pain from the varicose veins decreased enough to manage. Over the years it progressed and invited friends to the party: spider veins.
I grew very self-conscious of my legs, and if I wore shorts (only around the house), the kids would say, “Oh Mom do your owies hurt?” Yes, they did! I thought about getting treatment, but heard awful stories of how painful the process was and that is was not effective. I resigned to have legs that looked and felt terrible.
When I turned 48, I was very aware that the symptoms had increased and my capabilities of getting through my evenings had decreased. I started realizing how much I had to rest my legs after work before I started another activity. I started doing some of the dinner prep at the kitchen table, so I could sit and rest my legs. I also realized how often I was taking turns propping one leg and leaning on the other while standing to get relief. I have always been an active person by walking, biking, or kayaking, but these activities proved less desirable with the heaviness in my legs. The night bouts of restless legs and charley horses were the finale in my decision to seek treatment and get my life back.
I spoke to my primary care doctor, got an ultrasound and then a referral. I did not have a good feeling with the initial referral, so I waited a month or so. I then decided to look into other options as the symptoms and sleepless nights reminded me it was needed. I called Genesis Laser & Vein and felt so comfortable right away on the phone. As I walked in on my appointment day the office was calm and soothing music was playing. The staff was just as kind and welcoming as they were on the phone. My experience has always been a great one. Then after meeting with Dr. Prasad, I knew I was where I needed to be.
The day of my first procedure I was so scared and could not seem to relax; the nurses were so sweet and chatted with me to help me feel calm. Dr. Prasad came in, said hello and realized I was a nervous wreck. He put his hand on my shoulder and said let’s walk through everything again, until you are ready. After I felt better, he started and we all chatted through the procedure and it was over very quickly. I have loved how the staff and Dr. Prasad never try to hurry the visit, but always answer my questions and help me feel reassured. They are wonderful!
After the first two procedures, my restless legs were no more. Shortly after the restless legs were gone, my charley horses were gone, too. This is a process, but with each week I notice more energy back in my legs. I am not propping my legs up at night to rest before the next task, unless I want to. I am back to feeling capable in completing my days, including the things I love. Would I do this again? YES PLEASE, but sooner, much sooner.
I get asked this question all the time. My best answer is don’t wait to see the doctor until you’re sick. It’s better to prevent problems than to be forced to recover from them. There are so many preventative health options now, but many people still refuse to embrace them. Preventative health is one of our core philosophies at Genesis.
Vein disease is no different. It has nothing to do with cosmetics, but there is a visual advantage for early treatment. I joke that you can diagnose vein disease by who is wearing jeans at the barbeque in July. Who wears jeans in July in Missouri? This is a bonus for early treatment but not the only one. Vein disease can actually cause you harm if left untreated.
The biggest risk to a younger patient is the increased risk of blood clots. When you have more blood pooling in your legs, it will tend to clot when you are not moving, like during travel or illness. As you age, the legs will become damaged, which increases the chance of infection or sores on your legs. These risks can be reduced if you get treatment while you are young. Also, symptoms like heaviness, aching, swelling, fatigue, tiredness, pain and itching may start. This may make you less likely to keep up with your exercise routine or other physical activities you enjoy.
So, this year, treat yourself to healthier legs by being proactive. Our minimally invasive treatments will leave no scars and have very little if any downtime. Schedule a consultation to learn about proactive treatment for your vein disease. Winter is a great time to start.
There are two very good reasons to start your vein treatment early in the year and they are probably not reasons you may think of.
Hit Your Deductible Early
So often people will be scrambling in October to get their legs treated because they have already met their deductible. Unfortunately, by the time they come in for a consult, get approval and get on the busy end-of-year schedule they are almost always looking at getting one or two treatments in and having the rest trailing over to the next year. Why not take the opposite approach and get in early and get those treatments going now? Most clients will meet their deductible at some point in their initial vein treatment process and by getting started early you have the best chance of getting all, or at least the vast majority of your initial treatment done in the calendar year. Of course there is always maintenance care for chronic vein disease, but this is often minimal compared to the initial treatment. This also allows you the full year to get other things on your wellness/health care wish list done and a whole year to do it!
Hose Can be Hot
Many insurance companies require you to complete a hose trial prior to treatment, which can last between 6 weeks and 3 months. If vein disease is your problem the hose will give you some symptom relief. Why not do this when you also get the benefit of the warmth they provide? Hose can be hot in the summer, so get this extended hose requirement over now. Also, you will have to wear them after treatments, so getting your treatments done during cooler weather is a plus!
P.S. We always recommend Sigvaris compression hose for their exceptional breathability, which helps if you must wear them in the summer.
So, resolve to make 2022 the year you treat yourself to legs that feel good again! Call our office for information on setting up a consult with Dr. Prasad, our vein specialist, or a free vein screening with our nursing staff for more information on getting your legs treated this year.