Are there visible web-like lines on your legs? There may be red, purple, or you may even find some bigger green ones. These enlarged green or blue web-like elevated veins are called varicose veins. The smaller red or purple ones are called spider veins.
A lot of girls suffer from varicose veins. Crossing your legs and wearing sky-high heels all contribute to having varicose veins. But some girls are lucky to have good genes and strong veins that even if they wear 5-inch pumps everyday to work, they get to have legs that are smooth and flawless.
Unfortunately for me, it comes in my genes. My greatgrand mother had vein stripping in the 70’s to treat her varicose veins. It’s a surgical procedure to pull out and remove or tie off a large vein in the leg through the incision made near your groin and near the calves or ankles–It’s morbid, I know. My mom had some 75-grand procedure in St. Luke’s done last year to treat her varicose veins. While I, being paranoid about varicose veins since I can remember, I did all the things to try to prevent varicose veins: raising my leg for an hour when I get home, don’t wear much heels, refrain from crossing my legs, even taking Vitamin B-complex supplements to strengthen my veins and promote blood flow.
But since it’s hereditary that I have weak veins, I was really mortified when I developed a ruptured vein on my right hind leg a couple of years back. It was red and spidery-web like–definitely not pleasing to the eye. It didn’t help either that my legs are really really fair, so the red spider vein was always on highlight.
I think it was in 2008 or 2009 that I went to Skin Station Greenhills (then Godiva Greenhills), to have sclerotherapy done. It was a 30-45 minute procedure wherein the dermatologist would inject a sclerosing agent (saline solution) to kill off the veins, turn it into a scar tissue, thus making it not visible anymore.
Being not afraid of needles, I think mine was done in 15-20 minutes. Each session (10ml of saline solution) would cost Php1,500.00. And in two-three weeks, my ruptured vein was completely gone! It really was a relief for me to have sclerotherapy around.
You see, varicose veins are irreversible. Once it appears, you just have to deal with it. I’ve also tried doing laser treatment on my legs in 2011 for my spider veins… but I find sclerotherapy more effective.
Recently, I took my mom to have her sclerotherapy done at Skin Station. We were attended by the same doctor, Dra. Escobar.
It took my mom 45 minutes to have it done, being a person naturally afraid of pins and needles. I was watching the procedure the entire time and it’s amazing how you can instantly see those red spider veins diminish in a couple of seconds injecting the saline (salt) solution.
According to Dra. Escobar, there are two sclerosing agents used. One is for the smaller red and purple capillaries (spider veins), and there’s a different one for the bigger green or blue veins. The spider veins are easier to treat. Since they are just “leaks” from the normal blood flow.
Treating varicose veins is not just about vanity. In worse cases, like the elderly, having varicose veins may feel uncomfortable. People suffering from an extreme case of varicose veins may experience painful cramps and foot or leg swelling making it difficult to walk. Thus treating the bigger green or blue veins needs more assessment and an expertise of a surgeon. In such cases, the surgeon would need to check your veins through ultrasound to see if closing off the big vein wouldn’t effect your blood flow or other bodily fucntions.
But, hey, don’t freak out. If you see visible veins on your legs, dont worry. Not all of them are varicose veins. For the bigger green veins, here’s a test: Try to close your eyes and touch your legs. If you feel elevated web-like lines, then those are varicose veins. Else, if they are just visible, but remain flat on your skin, that’s fine.
If you are suffering from varicose veins, I suggest for you to go to a reputable clinic like Skin Station and have it checked. I’m sure the dermatologist can give you proper treatments. My mom’s sclerotherapy took 2 sessions being Php1,800.00 each (reg price of Php2,000.00).
If you want to get to know more about Skin Station, you can check out their Facebook.
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