While it may be a little cold in New York City right now, you look forward to those warmer months ahead when you can start shedding clothing and baring your legs. Except for one thing. Somewhere along the line, varicose veins have developed on your legs, and you are none too pleased about their unwelcome appearance.
Unfortunately, varicose veins are common — they affect nearly one quarter of adults in the United States (about 23%). So, you know that your odds for getting varicose veins are high, but you want to know more about what causes them.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Upper East Side Cardiology’s Vein Institute, Dr. Satjit Bhusri and the team specialize in venous issues like varicose veins. Not only do we know how they got there, we also know how to get rid of them.
The making of a varicose vein
There are two ways to describe how varicose veins form — the exact mechanics and the risk factors.
When it comes to exact mechanics, we’re referring to what happens inside the superficial vein that causes it to bulge and pop up under the surface of your skin. This occurs when tiny, one-way valves in your vein fail to close all the way, which allows blood to spill backward and pool. When this happens, it can engorge the vein to the point where it pushes to the surface.
Now, let’s look at some conditions that can lead to this valve failure, such as:
Chronic venous insufficiency
This disease affects between 6 and 7 million Americans and describes an overall malfunction in the valves in the veins in your legs, much as we just described above.
When it comes to varicose veins, women are twice as likely to develop them as men, and this gender disparity comes down to hormones. Estrogen hormones influence the epithelial linings of your blood vessels, so when hormones fluctuate, it can affect vein health.
As you might imagine, age can also play a role. Over time, the valves in your veins can simply weaken and wear out, which can allow varicose veins to form.
There are other risk factors, such as spending prolonged periods on your feet, but the above represent the majority of cases of varicose veins.
Getting back to smooth legs
The good news is, no matter how your varicose veins formed, we offer a wide range of treatments that can make quick work of them. From sclerotherapy treatments to laser technologies, we have a range of effective tools that can collapse or close these veins, allowing your body to reabsorb them, leaving no trace behind.
If you have more questions about varicose veins or you’d like to schedule a treatment, please contact our New York City office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to set up an appointment. You can also call (212) 752-3464.