varicose eczemaWhat is Varicose Eczema?

Varicose Eczema is an inflamed area of skin on the leg, with distinct color and texture changes. It is caused by a fault in the function of the veins under the skin called superficial venous reflux. It may also be caused by a problem in the deep veins following a deep vein thrombosis. Because it is a warning sign that you are at risk of a leg ulcer, it is considered to be a serious condition, particularly if symptoms become especially troublesome.

What is the cause of varicose eczema?

Varicose eczema occurs when blood doesn’t flow normally and the skin does not receive the nutrients and oxygen that it needs to remain healthy. As a result, the skin is damaged and becomes inflamed. As part of the body’s normal response to injury, the skin becomes red, itchy, and thickened. The areas of affected skin look very similar in the early stages, like a patch of dermatitis or eczema. However, the underlying problem with varicose eczema in the veins.

What does varicose eczema look like?

The characteristic feature of varicose eczema is where it is found on the leg. Virtually all cases of varicose eczema show up around the ankle, just above the ankle bones. As a precaution, any patch of dry, scaly, red itchy skin around the ankle should be considered varicose eczema until proven otherwise. Correct diagnosis by a vein specialist is crucial and should be done as soon as possible upon identifying these symptoms.varicose eczema on ankles

 

In the installation of this series of blog posts, we will discuss what to do if you think you have varicose eczema, the home treatments that can help, when to seek medical care, who is qualified to help, and what can happen if it is not treated. You will want to learn all you can about this potentially damaging condition.

If you suspect that you have varicose veins or a vein specialist has confirmed the diagnosis already, the next steps are crucial for your vein and overall health. For some people, varicose veins never progress past their current state. However, others may find the symptoms become increasingly worse. Worse yet, they could indicate a more serious underlying condition. Seeking non-surgical treatment of varicose veins is sometimes your best option.

At-home care for varicose veins

At a minimum, there are things you can start doing right away to reduce the symptoms and possibly keep your varicose veins from getting worse. These at-home care practices include:

  • Wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling and aid blood flow, helping slow down their development.
  • Exercising more regularly. Swimming, walking and, running are particularly effective.
  • Cutting down on foods high in fat and sugar.

When to see a specialist about non-surgical treatment of varicose veins

If you are experiencing symptoms like itching, swelling, and tired, achy legs, it is time to seek treatment with a vein specialist. These days, there are non-invasive treatment options available that do not require extensive surgery–as long as the condition is caught in time. These options are virtually pain-free, with no downtime, so you can pick up right where you left off with your life.

Diagram of a normal functioning vein with healthy vein valves, a varicose vein with damaged vein valves and then an image of how the varicose vein looks when compressed by wearing medical-grade compression stockings.

 

The benefits of non-surgical treatment for varicose veins are many, and include:

  • Fast recovery
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • No hospitalization
  • No general anesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

The vein specialists at Grand Junction Vein Center can help determine if you are a good candidate for non-surgical treatment of varicose veins. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

 

varicose veins bleedingVaricose veins are one of the most common venous issues that people can suffer from. Affecting up to a third of all adults, they can cause enough problems to warrant being able to tell them apart from veins that happen to be more visible under your skin. And it’s not just about how they look. How they function is also an important consideration.

Varicose Vein Characteristics

The job of your veins is to carry oxygen-rich blood from around the body, back up to the heart. However, when the vein valves or vein walls become damaged, this can lead to Chronic Venous Insufficiency or CVI. This condition is marked by the blood being unable to sufficiently flow.

Instead, blood begins to reflux or pool. This can either lead to the twisted, enlarged vessels you know as varicose veins or the smaller web-like veins, known as spider veins.

Telling the Difference Between Normal Veins and Varicose Veins

In order to tell the difference between varicose veins and normal veins, you will need to understand how the two differ in function. For instance, healthy veins bring red oxygenated blood from the heart down into the legs and blue deoxygenated blood back up to the heart again. Normal veins aren’t usually visible except when you’re exercising. With physical exertion, veins pump blood to the surface of the skin to keep you cool. However, even when they are visible, they appear below the surface and do not have raised edges.

By contrast, varicose veins tend to appear as raised or even bulging veins, most often a green or purple color. This is because the blue blood mixes with the yellow of the skin pigment in the light. They can also appear twisted and in groups.

In addition, varicose veins can also cause a range of symptoms. Usually, if the affected areas become itchy, swollen, or cause a burning sensation, particularly at the end of the day, you are most likely dealing with varicose veins.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Varicose Veins

If you suspect that you have a varicose vein problem, you will want to get them checked out to be sure they are taken care of early. Varicose veins can sometimes be masked by other veins that are closer to the skin. Seeing a vein expert like Dr. Morse at Grand Junction Vein Center is the best way to check all your veins. He can do a full image scan of your legs or other affected areas using ultrasound technology to observe even the deepest veins.

spider veins under the skin#1 What Spider Veins Are

Spider veins, most often in the legs, are vessels visible just under the skin up to 1 mm in size. They are commonly known as thread veins or broken veins. The medical term for spider veins is telangiectasia.

#2 What Spider Veins Look Like

Spider veins appear bluish or purple in snakelike patterns. They are frequently found on the outer thigh, inner calf, and around the ankle, but can occur anywhere on the leg.

#3 Causes of Spider Veins

Many people get spider veins because they sit or stand for long periods most days of the week. These veins also become more common with age and during pregnancy. Spider veins can also be caused by sunlight, hormonal changes, or an injury.

#4 When Spider Veins Are a Problem

For most people, just the appearance of the spider veins is the problem. Having spider veins can cause embarrassment, poor self-esteem and lack of confidence. Those who have spider veins need no other reason than that to seek help. Symptoms such as leg ache, throbbing and swelling may also cause concern and motivate one to consider treatment. Spider veins around the ankle should always be taken seriously, as they may indicate a major problem with the function of veins below the skin. This condition, called “Corona Phlebectatica,” is also known as ankle flare. If you have lots of spider veins around your ankles, you should be evaluated as soon as possible.

#5 How Spider Veins Can Be Treated

Patients without symptoms, ankle flare, or varicose veins can be often be treated by Micro-injections (Microsclerotherapy). Microsclerotherapy involves a very delicate injection procedure in which a special prescription medicine, called a sclerosant, is inserted into the vein. As such, it requires skill and accuracy. This form of sclerotherapy works by removing the delicate lining of the spider veins. After the procedure, you will observe the beginning of a healing process causing the vein to fade and disperse.

The six chronic vein insufficiency risk factors

Many different factors can impact your vein health. Here are the things that can greatly increase the risk of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI):

  • Age: Your veins inevitability weaken as you get older. It’s just a fact of life. In relation CVI, your risk increases every year past the age of 50.
  • Obesity: Weight problems can lead to many different health issues, not just those affecting the vascular system. The more extra weight you carry, the more strain is placed on the veins. This can cause them to malfunction. High levels of fat and sugar in the diet contribute to the formation of plaque and clots in the veins.
  • Smoking habit: Ever since tobacco companies were finally held accountable for health risks associated with smoking, more evidence has been uncovered of the wide-ranging negative effects it can have on your health. Not only can it cause potentially fatal respiratory conditions like lung cancer and COPD, but it can also lead to CVI and other vein issues. Smoking weakens your vein walls, impairing blood-flow and vein function.
  • Family History: Having a genetic predisposition means the chances of CVI developing is much higher. That means ff your relatives have had issues with vein problems, you’re much more likely to develop them yourself.
  • Hormonal fluctuations: Hormonal changes like menopause, pregnancy, and HRT, cause your vein walls to become increasingly strained and weakened. As you have seen, this sometimes leads to CVI, varicose veins, and other cardiovascular issues.
  • Poor lifestyle choices: Lack of exercise, poor fitness or simply sitting or standing still regularly can have a deleterious effect on your health. That is because your cardiovascular system relies on regular physical activity to stay healthy and efficient. These choices can also cause weight gain, which continues the spiral to poor health.

How you can manage chronic venous insufficiency

No matter if you have CVI or not, managing and reducing any risk factors takes care of your vein health in the short and long term.

If you have already been diagnosed with CVI, or if you have one or more of the risk factors listed above, you should consider major changes to your life. Also, if you suffer from any of the following symptoms in your legs, you should consider making an appointment with our vein specialist.

  • Dry or itchy skin in the legs
  • Open sores that don’t heal properly
  • Redness or hard and shiny surfaces on the skin
  • Weeping or oozing fluid from the skin

Chronic Venous Insufficiency itself doesn’t have a simple cure, but with some simple lifestyle changes you can at the least minimize your risk of it worsening or developing in the first place, and at best manage any current symptoms.

Varicose Vein At-Home Treatment

treat varicose veins at homeYou may be wondering: How do I treat varicose veins? Is it possible to avoid seeing a specialist? Or do I need surgery?

While some varicose veins require medical treatment, others can be managed effectively at home. For instance, if your symptoms are on the mild side, you might be able to manage them and even reduce their severity. Here are a few tips to help you on the way to home care:

  • Wear compression stockings to assist blood-flow.
  • Exercise regularly. Try swimming, cycling, and walking to increase your muscle tone and stamina without putting a lot of pressure on your tissues.
  • Eat more high-fiber foods like fruits and veggies. Add more foods with higher amounts of flavonoids like apples, cherries, and blueberries to your diet for even greater benefit.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid tight or high-heeled footwear. The last thing you want to do is cut off your circulation or put strain on your lower legs and feet.
  • Where possible, rest and elevate the legs at the end of the day. Sitting or standing all day is not good for your circulation.

When to Seek Professional Varicose Vein Treatment

After trying all of these, if the symptoms of your varicose veins persist or seem to be getting worse, then it’s probably time to speak to a vein specialist. They can help you evaluate your treatment options. This is especially true if your varicose veins start to interfere with your daily life. On the other hand, if you ignore the problem, you risk more serious issues like blood clots, ulcers, chronic swelling, and skin issues like eczema and discoloration.

Medical treatment of varicose veins is nothing to be afraid of. Most of the time, it can be done non-surgically through a treatment plan customized to your needs.

Is it time for you to see someone to treat your varicose veins? Call Grand Junction Vein Center today at (970) 242-8346 and we will get you taken care of right away.

varicose veins symptoms

A varicose vein is a medical condition that causes pain and swelling in the legs. They are usually recognized by the enlarged veins that are easily spotted. Varicose veins usually don’t have any pain or discomfort associated with them and the appearance of them is usually the only symptom. They can be blue or purplish in color and can look like twisted and winding veins that may have bulges in places. Their resemblance to spider legs is why they are sometimes referred to as spider veins. Varicose veins are usually found in the legs but can appear in other parts of the body as well.

If you have leg pain you should check these following symptoms to discover whether or not you are a victim of this medical condition.

1. Enlarged Veins

Enlarged veins are the biggest visual to let you know if you have varicose veins. Most are dark blue and do not heal. Once they appear they stay unless they are treated by a doctor. Our vein care specialists can assist you with the best treatment options available today.

2. Swollen feet and ankles

If your feet and ankles are often swollen this can be another sign of poor working veins. When the veins are swollen they are not able to remove fluids from the areas furthest away from the heart. This is why people will have feet and ankles that appear bloated.

3. Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps are another signal of this ailment. The veins should transport nutrients to and from the various areas in your body. Cramps are a sign that your muscles are not getting the proper nutrients it needs to function. You may get supplements to help but any cramps in your legs without exercise or exertion should be noted as it is a clear symptom of varicose veins.

4. Slow healing of bruises

If you get bruises or wounds that do not heal right away then this is one of the varicose veins symptoms. Bruises are an accumulation of blood that is stagnant underneath the skin layer. Your veins may not be strong and when hit or touched can easily break. If they take a long time to heal this should raise a red flag to concern you.

5. Poor circulation

How well your veins work will affect your circulation. If you get hot or cold easily and need to wear an additional layer of clothing during the winter months, you may be susceptible to poor circulation. The outer body regions are normally the greatest affected by outside temperature changes. If you have cold hands and feet and this can mean that your heart is not pumping adequately or there is a disturbance in your cardiovascular system.

It is especially important to be aware of the varicose veins symptoms becoming a more serious problem. Occasional appearance may be normal, but if this excessively appears, it is always best to consult your physician.

However, many of the top symptoms that relate to this disease can point to bigger health problems. The problems that you have with your veins can all be precursors to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and poor heart health.

Varicose veins on the womans leg,Normal veins near the skin layer swell out,And blood is accumulated to see a bloody blue or dark purpleHave you ever wondered whenever you see blood outside your body that blood is red, but veins are blue?

Let us explain to you the reason behind this, but keep in mind the answer depends on a number of things, including how your eyes perceive color, how light behaves when it contacts your body, and the special properties of blood. Blood that has been oxygenated (mostly flowing through the arteries) is bright red and blood that has lost its oxygen (mostly flowing through the veins) is dark red. Anyone who has donated blood or had their blood drawn by a nurse can attest that deoxygenated blood is dark red and not blue.

 

The Color of Human Blood

Human blood is red because of the protein hemoglobin, which contains a red-colored compound called heme that’s crucial for carrying oxygen through your bloodstream. Heme contains an iron atom that binds to oxygen; it’s this molecule that transports oxygen from your lungs to other parts of the body.

 

Chemicals appear particular colors to our eyes based on the wavelengths of light they reflect. Hemoglobin bound to oxygen absorbs blue-green light, which means that it reflects red-orange light into our eyes, appearing red. That’s why blood turns bright cherry red when oxygen binds to its iron. Without oxygen connected, blood is a darker red color.

Wavelengths of Light

To understand what color our veins appear, we need to think about what happens to different wavelengths of light when they hit our skin, how far they can travel through our skin, and what happens when they get to our veins.

As we know that the light that hits our skin during the day is basically white, this is a mixture of all the visible wavelengths. But to explain why our veins look blue, we will look at just the red and blue ends of the spectrum.

Red light has a long wavelength – and this means it is less likely to be deflected by materials and can more easily travel through. Red light can travel pretty well through the skin and body tissues, reaching up to 5-10mm below the skin, which is where many veins are. When it gets into the veins, the red light is absorbed by the hemoglobin (the protein that makes our blood red). You can demonstrate this to yourself. If you shine a red light on your arm, you will see some red light reflected back and dark lines where the veins are, as the red light is absorbed by the hemoglobin. Thus, the bluish color of veins is only an optical illusion. Blue light does not penetrate as far into the tissue as red light. If the blood vessel is sufficiently deep, your eyes see more blue than red reflected light due to the blood’s partial absorption of red wavelengths.

True-Blue Blooded

But the blue blood does exist elsewhere in the animal world. It’s common in animals such as squid and horseshoe crabs, whose blood relies on a chemical called hemocyanin, which contains a copper atom, to carry the oxygen. Despite exceptions, the majority of blood from animals is red. But that doesn’t mean it’s exactly the same as what courses through our veins.

 

 

needle phobia

Practically anyone can experience needle phobia. The correct medical name is trypanophobia – an irrational and often intense fear of hypodermic needles or injections – though it is regularly labeled belonephobia; this term is incorrect since it denotes a fear of pins and needles, without reference to the medical aspects.

If you suffer from one or some of these symptoms whenever you begin to think about a needle, then there is the chance you have to some degree, a needle phobia.

 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations or accelerated heart rate
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of fainting
  • And, even a fear of dying in some cases

 

The first important thing you need to know

The first important thing you need to know is that fear of needles is a learned behavior and this means that it is something you can overcome. People are born with only two built-in fears and they are the fear of sudden loud noises and the fear of falling. All the other fears are learned behaviors and because of this, you can overcome the fear. Your brain is a learning machine that works constantly trying to make sense of the world and to protect you. Because conscious thinking takes time and in some situations, a second or two thinking could make the difference between danger and safety your brain is designed to learn and protect you. So if it has learned a fear rather than being a conscious process it is something that runs at an unconscious level or in other words rather than thinking about it you just do it. And although in many situations this is very useful there are some situations where you need to be able to over-ride the learned response.

 

How to overcome the fear of needles?

 

In order to overcome your fear of needles, you need to do several simple things to overcome the fear and teach your brain a new response. Generally, the majority of people with a fear of needles can overcome the fear or phobia in just a couple of appointments and in some cases just one appointment. What we are looking to do is break the old learned response and to create a new more useful response.

When someone has a fear of needles particularly a strong fear it’s not uncommon to find that everything about how they think about it and perceive it is built around and on the idea of being scared. And unfortunately by doing that they are unwittingly re-enforcing their own fear. Most people with a fear of needles don’t wait until the injection is being done to start feeling scared. Typically they will start feeling afraid of hours, days, or weeks in advance. Now if you think about it if you are feeling anxious before the injection has started then obviously it’s actually not the needle causing it. That would be like the food making you feel sick before you eat it.

 

The first thing you have to do

 

So the first thing is to start paying attention to how you are thinking about it. Because we all have thoughts going through our minds all day long most people are consciously unaware of how they are thinking about things. Many people reading this will be hearing the words inside their heads as they read. We all think things to ourselves inside our head but have you ever taken the time to notice how you are thinking about something and whether your internal dialogue sounds calm and relaxed or anxious? When you think about having an injection do you imagine yourself there being calm and relaxed, anxious, or even panicky? Do you see yourself there in your mind’s eye picturing what things may look like or do you see what you’d see through your own eyes in the experience?

No matter how you are thinking about it they are your thoughts. And because they are your thoughts you can change how you think about needles.

 

Your brain responds literally

 

Your brain responds very literally. So if you are making scary pictures inside your mind your brain will respond to those images. The bigger they are and the more realistic they look the stronger the emotional response generated by your neurology. Also looking at them from the perspective of what it would look like in the experience, in other words, what you’d actually see through your own eyes in the experience will produce a stronger emotional response compared to watching yourself there from the perspective of what you’d see if someone had videoed it and you were watching it back on TV. Now notice what happens when you not only watch yourself there but also reduce the size of the image, put a border or frame around the image, make the colors look faded, and drain the detail out. What’s happened to the feelings that were associated with that image? Obviously there is a bit more to it than this but the important thing to realize is that your fear of needles isn’t who you are it’s something you do. Its behavior and behaviors can be changed quicker than you may think.

 

 

 

is laser vein treatment right for meVein Stripping v Laser Vein Treatment: Out with the Old, In with the New

A surgical procedure known as vein stripping used to be the most effective means of eliminating unattractive veins such as spider veins (telangiectasia’s), blue veins (reticular veins), and varicose veins. While posing a mostly cosmetic concern, these undesirable veins dampen self-confidence and can itch and hurt when they become severe. Laser’s vein removal including radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, and endovenous therapy has now eased surgery off as the treatment of choice because it is fast, permanent, and nearly painless. No general anesthetic is needed because the procedure is minimally invasive only, and each session takes as short as 20 minutes.

Typical Method of Laser Vein Removal

The typical method of laser vein removal entails beams or pulses of laser energy being fired onto a target vein. Using a greater degree of heat, they shut off vein walls to stop blood from flowing until the destroyed veins shrink and are re-assimilated into the body in a period of three to six weeks. Medical school taught technicians can administer the treatment without any risk of scalding the bordering skin or killing local tissue. They are trained to supplement the procedure with cooling, whether using a cooling gel or chilled air from the laser instrument, so the patient feels as little stinging as possible.

Best Benefits from Laser Vein Treatment

Spider veins receive the best benefits of light-based or laser treatment because they are smaller and easier to diminish. No more than 10% of blood is channeled through these superficial veins so the disappearance of some has no ill effects on the body. Affected skin areas clear up and blood is redirected to healthier veins, resulting in more youthful-looking and evenly colored skin. Those who are prone to keloid formation are not advised to get any laser treatment on the skin.

Varicose veins necessitated a more invasive treatment that may involve the help of a vein care specialist, specifically, a Phlebologist. The use of anesthesia is required for cutting skin so a small tube can be slotted into the body for focusing laser energy on larger deep veins. Just about any restoration clinic or rejuvenating spa today can conduct laser vein removal for spider veins as capably as performing cellulite injections, wrinkles, or tattoo removal.

Laser Varicose Vein Surgery Treatment

Laser Vein treatments called EVLT treatments that utilize Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) technology. EVLT treatment is covered by most health insurance plans and enables women and men of all ages to eliminate aching, throbbing, unsightly veins without conventional leg vein surgery such as varicose vein stripping. Treatment is quick and easy and requires no lengthy recovery.

Patient satisfaction with EVLT treatments is high. This treatment can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and has the following advantages:

 Excellent aesthetic results
 Short procedure time
 Little downtime
 Minimal discomfort

What kind of Veins can be treated with EVLT laser treatments?

This is a treatment for the Greater Saphenous vein. This major superficial vein of the leg when incompetent is responsible for the development of most varicose veins. EVLT is an effective alternative to traditional surgical stripping of the Greater Saphenous vein.

Will all my veins be gone?

Most moderate to severe varicose veins are usually caused by venous reflux of the saphenous veins. You have two saphenous veins in each leg: a large one and a smaller one. Venous reflux is when blood flows backward towards your feet instead of towards your heart where it is supposed to flow. The result is blood pooling in your lower extremities, raising the pressure and making the vein bulge out and distend. Venous reflux is a medical condition that can result in pain, swelling, and open ulcers in the legs as well as tired and “heavy” feeling legs. Smaller varicose veins can be corrected with Sclerotherapy for cosmetic enhancement purposes.

Who is a candidate for Laser Vein Treatments?

Providing you are a candidate for treatment, the medical technician will arrange for a completely non-invasive mapping ultrasound which will be performed in an office. The ultrasound will show the effected saphenous veins and provide a ”map’ for the physician on the day of treatment.

What is the Laser Vein treatment like?

On the day of your laser vein treatment, a local anesthetic will be applied to the length of the vein to make the treatment virtually painless. With the assistance of ultrasound technology, a thin laser fiber will be threaded through a very small entry point, usually near the knee. Once inserted, targeted laser energy will be delivered inside the saphenous vein wall, closing the vein so that blood can be re-routed. The treatment takes about 1-3 hours and normal daily activities can be resumed immediately following the treatment with little to no discomfort. Treatment time can be under 1 hour, performed in an outpatient setting.

Does Insurance cover EVLT?

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of the ultrasound mapping appointment and a large percentage of the cost of the endovenous laser treatments needed. The amount of coverage depends on your health care policy. However, insurance will not cover any fees associated with sclerotherapy for cosmetic refinement. You may need to speak to your insurance company to make sure you are pre-approved.

What happens after Laser Vein treatment?

You will be able to return to your normal routine. Walking is encouraged for the next 3 – 4 days. The treated leg may feel slightly tender and you may experience some bruising and a feeling of tightness. Any discomfort should lessen in just a few days. Daytime compression hose is recommended for two weeks. With no large scars, there is minimal to no down time.

After treatment, blood no longer flows through the enlarged veins and the pooling of venous blood no longer occurs. The treated leg appears smooth and glowing again. Ready to be shown, again!

AMA
CMS
ACOS
SAGES
AOA
Phlebology
GJV

Grand Junction Vein Center

2373 G Road #280
Grand Junction, Colorado. 81505
On the second floor of the Canyonview Medical Plaza
Tel: 970-242-VEIN (8346)