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.

mental health vein health connectionMost people agree that physical health and mental health are linked. That is evidenced by the fact that living with chronic illnesses including venous disease can negatively impact yout mental wellness. The converse is also true: poor mental health takes a toll on your physical health, making underlying problems worse.

Really, anything that decreases your energy can lead to fatigue, inactivity, and weight gain, beginning a cycle of illness that then increases your risk of complications of vein disease. These complications can include painful bulging varicose veins, heavy, aching, swollen legs, night cramps, bleeding veins, skin changes including ulcers, and superficial and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

But it is not all bad news. As long as you are open to understanding the interconnectivity of your mind and body, you will be more empowered to make the effort to get proper care and to make the necessary changes in order to have a better quality of life. Even a modest improvement can make a difference in your overall health and well-being.

Poor Mental Health Impacts on Vein Health

As we mentioned previously, stress and poor mental health can have deleterious effects on the body causing:

  • Low energy
  • Inactivity
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced immunity
  • Insufficient sleep

And as it turns our, most of these are well-documented risk factors for developing varicose veins and blood clots in the legs. Symptoms of these conditions include:

  • Heavy, fatigued, sore legs
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Night cramps
  • Leg swelling and pain
  • Bulging varicose veins and spider veins
  • Difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time
  • Skin changes in color and texture
  • Ulcerated skin

Of course, if your mental health ever diminishes to the point that you can no longer care for yourself, you need to seek professional psychiatric care. There is nothing wrong with getting the help you need, especially when your life depends on it.

Mental Health Self-Care

That leaves us with the ways to take care of your mental health. This has become especially difficult during the pandemic. But the more of these you can incorporate, the better off you will be:

  • Doing things that keep your mind sharp, like puzzles, or learning about a subject that fascinates you.

  • Reading books or watching movies that inspire you and fuel your mind.

  • Practicing self-compassion and acceptance.

  • Engaging in activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings on a regular basis.

  • Putting time and energy into building and maintaining relationships with others.

Taking care of yourself not only physically but also mentally is extremely important. Take time to reflect on some of the things you can do to improve your health today!

For more self-care strategies, see https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729.

Close up of human face skin with vascular problemsWhat spider veins are and how they form

Before explaining this key-question it is very important to mention what spider veins are and how they form. Spider veins are similar to the dreaded varicose veins but are smaller and are located closer to the surface of your skin. They are like roots of trees or spider webs (thus, the name spider veins) that generally appear on your face and legs. They can cover from a very small part to a very large and obvious area of your skin.

So have you ever wondered how do these pesky veins come into being? Your veins have valves that help your blood healthily flow up your legs. Weak valves can cause your blood to go back down and stay stuck in various portions of your legs. Spider veins, as well as varicose veins, are mainly caused by this blood leakage.

Who gets spider veins

Weak valves in the vein may be due to aging; hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause; and, excessive weight gain. Sometimes, you’re also unfortunate to have weak vein valves running in the family. People with jobs that require them to sit or stand for long periods of time could easily find themselves suffering from this vein problem. Fair-skinned people could also suffer from this due to prolonged sun exposure.

These sorts of veins generally not considered to be dangerous. They can cause discomfort and are unsightly, but generally do not lead to any further problems. Varicose veins, however, can be more serious, leading to blood clots, open sores, and infections.

Spider vein prevention

It is popularly said that prevention is better than cure. There are certain things we can do to reduce the risk of spider veins appearing on our bodies. Even though the condition can be hereditary, certain lifestyles can at least slow down the process. Some of the things that can be done to prevent spider veins include:d

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Maintain an appropriate blood pressure
  • Wear compression socks
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • A healthy lifestyle can prevent or at least slow down the emergence of these spider veins. If however, they are already on display, it is important to seek professional help.

 

When spider veins can disappear

In some cases, spider veins may be permanent and in some cases, they may disappear on their own after a period of months, especially if they were caused by pregnancy or certain medications.

Spider vein removal

The spider vein removal treatment that’s now highly recommended by well-trained cosmetic doctors is sclerotherapy. In this procedure, the doctor, using a very fine needle, injects liquid into your unwanted veins. The liquid, which is usually saltwater-based or saline solution, should irritate your veins – meaning your veins would swell, seal themselves, and turn into scar tissue. Your unwanted veins should fade a few weeks after the treatment.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a painless procedure and does not require any anesthesia. Most of the sclerotherapy sessions are over in a matter of 30 minutes. It is often considered as an alternative for surface laser treatment, which is also a quick procedure but can be quite painful. In some sclerotherapy cases, a vein may need to be treated a second time after about a month or so. Almost all patients are capable of immediately going back to their daily routine, except for strenuous exercises and activities. Doctors also usually recommend patients to wear heavy support stockings for a couple of weeks after the treatment to make sure the veins heal properly.

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.

 

 

 

Varicose veins bleeding is one complication that can arise if left untreated for too long.

Undoubtedly, varicose veins can be very painful and most people are embarrassed by their appearance. In addition to pain, other symptoms may include itching, redness, and dryness of the affected areas. Cramps, excessive bleeding, and slow healing are complications of the condition. Yes, you read it right; bleeding is one of the complications of varicose veins. Have you ever wondered why varicose vein bleeds?

Let us dig this little deeper for you and tell you everything about varicose vein bleeding.

Varicose veins are weaker and less efficient than healthy veins. Because they can’t effectively pump blood upwards, blood pools in the leg, placing more pressure on the veins and causing them to become larger and more fragile. As a result, varicose and spider veins are prone to sudden rupture, causing spontaneous bleeding.

Because varicose veins are just below the surface, a slight injury to the skin overlying the vein can cause bleeding as well. Just scratching the legs too hard or brushing up against furniture can be enough to cause a break. This bleeding can occur at any time, but it’s more likely to happen during a warm shower when the veins are more dilated. Patients also report bleeding incidents occurring at night.

What to Expect from a Bleeding Varicose Vein

Because veins contain more blood than capillaries, the varicose vein bleeding isn’t like pricking your finger — the volume can actually be surprisingly high. In fact, patients sometimes think they have ruptured an artery, as the blood may pulsate from the vein.

Varicose vein bleeding is typically sudden, too, catching patients off guard and upending activities. This can be disconcerting, especially if it happens in public.

How to Treat Varicose Vein Bleeding

Typically, minor bleeds can be resolved by applying gentle pressure. If possible, you should sit or lay down so that the leg is higher than the heart. But if the bleeding doesn’t stop or seems severe, you should immediately call or go to the emergency room.

For some patients, varicose vein bleeding can actually become dangerous. Patients on blood thinners and older patients – who have thinner, more delicate skin – are especially susceptible to blood loss. Pregnant women must be especially cautious, as bleeding can quickly lead to serious medical situations.

After receiving medical care, your doctor may recommend you stay off your feet to keep the wound from reopening. Avoid touching or removing the scab, as this can retrigger bleeding.

Treat Your Veins to Prevent Bleeding

The only sure way to avoid spontaneous varicose vein bleeding is to have your veins treated by a professional. Don’t wait until you find yourself in an embarrassing or even dangerous situation.

If you or someone you know has experienced bleeding from a superficial varicose vein, it is important to see a vein specialist.  Prevention is key; through appropriate diagnosis and treatment, sudden bleeding from a bulging varicose or spider vein can be avoided.

varicose veins and dvt
Varicose veins and DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) can occur in severe cases of vein dysfunction.

Varicose veins and DVT can occur together if the varicose veins are severe enough. Usually, however, varicose veins affect the veins close to the surface of the skin. The vein specialists at Grand Junction Vein Center can help you assess your risk for deep vein thrombosis, a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.

Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and twisting veins, often appearing blue or dark purple. They happen when faulty valves in the veins allow blood to flow in the wrong direction or to pool. More than 23 percent of all adults are thought to be affected by varicose veins.

While Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. If the vein swells, the condition is called thrombophlebitis. A deep vein thrombosis can break loose and cause a serious problem in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.

Any vein in the human body can be a ‘varicose vein’, but the most common occurrences are seen in those veins which are subjects to maximum stress and strain; like those in the legs and feet. Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins (blood vessels) found close to your skin’s surface. They normally occur due to the increase in pressure on a particular vein which in turn twists them.

Before we try and understand the varicose veins, in particular, it is pertinent for us to understand the significance of veins and arteries in the human body. The veins and the arteries are the blood vessels, which carry around blood within the human body. As the heart continues to pump, it sends blood around the body through the arteries. The arteries keep branching into smaller vessels until the blood flows into capillaries. The walls of capillaries are only one cell thick, so that oxygen, glucose and other substances can pass through them to nourish the tissues. The waste materials of metabolism, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, filter in the opposite direction into the capillaries. A network of capillaries runs close to the cells in every part of the body, delivering nutrients while taking away waste products in the bloodstream.

Capillaries join to form veins. These smaller veins, in turn, combine together to form two major veins that return the blood to the heart. These are called the superior vena cava; which carries blood from the upper part of the body, and, the inferior vena cava; which carries blood from the legs, pelvis and the abdomen region.

The veins contain valves that are very important to their functioning. Valves are more important in the functioning of the veins in the lower part of the body as it pumps blood back to the heart and any malfunctioning can cause it to flow in the reverse direction. More often, a fault in these valves leads to a condition called varicose veins. The valves, which don’t allow the blood to flow in the reverse direction, are naturally designed to withstand pressure within the body.

Fortunately, for most people varicose veins are simple cosmetic conditions which can be treated through cosmetic surgery. However, for some, it is a very painful and discomforting condition. For them, a varicose vein might signal a more serious disorder in the circulatory system.

Call Grand Junction Vein Center today at 970-242-8346 for a free vein screening, especially if you are concerned that you might be at risk for deep vein thrombosis.

Varicocele Grand Junction Varicocele is a common male reproductive disorder. Varicocele occurs when the veins found in the scrotum become enlarged. The cause of these enlarged veins (or varicose veins) is due to the abnormal flow of blood into the testicles. In a man that doesn’t have Varicocele; the blow flows normally to the testicles through an artery and then flows out via a network of tiny veins that then drains into a larger, longer vein that travels up through the abdomen. The direction of this blood flow in the vein should always be upwards, towards the heart. A collection of one-way valves in the vein prevent the flow of this blood reversing back into the testicles.

What Causes Varicocele?

These one-way valves sometimes fail. The reverse flow of blood stretches and enlarges the tiny veins around the testicle to cause a Varicocele, a tangled network of blood vessels, or a varicose vein. Varicocele is more common among young males in their twenties or thirties. According to some studies and research, this condition affects approximately 10 percent of the male population. This condition can be very painful especially if the patient has had a Varicocele for a considerable length of time.

Signs and Symptoms of Varicocele

The first telling symptom is a throbbing pain localized in the male genital region. You can feel this either while standing or sitting for long periods of time. This condition and the pain can be made worse if you are doing heavy lifting or exerting energy that could impact on that region.
Varicocele is also one of the causes of infertility among men. The link between the two is not yet clear, but many researchers theorize that the increase in temperature due to the enlarged veins is causing problems in the production of healthy sperm. Moreover, other symptoms of this disorder that is linked to problems infertility are low sperm count, decreased sperm movement, and an increase in the number of deformed sperm cells.
Finally, the most serious sign of this disorder is testicular atrophy or the shrinking of the testicles. This is commonly diagnosed when there is an observable size difference between the two testicles.

Treatment of Varicocele

If you have been diagnosed with this disorder, there are a number of treatments that you can choose from. This disorder is usually harmless for the affected individual, but if there is pain, swelling, and signs of infertility, then treatment is really necessary. For those who are in the early stages of the disorder, may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory. It’s most likely that your physician will instruct you to wear more comfortable underwear to provide the necessary support to the testicles.

However, if anti-inflammatories do not alleviate the pain or swelling, then your physician may recommend the Varicocele surgery known as a varicocelectomy.

Surgery for Varicocele

This procedure is done by an urologist using local anesthesia. During surgery, the enlarged veins are tied off and the blood flow is redirected to normal flowing veins. After surgery, the patient should not do any heavy lifting. It is also likely that the need for a scrotal support device and an ice pack will help with post-surgery pain and swelling.

Once the enlarged veins have been removed, you can expect the pain to go away. You can also resume normal sexual functions. Varicocele is not as serious as testicular cancer, but it deserves the same medical attention to avoid any further discomfort and fertility issues.

Are varicose veins dangerousDo you want to know the answer to the million-dollar question- Are Varicose Veins Dangerous or Are Your Varicose Veins a sign of deeper trouble? It’s the question that needs to be asked when varicose veins, often become so commonplace. And the answer to this question is, ”sometimes”. Typically, they’re not dangerous and not all varicose veins require medical treatment, some varicose veins can be managed with lifestyle changes that prevent them from advancing. However, some varicose veins are more severe and require medical treatment. By the time most people see a vein specialist for their varicose veins; their veins are already large, bulging, and painful. At this point, the odds of developing a secondary condition have increased.

Let me dig this a little deeper for you and explain to you about the sometimes dangerous consequences of not having your varicose veins monitored, and treated by a trained vein specialist.

Bleeding Varicose Veins

If your varicose veins are quite prominent, they may injure easily. This often can result in severe bruising or bleeding. The small prominent veins can even begin to bleed on their own, which can be very scary. If this happens to you, the blood will spurt steadily in a stream because there is pressure.
So what you need to do if this happens to you is immediately get your leg elevated and put pressure on the affected area. Your doctor should be consulted if you find yourself more and more prone to these types of injuries.

Varicose Veins and Leg Ulcers

When varicose veins are left untreated, the pressure and inflammation from fluid buildup in the area can lead to skin changes and an open sore that can become infected. About 80% of skin ulcers in the lower leg are caused by varicose veins. Leg ulcers most often occur just above the ankle and are difficult to treat and heal. Without treatment, the infection can spread.

Blood Clots

Blood clots are common with varicose veins. While most of the clots are found in superficial veins, they can sometimes move into deeper veins which can be fatal as the clot can easily find its way in the bloodstream and into your lungs. In the lungs, the clot will cause pulmonary embolism which is life-threatening.
In some cases, the blood clot can form in the vein bringing about a condition known as thrombophlebitis. When you have the condition you tend to feel warm and the blood veins are painful and red.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

When the blood in your veins doesn’t flow properly you tend to interfere with the way that your skin interacts with the blood. For example, it will interfere with the way that your skin exchanges nutrients, waste products, and oxygen with the blood.
If you disrupt the exchange for a long time you will suffer from chronic venous insufficiency. Over time, chronic venous insufficiency results to conditions such as varicose eczema, venous ulcers, and lipodermatosclerosis.

To avoid the above-mentioned complications that come when varicose veins are left untreated you, need to get rid of the veins as soon as possible. Since these varicose veins have the potential of being harmful to you, you should ensure that you first consult your doctor before you take measures to treat them on your own.

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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)