Venous Insufficiency 101
Top Treatments For Varicose Veins, Port Wine Stains, Rosacea & More
The human body is an amazing thing; a perfect ecosystem of flesh, bones, and blood that protects our organs from external damage, provides structural support to our limbs, and carries oxygen and essential nutrients throughout our bodies. In particular, the vascular system is especially impressive. According to Mental Floss, all the arteries, veins, and capillaries of a human child, stretched end to end, could wrap around the Earth about 2.5 times – the equivalent of about 60,000 miles. Additionally, the amount of blood vessels in a human adult could circle our planet four times, equaling 100,000 miles!
Arteries, veins, and capillaries do an important job of transporting blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body, in addition to carrying toxins and waste for elimination. Since veins execute so many significant functions, they need to be strong in order for your body to be strong. And if veins are too weak – a condition called venous insufficiency – they can stretch and blood can pool inside of them, causing swelling, discoloration, and discomfort over time. Although most forms of venous insufficiency are relatively benign, they can be embarrassing. In this blog we’ll explore four of the most common symptoms of venous insufficiency: varicose veins, spider veins, port wine stains, and rosacea, and different treatment options that can get rid of them for good.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, or gnarled veins that appear blue or purple, and they almost always affect the lower legs and feet primarily. Although unsightly, varicose veins are extremely common; in the U.S. alone, varicose veins affect about 23% of the population, and women are twice as likely than men to get them. Varicose vines are typically harmless, but if left untreated they can become inflamed and cause discomfort, itchy skin, and aching in the legs and feet. According to the Mayo Clinic, varicose veins develop when the tiny valves in your blood vessels weaken or become damaged. If that occurs, “blood can flow backward and pool in the vein, causing the veins to stretch or twist.”
While – technically – any superficial vein has the potential to become “varicosed,” veins in the legs and feet are typically most affected because they receive the most pressure from daily activities such as sitting, standing, and walking. There are a number of risk factors that may contribute to the development of varicose veins such as age, sex, obesity, genetics, and pregnancy! Yes, that’s correct – the hormone changes that women experience during pregnancy can cause the development of varicose veins. Although there’s no way to completely avoid them, exercise, eating a healthy diet, and elevating your legs can all alleviate feelings of discomfort and prevent the formation of additional varicose veins.
What Are Spider Veins?
Like varicose veins, spider veins are a medical condition caused by venous insufficiency, and they can be blue, purple, or even red. Also, like varicose veins, spider veins occur when the one-way valve inside the veins stop working properly, causing blood to pool within the vein. However, that’s where their similarities end. Instead of being large and bumpy, spider veins are typically small, thin lines that may be flat or ever so slightly raised. Additionally, whereas varicose veins are most common on the legs and feet, spider veins can occur anywhere on the body – even the face. For that reason, spider veins can become a prominent aesthetic issue that many men and women wish to eliminate though cosmetic treatments.
When a spider vein does occur on the face, it’s often the result of tiny blood vessels bursting. Although common risk factors include age, alcohol abuse, obesity, and genetics, excess sun exposure and pressure – such as forceful coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or even strain during childbirth – can also cause the formation of spider veins. According to Medical News Today, wearing compression socks or stockings can help decrease the appearance and formation of spider veins by putting pressure on the lower legs and improving blood flow. Compression socks or stockings might also help alleviate leg pain, swelling, and the formation of blood clots – especially when sitting for a long time like during an 8-hour workday or on a plane.
What Are Port Wine Stains?
According to WebMD, port wine stains are a type of birthmark that look like someone spilled red wine on the skin – hence the name. The condition is somewhat common; about three out of every 1,000 babies are born with a port wine stain; in babies, they typically look like a pink-to-reddish rash on the skin. Although port wine stains most commonly occur on the face, head, arms, and legs, they can appear anywhere on the body, just like spider veins. And although port wine stains are not painful and they’re generally benign, they can cause psychological distress by hurting a person’s self-confidence, especially as they move into adulthood and get questions from curious individuals who may have never seen a port wine stain before.
According to WebMD, nobody can prevent port wine stains from developing; it happens when a baby’s in the womb, and it’s not the mother’s fault by any means: “A port-wine stain happens when chemical signals in tiny blood vessels don’t ‘turn off,’ and those blood vessels get bigger. The extra blood turns the skin red.” Although researchers know that port wine stains are caused by the mutation of one specific gene, more studies are needed to determine what causes that change in a developing baby’s DNA. Notably, as a person ages, their port wine stain will typically grow with them, darken to a deep red or purple color, and go from feeling smooth to feeling rough and bumpy.
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea, unlike varicose veins, spider veins, and port wine stains, isn’t only caused by blood vessel irregularities – although they definitely can be a contributing factor. According to Web MD, doctors don’t know exactly what causes rosacea, but genetics, blood vessel trouble, mites, and even bacteria can all play a role. Although some people mistake rosacea for acne, it’s actually a condition that causes redness on your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead, and bumps that look like tiny pimples. Additionally, many people with rosacea also experience unpleasant symptoms like stinging and burning of your skin, dry skin, a swollen nose, larger pores, broken blood vessels on your eyelids, bumps on your eyelids, and even problems with seeing.
Often, the severity of rosacea may come and go, and people experience flare-ups when they become triggered. According to Web MD, a few things that can trigger flare-ups include sunlight, extreme temperatures, wind, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, exercise, and certain medications. Although rosacea is harmless and non-contagious, it can still cause emotional distress to the affected person. That’s why it’s important to remember that there are certain treatments that can help calm down rosacea flare-ups and keep them away for good. A few ways to help keep rosacea at bay include using a high-quality SPF whenever you go outside, moisturizing your skin to manage dry, itchy patches, and also adopting healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress levels.
Can Anything Get Rid Of Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, Port Wine Stains, And Rosacea For Good?
It’s important to remember that varicose veins, spider veins, port wine stains, and rosacea aren’t necessarily dangerous – they’re just unsightly. That said, nobody should have to live their life feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious. Although there are a number of “natural remedies” to address vascular conditions on the face and body, methods such as compression socks, retinoid creams, and sclerotherapy are only temporary solutions, and you need to keep up with them every day to maintain long-lasting results. To truly get rid of varicose veins, spider veins, port wine stains, and rosacea for good, Jiva Med Spa offers seven different technology systems that are driven by the power of science, lasers, and light.
The Seven Vein Treatment Systems At Jiva Med Spa
BroadBand Light (BBL) from Sciton is the world’s most powerful intense pulsed light device on the market, and it sets the industry standard in treating skin conditions like freckles, age spots, and rosacea that can make your skin look older and less radiant as you age. BBL therapy works by gently heating the upper layers of your skin with infrared light energy to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, and to also encourage the quick regeneration of your skin cells. Regarding common vascular conditions, BBL is best at treating cherry angiomas, telangiectasias, and rosacea.
ClearV – Sciton
The ClearV system by Sciton is another excellent option for vascular treatments since it effectively and safely treats a wide variety of issues including visible vessels, broken capillaries, spider veins, vascular lesions, and skin discoloration. By using Subsurface Vein Illumination (SVI) technology, ClearV is designed to give the provider enhanced visibility to see subsurface and feeder veins to treat the problem area more effectively and thoroughly. Notably, most people who undergo treatment with the ClearV system experience virtually zero downtime and can immediately go back to their daily routines.
ClearScan ALX – Sciton
The ClearScan ALX has a record of being the most comfortable treatment for permanent hair reduction, but it also has the ability to treat vascular lesions, benign pigmented lesions, and wrinkles! According to Sciton, ClearScan ALX is designed for the practitioner to comfortably treat a patient in record time, all while maintaining efficacy. The system’s high-speed scanner ensures 100% coverage of the treatment area, which helps to avoid overlap and missed areas common with single spot handpieces. ClearScan ALX is also approved for treating skin of color and all skin types.
Pro-V – Sciton
Last but not least from Sciton, the Pro-V system is a safe, fast, and effective solution for venous insufficiency such as varicose veins and venous ulcers. Under local anesthesia, a fiber is inserted in the affected vein. Then, heat generated by the absorption of laser energy closes the incompetent vein for good, safely redirecting blood flow elsewhere. The Pro-V machine’s wavelength targets water in the blood, which captures heat in the vein, thus reducing injury to surrounding tissue and significantly improving patient comfort levels and overall satisfaction.
GentleMax Pro – Candela
A gold standard machine for traditional laser hair removal, the Gentle Pro Series from Candela goes beyond hair removal to tread a myriad of indications, including vascular lesions, port wine stains, diffuse redness, leg veins, pigmented lesions, and so much more. The GentleMax Pro machine features dual wavelengths for ultimate convenience, and it’s designed with a unique air-cooling option to maximize patient comfort and satisfaction during treatment. The GentleMax Pro is also a very versatile laser system, and it can treat a broad range of skin colors and skin types.
Elite+ Aesthetic Workstation – CynoSure
The Elite+ Aesthetic Workstation from CynoSure delivers reliable treatments for hair removal, vascular treatments, epidermal pigments, and wrinkle reduction. Its dual-wavelength technology quickly and effectively treats all skin types while delivering years of long-term, cost-effective performance. The Elite+ system also features special air-cooling technology to enhance patient comfort, while different wavelengths allow the provider to quickly switch between treatments within a single session. With Elite+, you can diminish the appearance of face and leg veins without surgery or lengthy recovery times.
LightPod V650 – Aerolase
The LightPod V650 machine from Aerolase improves upon the gold-standard devices for vascular lesions, and its unique wavelength depth of penetration allows it to treat deep and superficial vessels, thick lesions and plaques, diffuse redness, and more – all without the need for any skin cooling or anesthetic! The LightPod V650 system is effective on both the face and the body, and it’s even gentle enough for babies with vascular lesions. With a lower absorption of melanin, the LightPod V650 is safe and gentle for all skin types and tanned skin, and greatly reduces the risk of scarring.
Looking For A Vein Treatment? Jiva Med Spa Is The #1 Place In Ohio!
If you’re looking for industry-leading vein treatments in Columbus or Dayton, Ohio, Jiva Med Spa is the #1 place to go. We offer the JOULE X platform and BroadBand Light (BBL) technology from Sciton, in addition to the Candela GentleMax Pro, CynoSure Elite+, and Aerolase LightPod V650 system. Depending on your unique venous insufficiency condition, we can recommend a treatment plan that will get rid of your varicose veins, spider veins, port wine stains, rosacea, and birthmarks, and keep them away for good!
Our vein treatments systems provide life-changing results no matter your skin type, tone, or texture. During your FREE consultation, we’ll assess your needs and develop a treatment plan that’s unique to you.