blue veins in leg

Why Are Veins Blue?

Red blood is carried around your body by arteries and veins—so why do they show up as blue under your skin?  There’s a simple answer to that. 

Usually, blue veins are nothing to worry about. But sometimes they can be the sign of poor vein health. Read on to find out all about what your vein color means and vein warning signs to look out for. We’ve even included simple tips to keep your vein health in tip-top shape!

Why Your Veins Are Blue

Blue or dark-colored veins are normal and healthy, although it can be a bit strange seeing dark blue veins pop up on your skin. 

Veins look blue because of the way our eyes process light waves and color. When red light hits your skin, its longer wavelengths reach deep into where your veins are located. The red blood in veins absorbs the light. Blue light doesn’t travel as deep as red light does due to its shorter wavelengths. This means that it’s deflected from the skin. Our eyes catch that deflection and process the color blue. Thus, veins look blue instead of red.

Blue veins are common on the chest and legs. Other factors that impact the color and visibility of your veins include:

  • Genetics
  • Skin color
  • Medical conditions
  • Hormones
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Exercise

When to Watch Out for Vein Color

If you’ve always had blue veins, you don’t have much to worry about. However, there are cases where your vein color could signify a bigger problem. Here’s when to get that strange vein color checked out:

  • If you’ve never had blue veins before. If a vein suddenly and rapidly turns blue, it could be a sign of blood pooling in your circulatory system or deep vein thrombosis.

  • If the vein color is changing. Seek medical help if your vein color changes from blue to a darker blue, purple, or even green as this can mean you are suffering venous insufficiency.
  • If your blue veins are accompanied by ulcers. Blue veins in your legs coupled with ulcers are a sign of vein disease.

  • If the vein hurts. If your blue vein begins to hurt, it’s best to call a doctor.

Blue Veins Are Normal—These Veins Are Not

Although everyone has blue veins, very visible blue veins may indicate vein disease. This is not something to take lightly as vein disease can lead to serious complications and even death. Keep an eye out for unusual veins and symptoms, such as:

  • Gnarled, raised veins
  • Swelling in legs and ankles
  • Heaviness in legs
  • Dry, hardened skin on legs
  • Cramping or aches in your thigh and calf
  • Leg pain that dissipates after walking

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with your blue veins, it’s time to call a medical professional as these could indicate you have vein disease. 

3 Tips for Healthy Veins

If your blue veins aren’t accompanied by any pain, discomfort, or other discoloration, chances are your veins are healthy. Keep them healthy by practicing habits that support good vein health, such as:

Daily Exercise

One of the best ways to ensure good vein health is to stay active. Exercise gets your blood flowing and can help improve your circulation, leading to healthy veins. Even something as simple as taking a daily walk can make a big impact on your vein health. 

Balanced Meals

Health starts in the kitchen. When you put nutrient-rich food in your body, those nutrients work with your body to boost your health. Try adding these foods into your diet (your veins will thank you!):

  • Leafy Greens: kale, spinach, collard greens
  • Antioxidant-rich Snacks: blueberries, strawberries, pecans, dark chocolate
  • Healthy Fats: avocados, olive oil, salmon

Avoid Smoking

Smoking and second-hand smoke are detrimental to your vein health. Studies have shown that the carbon monoxide and tar from cigarette smoke affect the ability of veins to properly carry blood throughout your body and affect the quality of your veins. This can lead to serious vascular diseases and coronary heart disease. Immediate effects of smoking include the narrowing of veins, which may lead to hardened veins in the future. 

Check on Your Vein Health for Free

The Gilvydis Vein Clinic is here for you. We know that healthy veins can lead to a better quality of life, which is why we want to help you stay on top of your vein health. 

If you suspect that you have varicose veins or spider veins, come into our clinic for a free vein screening. We’re known for our reputation in excellent vein care and leading customer service. You can rest assured that we will provide you with the best possible outcome for your veins and for you.

man holding ankle sitting in grass

Tingling in Legs: A Common Symptom of Poor Circulation

The occasional tingling sensation in your leg usually means nothing. Sometimes you’ve been sitting too long, or have had your leg in a certain position for quite a while. But if you are feeling tingling in your legs often—enough where it’s noticeable—then it might mean something more. 

Tingling is a major characteristic of poor blood circulation. In some cases, poor blood circulation can be mitigated by a pair of compression socks and a switch to your diet. In other cases, it’s more serious and needs to be treated before it leads to vein complications. Regardless, it’s important to stay updated and informed on blood circulation and what tingling legs could mean. Read on to find out!

Causes of Tingling in Legs

No matter your lifestyle or condition, the number one cause for tingling legs is poor circulation. But what exactly is poor circulation? And what causes it? 

Poor circulation is when there is insufficient blood flow to certain areas of the body, like the legs and feet. Common causes of poor circulation include:

  • Peripheral Artery Disease: This is where plaque (made of cholesterol deposits) blocks your arteries and affects their ability to carry blood to the legs.
  • Atherosclerosis: Also caused by plaque, this is when arteries harden up and cannot do their job. If untreated, it can lead to stroke, heart attack, or heart failure.
  • Vasospasm: This is a complication that causes arteries to narrow and reduces blood flow; it’s especially common in legs.
  • Obesity: Extra weight on the body puts a burden on the legs and can lead to circulation problems.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes affects blood circulation because it causes cramping in the legs and causes an increased risk for heart disease, which goes hand and hand with poor blood circulation.

Symptoms of Poor Circulation in Legs

Not sure if your tingling legs mean there’s something up with your circulation? Here are other common symptoms that indicate poor circulation:

  • Numbness
  • Throbbing or stinging pain
  • Aches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling
  • Warmth or coolness in limbs

If you are regularly experiencing tingling in your legs or any other poor circulation symptoms, visit a vein doctor so that you can determine how to treat it—before poor blood circulation leads to varicose veins and other vein complications. 

Tingling in Lower Legs, Feet, & More

Tingling in your lower legs can occur in your shins, calves, ankles, or feet. Usually, it is felt in your whole leg or below the knee. It is characterized by a tingling, numb feeling and can also feel like the sensation of pins and needles. It may be accompanied by cold feet or swelling. The tingling sensation can occur at any moment, although it often increases when sitting or standing for long periods of time. 

graphic showing 3 ways to improve leg circulation

3 Ways To Improve Leg Circulation

Even if you have poor circulation, it’s never too late to turn it around. Improve blood flow and circulations with these three things:

Exercise

Exercise helps improve leg circulation by raising your heart rate. When your heart rate rises, blood gets pumped around your body faster, and it helps flush blood through your arteries—thus improving blood circulation.

No need to become a powerlifter or a professional runner. Even something as simple as a daily walk can help! You can also try yoga and swimming for low-impact exercises that improve blood circulation.

Compression Socks

Not the most fashionable (but definitely helpful), compression socks work by gently compressing your legs to push blood flow upwards. This helps prevent swelling and even blood clots. Compression socks can be worn over specific problem areas as well so that you can target localized areas of poor circulation.

A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can make a difference in almost everything: mood, sleep, weight, immunity—even blood circulation. Fresh fruits and veggies are often rich in vitamin C, nitrate, antioxidants, and these all contribute to improved circulation. So next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up foods like:

  • Beets
  • Spinach
  • Oranges
  • Berries

Additionally, certain proteins can help prevent things that contribute to poor circulation. For instance, eating fish is great for your health because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that consuming omega-3 can help keep your arteries free of cholesterol build-up, helping improve your chances of good blood circulation. 

The Gilvydis Vein Clinic

Are you experiencing tingling or numbness? Don’t put your health at risk—visit the Gilvydis Vein Clinic to go see a specialist.

We are known for our excellence in vein care and customer experience. At the Gilvydis Vein Clinic, you can rest assured that you’ll always get the highest-quality, individualized care with the best possible outcomes. Schedule your free screening today!

Treating Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Top Treatment Options for Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency can hold you back. Symptoms of CVI are often painful and bothersome, while the disease itself is an indicator of a serious blood flow problem in your leg veins. But don’t worry—chronic venous insufficiency can be treated. 

Learn about what your options are if you have CVI by reading further.

What Is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI?)

Chronic venous insufficiency—also known as CVI—happens when the veins in your legs have difficulty sending blood back up to your heart. Usually, they pump blood throughout your entire body. These leg veins allow the blood to circulate throughout your leg then back to your heart. If it doesn’t flow back up, then blood pools down in your legs, causing CVI and other leg complications.

Quick Stats about Chronic Venous Insufficiency:

  • 40% of U.S. people have CVI
  • CVI commonly affects people over 50
  • More women have CVI than men

What Causes CVI?

CVI is commonly caused by blood clots and varicose veins, although a lot of other factors come into play. When blood clots cause CVI, the forward flow of blood through the vein is obstructed, and blood pools up underneath the clot. Varicose veins usually have missing or damaged valves in which blood leaks back down into the leg. The other factors include:

  • Pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Lack of exercise
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Smoking

Another more serious cause of CVI is deep vein thrombosis. Up to 20% of patients that experience deep vein thrombosis can have permanent damage in their vein valves. This means the valves won’t fully enable blood flow and may cause blood pooling in the legs.

What Are the Risk Factors of CVI?

Risk factors of CVI include:

  • Pre-existing vein conditions, like varicose veins
  • High blood pressure
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Blood clots
  • Damaged valves

What Are the Symptoms of CVI?

You may be at risk for CVI if you have experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Swollen or heavy legs, especially in your lower legs or ankles
  • Pain that worsens when you stand
  • Leg cramps
  • Throbbing in your legs
  • Skin discoloration
  • Restless legs
  • Varicose veins

These symptoms typically worsen over time, especially if you let them go untreated and undiagnosed. This can ultimately lead to ulcers, bleeding, or even potentially life-threatening deep vein thrombosis.

Stages of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

The first step to treatment is knowing what stage your CVI is in. This is determined when you visit your local vein clinic to get a screening and a vein mapping ultrasound. The stage you are in determines the treatment you will receive.

Treatment for Early Stages of CVI

If you’re in the early stages of CVI, treatment tends to be geared towards lifestyle changes that will improve blood flow. One of the most common treatments for early CVI is compression socks. Compression socks apply pressure to your ankle and lower leg to help improve blood flow and reduce swelling. Based on your symptoms, your vein doctor will tell you the strength and length of the prescription sock you need. 

Other treatments include:

  • Elevating your legs as often as possible
  • Keeping legs uncrossed when sitting
  • Engaging in physical activity and exercise regularly
  • Taking medications like diuretics and anticoagulants

Treatment for Later Stages of CVI

If you have serious CVI, you might need to get surgical procedures to help improve blood flow. This advanced treatment will be determined by your doctor’s diagnosis. Treatments can include:

This is when your doctor inserts a catheter into your leg vein to close off bad veins with heat and light. This helps redirect blood into your healthy veins and improves blood flow. This minimally invasive procedure takes about 45 minutes. 

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical treatment in which a sclerosant solution is injected into the vein, causing scarring. Similar to endovenous laser ablation, this redirects blood flow into healthy veins. The veins that had the sclerosant injected into them will shrink until they are reabsorbed into tissue and are no longer visible. 

  • Surgery

For severe cases of CVI, surgery is needed. This may mean ligation or surgical bypass. Usually, this is reserved for when CVI affects deep veins and not superficial ones.

Get Checked for CVI—For Free

If you have experienced any CVI symptoms or have a family history of CVI, it’s best to stay on top of your vein health by getting checked out at your local vein clinic. Sometimes, symptoms of CVI may go unnoticed, causing further complications down the line.

Regardless of risk factors and causes, screening for chronic venous insufficiency can help you keep your legs healthy. At Gilvydis Vein Clinic in Geneva & Sycamore, we know just how important vein health is—which is why we offer free screenings. 

Get your free screening today! Request your free screening right on our website, and get ready to love your legs again.

 

Healthy Legs showing veins walking up stairs

How To Improve Vein Health in Legs: Circulation, Exercise & Food

Whether you’re 5 or 50, vein health matters. It especially matters when it comes to your legs—they are, after all, what literally carry you throughout life.  

Most people don’t give much thought to the circulation and vein health of their legs. But taking care of your vein health doesn’t have to take up too much of your time! By adjusting your routine a bit, you can help your legs get the care they need. 

Read on to discover how you can improve vein health in your legs through exercise, food, and even yoga!

What Causes Unhealthy Leg Veins?

Unhealthy leg veins have numerous causes—many of them avoidable. Common causes of unhealthy veins include:

  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer
  • Family history of venous insufficiency
  • Sitting/standing for long periods of time without moving
  • Leg injury or muscle weakness
  • Age over 50

There’s no assurance that you can completely avoid poor vein health, but implementing healthy lifestyle choices can help lower the risk of it. And these choices don’t have to be dramatic, life-altering things. Simply taking walks and eating more greens can make all the difference.

3 Ways to Improve Vein Health

Ready to improve your vein health? It starts with these three tips:

  1. Exercise

One way to improve vein health is by increasing the circulation in your legs. You can do this by moving them—and what better way to move them than by exercise? 

To get the blood flowing,  start small. Try taking a short, 5-minute walk as often as you can. Studies suggest that this holds benefits not only for your veins but for your overall health. Don’t feel like walking? Here are some movements to practice when you’re lying down:

  • Ankle pumping
  • Knee bends
  • Leg lifts
  1. Yoga

Yoga has long been used to improve blood circulation throughout the body. The best part? Yoga is low impact and can be done by people at all levels, making it one of the most accessible forms of exercise. Here are the top yoga positions to help the circulatory system:

  • Downward dog
  • Warrior II
  • Viparita Karani (legs-up-the-wall pose)

When doing these poses, make sure to take long, deep breaths and stay relaxed, not stiff. It is recommended to hold these poses for at least 20 seconds.

  1. Food for Vein Health

What you put on your plate can directly affect your vein health. Along with exercise and yoga, try eating foods that are low in sodium and rich in fiber, vitamins C and E, and rutin. 

These foods can include: 

  • Whole grains: oatmeal and brown rice
  • Leafy greens: spinach and kale
  • Fruit: strawberries, oranges, and bell peppers
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fish
  • Rutin-rich foods: asparagus, green tea, and figs

Last but not least, be sure to stay hydrated! Water is essential for a healthy, working circulatory system.

Vein Health Complications? We’re Here To Help

Maybe you found this article too late; maybe you’re predisposed to problem veins. No matter the case, the Gilvydis Vein Clinic is here to help you improve your vein health.

We want to make you happy and your veins healthy. That’s why we offer free screenings with a certified vein specialist at our clinics.

You can count on us to provide you with a world-class vein clinic experience, from excellent customer service to custom-tailored treatment. 

Don’t let varicose or spider veins bring you down. Schedule a free vein screening at one of our vein clinic locations in Sycamore or Geneva.

 

 

Women holding leg showing spider veins

Treating Spider Veins With Sclerotherapy

Looking for the perfect spider vein treatment? Sclerotherapy might just be the answer.

Of all the spider vein treatment options, sclerotherapy seems to check all the boxes. It’s minimally invasive, requires little to no healing, and is over in a matter of minutes. But before you decide whether it’s right for you, read on to learn about a common treatment for spider veins called Sclerotherapy.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small, damaged blood vessels visible on the surface of your skin. They usually have a red or purple hue and are commonly found on the legs or face. Contrary to popular belief, people of all ages can get spider veins, including younger people. However, they’re typically present in those over the age of 50. 

If left untreated, spider veins can worsen or cause vein disease and unpleasant symptoms, like aches and pains—and in serious cases, blood clots and ulcers. Fortunately, you might be able to minimize spider veins’ development by staying informed about their risk factors. These include:

  • Sun exposure
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy
  • Some types of medication

What to Know Before Sclerotherapy Treatment

  • Avoid medications like tetracycline, Minocin, aspirin, and ibuprofen 48 hours before the procedure
  • Don’t apply lotion to your legs before or after the procedure
  • Wear shorts to your appointment
  • Mention any previous vein treatments you’ve had in the initial consultation

Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins and Other Vein Disease Treatment

Sclerotherapy is up to 80% effective in treating damaged spider veins, and fewer than 10% of people report that sclerotherapy did not help treat their veins. It’s not only beneficial for spider vein patients, however. 

Sclerotherapy also helps treat varicose veins. Instead of liquid sclerotherapy (which is what is used for spider veins), foam sclerotherapy is used for the treatment of varicose veins. This treatment still uses Polidocanol, but with added oxygen and carbon dioxide. This makes it more effective for treating varicose veins. It helps get rid of varicose veins by redirecting the blood to flow through healthier, undamaged veins. Additionally, sclerotherapy aids in treating hemorrhoids for those who can’t risk surgical procedures.

Is a Sclerotherapy Procedure Right for Me?

Wondering if sclerotherapy is right for you? Looking for the perfect vein treatment to help you love your legs again can be challenging, but sclerotherapy has many benefits to consider.

Benefits of Sclerotherapy Treatment:

  • Minimally Invasive. Sclerotherapy just requires some simple prep and an injection or two—which means you can get back to doing what you love in less time.
  • Helps Diminish Damaged Veins. By injecting the sclerosant agent, the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins will fade within a couple of weeks. 
  • Gets Rid of Vein Damage Symptoms. As your damaged veins heal, the symptoms of them will also be alleviated. 
  • Can Be Covered by Insurance.  Liquid sclerotherapy for cosmetic spider veins isn’t covered by insurance. However, if you need sclerotherapy for varicose veins, your insurance might cover it.

While sclerotherapy can help almost anyone, those who’re pregnant or breastfeeding aren’t eligible for sclerotherapy. If you have had a blood clot before, your eligibility could be impacted but will be determined by a physician on an individual basis. Similarly, if you have veins that might be used for future heart bypass surgery, you may not be eligible.

Finding Sclerotherapy Treatment Near Me

Ready to get sclerotherapy? Then it’s time to find the perfect vein clinic for you—and that’s where we come in.

At the Gilvydis Vein Clinic, not only will you get a top-rated experience, but you’ll also get treated by one of the best board-certified vascular and interventional radiologists in the county. The Gilvydis Vein Clinic is also one of the only four vein clinics in Illinois that is certified by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. Rest assured that your vein procedure will be perfectly customized to give you the best possible results, whether you go to our Geneva or Sycamore locations. Don’t wait—contact us today to schedule your free screening.

Gilvydis Vein Clinic Experience

Why Choose Us: Experience and Results

Living with the symptoms of varicose veins or spider veins can disrupt your quality of life. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we are the leading experts in vein disease in the region because we focus solely on the treatment of leg vein disease. We deliver successful outcomes, and our patients become our best advocates.

Patient Experience

We prioritize your experience during each step of the process. During the consultation, we explain what vein disease is and how it progresses, perform an exam that assesses if you have vein disease and how advanced it is, and we discuss next steps, which may include minimally invasive treatment in our clinic that will help relieve symptoms, improve the look of your legs, and requires little-to-no downtime. Each treatment plan is individualized to the patient depending on the stage their vein disease is in. Vein disease is covered by most insurance plans and before treatment, our team will work with your insurance and health benefits to secure medical coverage whenever possible.

Patient Outcomes

Our 5-star experience means that patients trust us to refer their family and friends back to our clinics. We also take pride in the fact that local healthcare providers trust us to refer their patients for care. After treatment, the most common thing we hear from patients is, “I wish I would have done this sooner.” Patients often go on to be our best advocates, regularly leaving 5-star reviews and recommendations on Google, Facebook, and other healthcare review platforms. One patient said:

“Dr. G. is a genius in his field! After two procedures the transformation in my leg and life is truly miraculous.”

Unmatched Expertise

Dr. Rimas Gilvydis brings the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease to the 21st century, combining modern technology with advanced expertise. He is a board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist, as well as a diplomate of the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine. Our leading-edge, minimally invasive treatments are performed in our state-of-the-art facilities by Dr. Gilvydis and his team. The team has performed more than 24,000 successful laser vein treatments.

You don’t have to delay help for your varicose veins or spider veins. Vein disease is progressive and if left untreated can become serious. A simple consultation can assess your legs and determine the next steps in your individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing any symptoms of vein disease, contact us today.

Varicose vein treatment options

How To Prevent Spider Veins

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are the dark purple or blue lines that show up near the face or legs’ surface because of damage to the veins. While they usually aren’t painful, they may make your legs feel heavy or achy, and the skin may burn, throb, or itch around spider veins after a long day on your feet. Spider veins on the face are usually bright red instead of blue or purple. They are common on the cheeks, nose, and even the neck. Several things that make blood vessels expand, like drinking alcohol, eating spicy foods, or heat, can make the appearance of spider veins on the face more prominent. 

How to Prevent Spider Veins?

Several factors affect your risk of developing spider veins, including age, gender, and genetic predisposition. However, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing them. 

Wear Sunscreen

Sun reduces the amount of collagen that builds connective tissue, causing the skin to weaken and lose elasticity and reducing pressure around the veins. The result is thin skin that shows blood vessels more prominently. The answer is to block the damaging UV rays by wearing sunscreen. This one simple step can reduce sun damage and reduce the likelihood of developing spider veins. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 every two hours is the best way to prevent spider veins on the face.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise not only reduces stress and helps regulate body weight, but it improves circulation. Cardiovascular exercises like running and walking are a great preventive treatment for spider veins and many other conditions. 

Lose Weight

Extra weight adds more pressure to veins. Decrease your risk of vascular damage by keeping your body at a healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Don’t Sit or Stand for Long Periods

Standing and sitting for long periods causes blood to pool in the legs, increasing your risk for vascular issues like spider veins. If your job requires you to stand or sit for long stretches, periodically change positions, shift your weight, do squats and calf raises, or take a brisk walk on breaks. This keeps the blood flow from becoming stagnant and potentially damaging the veins. 

Wear Low-Heeled Shoes and Loose Clothing

Your choice of clothing may influence your risk of spider veins. High heeled shoes don’t allow your calves to stretch, limiting the range of motion. Tight or constrictive clothing can impede blood flow. Choose lower heeled shoes and loose clothing to allow for a full range of movement to prevent spider veins. 

Put Your Feet Up

Particularly, if you are on your feet a lot, take an occasional break and put your legs up. Elevating legs above the heart reduces pressure on the veins by allowing blood to flow out of veins and back to the heart easily.

Ways To Prevent Spider Veins During Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases vascular pressure and the risk of developing spider veins. The good news is that they usually disappear on their own approximately four months postpartum. In addition to the other suggestions for how to prevent spider veins, try these tips if you are pregnant:

  • Wear a support hose or compression socks.
  • Don’t cross your ankles when you sit. 
  • Put your feet and legs up as often as possible.
  • Sleep on your left side and support your back with a pillow.

Can Spider Veins Be Treated?

The best way to know your treatment options is to schedule an appointment with your vein specialist in the Northern Illinois areas. There are several potential underlying reasons for spider veins, and your physician will want to make sure you are getting the right treatment for your condition. The three primary techniques for treating spider veins include:

  • Ultrasound vein mapping
  • Endovenous laser ablation
  • Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound vein mapping is an essential first step in treatment that allows the medical team to see your veins and identify any problem areas. Endovenous laser ablation is one of the most highly effective methods for treating conditions like spider veins and varicose veins. Using a tiny catheter and laser, your specialist can seal off the problem veins from the inside, causing the defective portion to die and be eliminated by the body. The best candidates for this procedure are those who are at a healthy weight with an active lifestyle. 

Sclerotherapy is a safe, minimally invasive, and highly effective treatment for spider veins. This treatment is performed by injecting foam to close off small and medium-sized veins. The ideal candidate for sclerotherapy has small varicose veins or spider veins in the legs, no history of clotting issues, no pregnancy or births in the past three months, and is between 30 and 60 years old. 

If you are suffering from spider veins, contact the team at Gilvydis Vein Clinic today. We have two locations near you in the Northern Illinois areas.

Improving Leg Circulation

Guys: Don’t Ignore Varicose Veins

We get it. Guys don’t often obsess over the look of varicose veins at the beach.

But men make up about 25% of varicose vein patients nationwide and nearly 45% percent of our patient base at Gilvydis Vein Clinic. Almost half of all men get varicose veins at some point, and the debilitating pain associated with vein disease is not something to ignore.

In 2018, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that there was a greater occurrence of serious health problems when varicose veins were present. The significant observation of the study was that the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot deep in the veins, was over five times greater in varicose vein patients than those who did not have varicose veins.

Vein disease will worsen over time if left untreated. Complications include leg ulcers, where the skin breaks down and allows bacteria to enter, causing numbness and infections.

Varicose veins look like purple or blue blood vessels on your thigh or calf. You also might experience aching, heavy or sore legs, restless legs, sometimes with swollen ankles or feet, especially after standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Risk factors associated with vein disease include a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, age, smoking, and family history. You can help prevent varicose veins by exercising, increasing your water intake, and consuming more fiber, vitamin C, and rutin (found in food such as cherries, blueberries, apples, apricots and buckwheat).

These activities and wearing compression socks/stockings can also help ease symptoms related to varicose veins but will not stop its progression. Individuals often feel the achiness and heaviness in the legs due to vein disease before it becomes visible. For this reason and if and when varicose veins become more visible, treatment is the next step.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, we treat varicose veins simply and easily through minimally invasive procedures such as endovenous laser ablation and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. These are highly effective treatments that are covered by most health insurance and with minimal recovery time.

Our specialists can help you determine if you have varicose veins and if vein disease has progressed to something more serious. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and read more about other men who have taken steps to treat their varicose veins.

Compression sock on ankle and foot to improve circulation

How Compression Hose Alleviate Vein Symptoms But Don’t Stop Vein Disease?

Compression hose are form-fitting socks that gently squeeze your legs. They’re designed to improve the blood circulation in your feet and legs. They feel snug but not overly tight. Most of the time, compression stockings are customized just for you. That way, they fit the unique shape of your legs perfectly, exercising just the right amount of pressure.

For health reasons such as varicose veins, graduated compression hose are usually the best choice. This specialized type of hosiery puts maximum pressure around the feet and ankles and less pressure near your calves and thigh. This way, you can benefit from improved circulation while also feeling completely comfortable.

How Do Compression Hose Work?

The purpose of compression hose is to increase the blood flow in your veins and arteries naturally. By gently squeezing these blood vessels, compression socks help blood flow more quickly and easily throughout your body.

Normally, your muscles, heart, and even the veins themselves have to work hard to fight the pull of gravity. The more you sit or stand, the more tiring it is to pump blood upwards. However, with the added support of compression hose, your veins have some help pushing blood back to your heart.

What are the Benefits of Compression Hose?

Promoting good blood flow and protecting your circulatory system is vital for every part of the body. After all, your blood is what carries essential nutrients to your cells, including muscles, organs, and joints. Wearing compression socks can help in many ways:

  • Reduce soreness and swelling in the legs
  • Alleviate the symptoms of vein disease
  • Prevent and heal venous ulcers
  • Help you sleep better
  • Alleviate pain caused by varicose veins
  • Prevent and heal venous ulcers

If you experience burning, soreness, swelling, or discomfort because of varicose veins, you should, at the very least, look into wearing compression hose. Graduated compression stockings are often covered by medical insurance.

Who Benefits from Wearing Compression Hose or Socks?

People of all ages and lifestyles can benefit from using compression hose. For example, many athletes use compression socks to improve performance in sports by increasing blood flow to leg muscles and preventing soreness. Here are several other types of people who can experience great results:

  • Women who are pregnant
  • Airline pilots
  • People recovering from surgery
  • Workers who stand all day long
  • People who have varicose veins or spider veins
  • Individuals at risk for deep vein thrombosis
  • People who have blood circulation problems

If you spend a long time standing or sitting down at work, compression hose can provide the extra support your legs need. This can help prevent excessive fatigue, soreness, pain, and swelling. Positive pressure for the veins is especially important for people who are at increased risk of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) or DVT.

How Effective are Compression Socks?

The results of wearing compression hose are firmly backed by science. They’re a recognized and recommended treatment for people who have CVI, varicose veins, and other circulatory problems. Articles touching on the benefits of compression socks and compression therapy appear in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Cleveland Clinic’s website, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

One way that compression hose help to protect you is by preventing blood from pooling in your feet. When blood has trouble flowing properly, it exerts much more pressure than normal on the walls of your blood vessels. This is what leads to the soreness, heaviness, pain, and burning sometimes associated with varicose veins. The best compression socks for swelling can help you feel more comfortable during the day and night.

The reason compression therapy is frequently recommended following surgery or when DVT is a risk is that it helps to prevent dangerous blood clots. When blood circulation is healthy, it’s much harder for clots to form.

What About Side Effects?

Can wearing compression socks be harmful? For most adults, there are few, if any, risks to using support hose. Some people with sensitive skin may have allergies to the materials used. Not wearing the socks correctly can lead to redness or irritation. Of course, to avoid problems, you should always follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Why Visit Vein Experts for Compression Hose?

It’s important to speak with a health professional when you have circulatory issues because the amount of pressure provided by compression socks needs to be adjusted to your specific circumstances. Some people need a tighter fit while others are more comfortable with less-snug stockings.

To be effective, compression socks must fit properly, and you have to wear them correctly. Also, the amount of pressure needed to keep your veins healthy and comfortable can change over time, which is why visiting a vein professional every six months or so matters.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, we’re caring and knowledgeable. Our team can help you find the best compression socks for swelling, discomfort, pain, and other symptoms. Contact us right away to learn more.

Featured Image: Tibanna79 / Shutterstock

Cold Weather and Your Veins

By the first official day of winter, December 21, much of the nation has already been experiencing teeth-chattering temperatures. If you live in a part of the country where you are knee-deep in cold weather, and you have varicose veins, spider veins or other forms of venous disease, you may have noticed some changes to your condition.

How cold weather affects your veins

Let’s start with the good news. Cold temperatures can cause veins to shrink, making it easier for valves inside the veins to function properly and keep pressure from mounting around your ankles and calves. This should mean fewer cramps and swollen ankles. Still, winter weather presents some specific challenges to managing varicose veins. Some factors to be aware of include:

  • Change in atmospheric pressure – When the temperatures drop enough for it to snow, the atmospheric pressure temporarily changes. This can cause your circulatory system to become less efficient, which can aggravate vein problems.
  • Weight gain – Not surprisingly, weight gain is common during the holiday months, which means your legs are under more stress to pump blood back to your heart. Despite the cold weather, try to stay active indoors — this will keep the valves actively pumping the blood through the veins.
  • Cold weather – Beyond putting a damper on your outdoor workouts, cold weather slows down bodily functions (such as the circulatory system), making them less efficient.

Counter the cold: Pamper your veins

Here are a few ways to keep the symptoms of varicose veins in check:

  • Elevate your legs for 30 minutes before you go to sleep
  • Eat high-fiber foods for good circulation
  • Stretch in the morning, at midday and before bed
  • Massage your ankles and lower legs when possible

Specialized vein care in Geneva and Sycamore

As a Midwesterner, you’re all too familiar with the challenges of winter. And if you suffer from varicose veins, the cold weather can compound your discomfort. So why not make this season the last season you endure with varicose veins?

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, comprehensive, non-surgical treatments for varicose veins and vein disorders are on your doorstep. At our clinics in Geneva and Sycamore, Dr. Rimas Gilvydis leads our team of highly trained, caring specialists. Using ultrasound diagnostics, our experts pinpoint the source of your vein problem, so Dr. Gilvydis can most effectively treat varicose and spider veins. He has helped thousands of people return to the activities they love through the results of minimally invasive treatments.

To learn how our team can help you, call 815-844-8607 or click here to use our online form.