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Why Leg Skin Texture Changes Could Require Treatment

 

Varicose vein treatment Just like the rest of our body, the skin on our legs is susceptible to signs of aging. Over time, skin loses its elasticity, as the collagen and elastin fibers break down. Your skin also becomes thinner, which may increase the appearance of veins below the surface. Indeed, patients afflicted with venous disease often find the visible symptoms of their conditions worsen as they age. Of course, this phenomenon is coupled with the fact that veins age too! With time, the valves of your veins are affected, causing their efficiency to decrease and unpleasant, irritating side effects to sometimes occur. Keep reading to find out the effects of chronic venous insufficiency upon the skin—and what you can do to find relief!

Varicose Veins

When left untreated, varicose veins can disrupt the smooth, attractive appearance of your skin. Varicose veins are a dark blue or purple in color and they appear “twisted” or “kinked”, as they push against the surface of your skin. These veins can cause discoloration and swelling, thus affecting your legs’ texture. Varicose veins are the result of blood traveling in both directions in the veins due to defective aging valves. This backwards flow causes blood pooling and subsequent stretching of the vein walls.

Spider Veins

Think of spider veins as the younger sibling to varicose veins. These veins are less likely to cause discomfort, but their appearance is still unsightly. Spider veins appear as red or purple vein clusters that push against the skin’s surface. While relatively harmless at onset, spider veins have the potential to grow into painful, large varicose veins without medical intervention, explaining why many patients do opt to have them treated as soon as they can.

Venous Stasis

During venous stasis, the skin’s texture can change drastically. Patients frequently exhibit thickened skin on their legs with discoloration in the ankle area, due to the increased pressure from pooling blood. Varicose veins are often present too, since this disease usually results from the failure to treat them. If left untreated over the long term, venous stasis can result in venous ulcers, which you certainly need to avoid.

How to Get Help Today

If you’re suffering from one of these venous diseases, quick relief from your symptoms is only a phone call away at (678) 731-9815. With four state-of-art clinics in Georgia, VeinInnovations hosts a team of acclaimed doctors, who specialize in making the unsightly effects of these diseases disappear. We offer a variety of non-surgical treatments, which are fast, effective and nearly painless. Contact us today to find out more about our VeinInnovations medical centers and which treatment would be right for your legs.

Doctor Spotlight on Dr. Alexander Park

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Dr. Alexander Park wants to banish your misconceptions about the treatment of venous disease. Among the public, there’s still the misconception that these treatments only serve a cosmetic purpose. Unfortunately, this reasoning often keeps people from seeking help for their unsightly veins. Dr. Park wants to encourage these potential patients to visit VeinInnovations. “Vein disease has real physical symptoms and can affect long-term quality of life without adequate treatment,” he says.

Venous reflux disease, varicose veins and smaller spider veins all have treatment options. Dr. Park is quick to emphasize that these medical procedures don’t have to be painful. In fact, Dr. Park works tirelessly to develop new methods to make these treatments as painless as possible. He understands many patients are concerned about pain during their procedures. To minimize discomfort, he walks patients through each step of the treatment to ensure they’re comfortable and prepared.

How Dr. Park Joined VeinInnovations

With a passion for anatomy and a talent for working with his hands, Dr. Park chose a career in general surgery. “General surgery was an ideal fit for me because I am a results-oriented person, and surgery allows for getting more immediate results,” he explains. After attaining his MD from University of Missouri, Dr. Park went on to complete his general surgery residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center in 1997. Since then, he has gained invaluable experience in general surgery within the challenging domains of breast cancer, endocrine surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, hernia surgery and laparoscopic surgery.

Dr. Alexander Park of VeinInnovationsAfter years in the medical community, Dr. Park decided to move his practice to VeinInnovations. He praises the medical clinic for being a “state-of-the-art, innovative company” that creates a friendly, community-focused atmosphere for its patients. “Patients really get to know the staff,” he says. “We become a family.”

A Passion for Helping Others

A father of two, a churchgoer and an active member of the community, Dr. Park isn’t looking for fame and glory from his work. The most important thing to him is that his patients are pleased with their results. His most exciting work at VeinInnovations, Dr. Park says, is “seeing the excellent clinical outcomes in most all of our patients.” What motivates him? “A desire to help others and [the] satisfaction in improving patients’ lives.”

To schedule an appointment with one of our vein specialists, including Dr. Alexander Park, contact VeinInnovations today. With four acclaimed clinics in the Atlanta area, our caring team of doctors and medical staff is ready to welcome you. Make the decision to walk away from painful uncomfortable and visible veins with VeinInnovations.

The Effect of Caffeine on the Circulatory System

Caffeine and the circulatory system

For many caffeine enthusiasts, it’s time to celebrate National Coffee Day in America on Friday, September 29th. But before you reach for that celebratory cup of joe, have you ever wondered about caffeine’s effect on the circulatory system? “While moderate doses of caffeine can have beneficial effects on the body’s cardiovascular system, such as reducing resting heart rate, excessive consumption can cause rapid heart rate and contribute to cardiac arrhythmia—an abnormal heart rate,” says Dr. David Park, one of the leading physicians at VeinInnovations. While a direct correlation between vein disease and caffeine has never been proven, consuming too much coffee can have definitive effects on your circulatory system.

Patients already afflicted by venous insufficiency should not be too concerned, as it’s unlikely that coffee will make a serious impact on your vein health. However, it’s always safest to consume caffeine in moderation, since it is medically classified as a stimulant. Studies have shown that this substance can cause negative side effects, such as constricted blood vessels, decreased circulation and increased blood pressure. As you might have guessed, individuals with venous disease are especially vulnerable to these symptoms. Keep reading to discover more about how caffeine can affect your body.

Signs of excessive caffeine consumption

 Throughout the Western world, coffee is part of many people’s morning rituals. Beyond its comforting taste, this beloved beverage contains enough caffeine to jolt the adenosine neurotransmitters in your brain, which in turn release norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” effect, which increases blood flow and makes you feel more alert.

Now, all of this might sound harmless, but there are numerous reasons why it’s recommend that you limit your coffee intake to 24 ounces per day. Indeed, an excess in caffeine causes these brain systems to go into overdrive. As a result, patients often report emotional symptoms, such as feeling anxious and irritable, and physical side effects, including increased heart rate, heart palpitations, muscle spasms, headaches and insomnia.

Beyond coffee, you should watch out for other beverages with high caffeine contents. Abusing caffeinated soda and energy drinks isn’t healthy either. We recommend that you take care of your body by eating a balanced diet, getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and exercising at least 30 minutes per day. After all, leading a healthy lifestyle will give you more energy than coffee ever could!

Enjoy a coffee on us!

 In celebration of National Coffee Day, VeinInnovations will be giving away ten $5 gift cards to Starbucks. Five will be available on our Facebook page, while the others are up for grabs on Instagram. Sit back and enjoy your next pumpkin spice latté or cappuccino on us. But remember not to overindulge in those deliciously caffeinated fall drinks!

If you have any concerns about your vein health and live in the Atlanta area, please reach out to VeinInnovations today. Our talented team of doctors are experts at healing the internal and external symptoms of venous disease. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Celebrate National Women’s Health & Fitness Day

Women's National Health & Fitness DayTo the ladies suffering from venous disease, be inspired this September 27th to take care of your health and improve your well-being. What’s so special about September 27th, you ask? That date is officially National Women’s Health & Fitness Day throughout the United States. It’s a day for women to take some time for themselves by enjoying a wholesome lunch with friends, getting a therapeutic massage or signing up for your next yoga class. In an ideal world, we would take amazing, thoughtful care of our bodies every day, but sometimes an extra reminder is needed.

Of course, when you’re afflicted with untreated venous disease you don’t necessarily need a reminder of their existence! Venous Disease can have a tendency to make its presence known with uncomfortable and unsightly symptoms such as varicose veins, spider veins and thrombophlebitis. Venous diseases often cause unpleasant symptoms like aching pain, leg cramping, swelling, visible veins and even a darkening of the affected area. However, even in the most severe cases, we’re here to tell you that treatment options are available to you at VeinInnovations.

Become our next satisfied patient

At VeinInnovations, we want you to return to your healthy, energetic day-to-day life as soon as possible. That’s why so many of our patients rave about our medical treatments and services. After becoming VeinInnovations patients, many women and men report an increase in their physical activity. One of our clients was a former adventurer, who dreamed of climbing to new heights again. We made that happen for him: “Had I not sought help for my bulging veins, I would have had the endurance needed to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro with my son Corey,” Randy Yates’ recounts.

Healing your veins’ visible symptoms also allows you to show off your legs with confidence again. Doubtful? Ask Wilma Ferguson, who wrote to us: “My spider veins made my legs tingle and feel numb. They limited my movement and energy, and I worried about covering up my legs. Now that I’ve had my legs treated, I feel incredible and wear what I want!”

Ready to begin treatment?

VeinInnovations specializes in treatments that maximize results with minimal discomfort. Our board-certified doctors offer a wide array of state-of-art medical services, designed to alleviate the symptoms of many different venous diseases. Visit our contact page for more details. We can help make every day a health and fitness day for you!

An Interview with Dr. David Park

 

David Park_CroppedA childhood trip to the emergency room inspired Dr. David Park to become a doctor. “It was traumatic for my mother,” he says. “I was taken to the ER, half of my face was split open, and within a few hours, I was sewn up and it healed well. Knowing that the human body can be put back together like that caused me to think about becoming a doctor.”

As he entered medical school, Dr. Park had the idea he would be become a heart surgeon. “I was in awe of working on the human heart,” he says. He earned his Doctor of Medicine from University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1988, graduating with honors, and received a fellowship from the Mid-America Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Hospital. After five years as a resident general surgeon and chief general surgeon at Emory University, he moved into private practice and has continued to work in this field since then. In that time, he has also developed a specialized interest in various vein health concerns, which he now treats in his role with VeinInnovations.

While working on the human heart was a major inspiration in his early career, Dr. David Park found that these surgeries became mundane over time. “It was the same operation over and over,” he says. “I was turned off by that.”

General surgery proved to be the perfect solution, him with a varied workload that kept him refreshed and engaged. To broaden his professional and intellectual scope further, Dr. Park branched into vein disorders, which he has found especially gratifying in terms of their mental challenge. Patients come in with a wide range of problems that require individualized treatment. “What I like best is that it’s a fairly rapid process,” Dr. Park says. “Seeing the before and after is gratifying.”

More than cosmetics

In his work with VeinInnovations, Dr. Park regularly meets with patients who hold misconceptions about the vein treatments offered. The most common such misconception is that vein treatments only have cosmetic benefits. “It’s a nice benefit to having this done, but it is significantly more than aesthetics,” Dr. Park says.

Dr. Park enjoys taking time to educate patients on the benefits, and to address their concerns about the treatment process. “The most common concern is how painful this is going to be,” Dr. Park says. “I reassure them that most patients say it is much better than they expected. I’ve had them done myself and I was able to tolerate it and I can attest to and empathize with their fears. But it isn’t going to be as bad as what they are anticipating.”

Through this process, Dr. Park enjoys the ability to sit down and get to know his patients, while also allowing them to learn more about him.

Building relationships

 “I like engaging with patients, and I look forward to helping them feel better and look better, and the process of getting to know them individually over time,” Dr. Park says. “That’s fun. People come from various backgrounds and stories, and then I’ll share my story.”

Since patients often come into the office for a number of appointments before, during and after treatments, there is ample time to strengthen these relationships and make sure each patient gets the attention and experience they deserve. It also helps that VeinInnovations offers a full spectrum of services that can be provided in-office. “I don’t have to send patients off elsewhere,” Dr. Park says. “We perform everything in our office.”

If you are currently suffering with a venous disease or other vein health concerns, contact the VeinInnovations team today to learn more about how we can help.

What Is Chronic Vein Disease?

 

Painful varicose and spider veins on womans legs who is active and working out self-helping herself in overcoming the pain. Vascular disease varicose veins problems active life concept.Chronic venous disease (also known as chronic venous insufficiency) occurs when the veins in the legs do not allow blood to flow efficiently to the heart. Weakened, faulty valves cause blood to pool in the legs. These blood flow issues can lead to other problems that affect vein health. Common vein problems include varicose veins and spider veins, with spider veins being the least serious of the most common vein disorders.

Who’s affected? 

Vein disease is fairly common and can affect anyone. By the age of 55, almost half of men and women suffer from some form of it. . A widely reported statistic estimates that spider veins affect up to 72% of American women and 40% of men. People who work jobs that require them to stand for a long time are more susceptible. But a sedentary lifestyle can also increase risk. Vein problems become more frequent with age, but being female, having a family history of varicose veins, injury, smoking, lack of physical activity, and gaining weight contribute to the disease.

 Symptoms

Symptoms of chronic vein disease affect the legs and ankles and may be uncomfortable or painful. Individuals may experience itching, a heavy feeling one or both legs, cramping and skin sores or ulcers. Other symptoms include swollen ankles, varicose veins and brown-colored or dark-colored skin.

 Prevention

There are no true prevention methods, however, maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise are always good habits.  If your job requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, taking regular breaks during the day to walk for a few minutes can help to get the muscle pump in your calf moving again.  If your doctor has prescribed a blood thinner for blood clots, it is imperative to consistently take the medicine as prescribed.

Chronic venous disease is a common medical condition, affecting millions; however, it can be treated. If you have been diagnosed, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Treatment

One conservative treatment option for chronic vein disease is elevating your legs when sitting. If your job requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, your doctor may recommend that you take breaks throughout your day and walk to improve circulation in your legs and feet.

Your doctor may also prescribe compression stockings or socks to reduce swelling, relieve pain and help heal skin ulcers.

 Sometimes, lifestyle changes alone are not adequate to treat vein disease. Fortunately, vein specialists, such as those at VeinInnovations, offer a variety of treatment options that are virtually pain-free. After a thorough consultation and diagnosis, board-certified physicians will design a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. VeinInnovations offers state-of-the-art approaches to the treatment of vein diseases, including non-surgical procedures.

If you are experiencing symptoms of chronic venous disease, contact VeinInnovations today to schedule a consultation with our caring team of vein care specialists.

Common Causes of Spider Veins

 

Causes of spider veinsThe appearance of unattractive red, purple or blue web-like formations on your legs, commonly referred to as spider veins, is the result of deteriorating blood vessels caused by weak connective and circulatory tissue. More than 50 percent of women and 40 percent of men in the U.S. suffer from vein disease. While age and family history are the most common causes of spider veins, other factors play a role.

Lack of movement

Our circulatory system relies on the aid of muscles to push oxygen-depleted blood from the feet back to the heart. The constant pressure from prolonged sitting and standing can cause vein walls to become stretched or distended. As a result, valves may no longer close properly, allowing blood to flow back down to the lower extremities. Poor circulation, leg pain and permanent vein damage are possible.

If you have a job that requires long periods of sitting or standing, doctors recommend taking frequent breaks to increase circulation by stretching, walking and elevating your legs.

Diabetes damage to blood vessels

Diabetes can negatively impact your health by causing damage to the nerves and blood vessels in your legs. Because diabetics cannot process glucose properly, glucose can build up in the bloodstream. This excess glucose may lead to a buildup of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, weakening veins and artery walls. Constant uncontrolled high blood sugars have a detrimental effect on the circulatory system, so veins and their valves can, over time, become debilitated by high sugars. If you have varicose or spider veins and diabetes, it’s even more important that you get proper vein health check-ups and treatment at an early stage.

Pregnancy and hormones

During pregnancy, blood volume increases by 20 to 40 percent, and your veins have to work harder to keep up with the flow. The growing uterus places additional pressure on the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the legs and feet to the heart. This makes it even harder for blood to return to the heart and lungs for re-oxygenation.

Both the amount of blood in a pregnant woman’s body and the increased amount of progesterone can lead to the development of spider and varicose veins. Progesterone is the hormone that causes ligaments to loosen. It also causes other tissues to relax, including the walls of blood vessels. This can cause veins to enlarge.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, taking birth control pills may contribute to the formation of varicose or spider veins. Medications containing estrogen can affect the way blood clots form and can put some women at an increased risk for clot formation and other vein health issues.

Extra weight strains veins

Being overweight may lead to various health problems and put extra pressure on your veins. Too much pressure causes the veins to work harder to circulate the blood. While you may initially experience superficial spider veins, larger veins will start to bulge as the blood pools in the veins due to insufficient valves made worse by the extra weight.

While some varicose veins are simply cosmetic concerns, most are caused from vein disease.  Painful symptoms in the legs including aching, swelling and itching may occur. If neglected, varicose veins can have major implications for your health.

Symptoms of vein disease and treatment

The primary symptoms of vein disease are highly visible, twisted veins most commonly on the legs, which may cause pain, heaviness, swelling and achiness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment.

The vein specialists at VeinInnovations can ease the pain and appearance of your spider and varicose veins. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Home Remedies for Spider Veins: How Effective Are They?

spider veins It’s not unusual to get spider veins as we age, those small, knotty blood vessels that branch out visibly just under the surface of the skin. They appear in bright colors of blue, purple or red, like miniature varicose veins, and tend to form on the legs and feet. These areas are under the most stress because of the strain put on them by gravity, body weight and their distance from the heart.

Even worse, these veins can appear on the face, making sufferers self-conscious about their appearance.

Although spider veins don’t usually cause serious health issues, they can burn or itch, and may be indicative of worse circulatory problems. In some cases, they can create sores, bleeding and blood clots.

“Even if spider veins don’t pose an immediate health risk,” says a spokesperson for VeinInnovations, “they are unsightly and can cause a degree of embarrassment that may prevent people from doing the things they love—going to the beach, wearing cool summer clothing, even just going out in public.”

At-home fixes?

Because spider veins are so common, with more than half of people over 50 experiencing them, many sufferers hope to get help from home remedies. Though evidence to support their effectiveness is lacking, these remedies fall into three main categories: foods and supplements, topical treatments and physical therapies. Let’s take a look.

Foods and supplements

The edible treatments suggested for spider vein home remedies include:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit to strengthen vein walls
  • Ginger to thin the blood and lower blood pressure
  • Ginkgo balboa to strengthen the veins and improve circulation
  • Spicy foods to break down fibrin, the lumpy material around the veins
  • Horse chestnut to improve vein elasticity

Topical treatments

Generally applied with a compress or swabbed on with cotton balls, here are home ingredients some people put directly on the skin:

  • Witch hazel, an herbal astringent
  • Apple cider vinegar (which can also be taken by mouth)
  • Mustard oil, grape seed oil, pine bark or marigold to stimulate circulation
  • Cabbage or Fuller’s Earth poultices

Physical remedies

Many of these are sound health tips regardless of their effectiveness on spider veins:

  • Sleeping on the back with legs elevated to relieve leg pressure
  • Massage, walking and toning exercises to help improve circulation
  • Wearing flat shoes and not sitting with crossed legs to prevent leg strain
  • Avoiding excessive salt and smoking, which impede circulation
  • Avoiding alcohol which dilates blood vessels, which can cause blood pooling

A better way

Unfortunately, most of these do-it-yourself remedies have little to no effect. While most of them won’t hurt you (though you should use caution with dietary supplements) they do not provide the effective, noticeable and lasting results spider vein sufferers are looking for, because reversing the damage from vein disease requires more dramatic interventions.

The good news is, there are medical treatments that are proven to work. Because spider veins are small and near the surface of the skin, many treatments are non- or minimally-invasive, and relatively pain-free.

Sclerotherapy – A highly effective, non-surgical treatment, sclerotherapy involves injecting a tiny needle filled with special fluid into the vein. This causes the vein walls to seal shut, eventually be absorbed by the body and gradually disappear. This procedure causes little pain and may be covered by insurance.

Laser treatment – A surface laser shoots bursts of intense light at the small veins, which causes them to vanish over time. This treatment is especially good for treating facial spider veins. A combination of laser treatment and sclerotherapy may also be used

These two procedures are the most common for the removal of spider veins, however a duplex Doppler ultrasound should be performed to determine whether the spider veins are being caused by backward blood flow in the veins.  If so, recommendations will be made for more appropriate treatment to address the root cause of the problem veins.

Make the most of modern science

Home remedies are, for the most part, inexpensive and relatively easy to administer. The problem is, they don’t work well.

“Science is on your side, offering the most advanced and effective techniques for spider veins and treatments that really do work,” says a spokesperson for VeinInnovations. “Surgery used to be a given for vein problems, but it’s often not necessary these days. And you may find your insurance will cover these modern procedures.”

Rather than wasting time and energy applying compresses to your spider veins or taking supplements that may have side effects, why not go with treatments that are proven to work with minimal pain and downtime? Contact VeinInnovations today to find out how to eliminate them effectively.

Sources:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/varicose-veins-and-spider-veins

http://www.livestrong.com/article/132769-home-remedies-get-rid-spider-veins/

http://www.nowloss.com/How-to-get-rid-of-spider-veins-naturally.htm

http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/home-remedies-to-get-rid-of-spider-veins/

http://www.homeremedyhacks.com/21-home-remedies-to-get-rid-of-spider-veins/

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cosmetic-procedures-spider-veins#1

An Interview with Dr. Lisa Perez

Dr. Lisa Perez 2016_2For Dr. Lisa Perez, the knowledge that she is improving the lives of her patients motivates her every day. “I see patients who were having leg pain that was stopping them from fully enjoying their lives. Maybe they are overweight and their leg pain was preventing them from getting fit, and then I see them after treatment and they are so happy. It is just so gratifying,” she says.

 A graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and board certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Perez began her career in that area and transitioned to vein care in 2011 and took her current position in 2015. She is especially enjoying the relationships she is now able to have with her patients. “As an ER doctor you treat the problem, and then the patient goes away. In this field, you help them, and you see the results after treatment,” she says. “It’s great to see patients so happy and excited. They hug you and are glad to be here.”

Clearing up misconceptions

Dr. Perez says her patients have many misconceptions about vein treatment. “They are often afraid it will be painful or will require a lot of time off work. They remember their parents receiving treatment like vein stripping that required a hospital stay. It was just an overall arduous process. That is no longer true. Treatment for venous disease is much easier now,” she says.

According to Dr. Perez, her patients often come in concerned about the costs. “They think varicose veins are a cosmetic issue only and are surprised that insurance will cover treatment,” she says. “People may not come in because they think it’s cosmetic, and that cosmetic equals expensive. It’s exciting when they discover many treatments are actually covered by their insurance.”

Medicine is a family affair

Dr. Perez grew up surrounded by a love of the medical field. Her father, who is still practicing medicine at 70, is a doctor, and her mother is a nurse. When she was a little girl, her father would bring her to the hospital with him. “I knew I wanted to be a doctor when I was very young. I used to play with my father’s medical bag. I really loved the stethoscope,” she says.

For Dr. Perez, it was her father’s encouragement that led her to become a doctor. “My father really enjoyed his career. It was very rewarding to him, and he encouraged all his children to go into medicine. My parents were such good role models,” she says. “If you thought you couldn’t do it, you had someone saying, ‘You can do this.’ That was my dad.”

Up for the challenge

Dr. Perez finds her work challenging and always interesting. “I am doing procedures that we didn’t perform at my previous practice. I’ve learned new skills. It’s made me a better physician overall and specifically better in treating venous disease,” she says.

 A special place to work

 Dr. Perez says it’s the staff at VeinInnovations that make it such a special place for patients and such a great place to work. “The staff makes a huge difference. From the front desk to medical assistants, nurses and ultrasound techs, this is by far the best staff I’ve ever worked with. It really sets us apart.”

For Dr. Perez, the best part of working at VeinInnovations is that their quest for innovation, always looking for new procedures and better ways to help patients overcome their venous disease.

When she’s not caring for her patients, Dr. Perez enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and two children.

If you are suffering with venous disease, please contact the caring team at VeinInnovations to discover how we can help.

 

 

How Compression Stockings Can Aid in Leg Health

Medical compression hosiery in different colors. Isolated on white.

Compression stockings are often recommended to people who suffer from achy, swollen legs. They aid the body in moving blood up the leg against the pull of gravity and while being worn, are often a conservative treatment option to increase blood flow to the lower limbs. Sufferers of chronic venous diseases, such as varicose veins and spider veins, are the main candidates for compression therapy. If you are thinking of using stockings in your treatment, there are some things you should consider to get the maximum benefits.

Graduated compression

Most stockings are graduated, which means they have a decreasing strength of compression up the leg. By being tightest at the ankle and reducing compression strength up the leg, compression stockings help guide the blood upward and away from the lower leg. This compression also squeezes the veins and creates less area through which blood can flow, forcing the rate of blood flow to increase.

 Compression levels

Support stockings are available in multiple compression support levels. Most commonly used compression

support stockings come in mild (8-15 mmHg), medium (15-20 mmHg), firm (20-30 mmHg) and x-firm (30-40 mmHg) gradient compression levels:

  • Mild compression (8-15mmHg) provides relief and minimizes tired and achy legs.
  • Medium compression (15-20mmHg) provides relief for minor to moderate varicose and spider veins.
  • Firm compression (20-30mmHg) provides relief for moderate to severe varicose veins (helpful during pregnancy).
  • X-Firm compression (30-40mmHg) provides relief for severe varicose veins.

Dr. Frank Ferrier, of VeinInnovations in Atlanta says, “The best compression stockings are well-fitting and are the proper compression strength. The most important factor is that the compression stocking is measured and fitted properly. For most varicose veins, 20-30 mmHg of compression is enough, but for some more advanced venous insufficiency and lymphedema, 30-40 mmHg is required.”

You’ll want to consult with your doctor for recommendations before choosing a compression level.

Sizing stockings

 To fit you for medical grade compression stockings, the doctor will usually measure your ankle circumference, your calf circumference and the distance between your heel and knee, according to Compressionstockings.com. Ankle and calf measurements should be taken in the morning, since your legs will swell the longer you are upright. Medical supply stores may help with sizing if you can’t have a professional fitting done.

When to wear stockings

Compression stockings work best when you put them on in the morning, before you are up and walking around. This will help prevent blood pooling. If you wait until later in the day to put them on, after you have been sitting or standing for a while, your blood will already have started to pool in your legs. This can make it ever harder to get the stockings on and may make them less effective in helping with your symptoms.

Dr. Ferrier says most insurance companies require patients to wear compression stockings prior to treatment as a conservative measure. “After you meet the stocking requirement, you can have additional treatment recommended by VeinInnovations, and your insurance is likely to cover it. While compression stockings make the legs feel better when they are on, when removed, the same symptoms are likely to occur. Treatment of the greater saphenous vein is the only way to completely relieve symptoms of heavy, tired, achy legs,” he says.

Not your grandmother’s stockings

In recent years, compression stockings have gone through a form and function redesign. Gone are the days of rubber socks that only came in flesh colors. Improvements include new fiber materials that are cooler, softer, highly durable and definitely more fashionable.

If you think you may benefit from compression stockings, contact the doctors at VeinInnovations today and schedule an appointment to be fitted.