The Myths of Home Remedies for Varicose Veins

Having varicose veins is getting even more dangerous. Lately, there are many myths and fallacies concerning home remedies for varicose veins, and the vein experts at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, your resource for varicose vein and spider vein treatment in the Orlando area, want you to be aware of the risks that such snake-oil remedies pose.

If you Google terms such as “Eliminate varicose veins naturally” and “How to get safely reduce varicose veins at home,” you’ll find that there are many, many so-called cures, either through homeopathic supplements or other home-based remedies, that will, as at least one put, will “melt away your symptoms.” These remedies include topical applications, with things like witch hazel or vitamin E, and ingestible ingredients, such as carrot juice. But some have other, more questionable, components. And even “good” ingredients, such as fat-soluble vitamins, can be detrimental in large doses.

The Perils of the Multi-Billion Dollar Supplements Industry

More than 25 million Americans have some kind of vein-related condition, which translates into an awful lot of people looking for relief. The truth is that dietary supplements comprise a $32 billion industry (yes, that’s a b). So, many millions of dollars go to these “natural” varicose vein remedies each year, and none of them has been proved effective, or even approved for use, by the Food & Drug Administration. These supplements, creams, oils, and other concoctions are offered by what may seem to be reputable sources, but these “cures” cannot get rid of varicose veins and may even have harmful side effects.

Here’s the deal: The supplements industry is vastly unregulated. The FDA maintains some oversight, but not at the level it does for the pharmaceutical industry. And, if you’ve seen the evening news, you know that oftentimes the FDA is scrambling in a reactionary mode to lessen the effects of the latest dietary supplement disaster.

Know the Basics about Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are not a cosmetic concern. They are a bona fide medical condition that can have very serious ramifications if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. That is why it is extremely important to consult with an experienced and certified venous professional, such as a John D. Horowitz, MD, FACS of Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, instead of self-diagnosing and self-treating the condition. Dr. Horowitz, who has been practicing vascular care in the Orlando area since 1993, can accurately diagnose varicose veins, spider veins, and other venous conditions, and start you on a particular course of treatment that is specifically tailored for you in order to provide the best long-term results. What’s more, Dr. Horowitz can answer your questions about venous insufficiency, the underlying cause of varicose and superficial veins, and the pros and cons of the various treatment modalities.

In the meantime, here is a list of some of the serious complications that can arise from untreated, or improperly treated, varicose veins:

  • Skin discoloration or hardening. Varicose veins that have been left untreated for too long can lead to a reddish-brown skin discoloration in the affected area. This skin also may become hardened, scar-like, and painful. Proper treatment can lessen or even eliminate these effects on the skin, as well as help relieve many other associated symptoms.
  • Livedoid vasculopathy. Livedoid vasculopathy is a specific type of scarring that can occur on the lower legs, ankles, and feet. Sometimes painful, livedoid vasculopathy also can lead to purple or red marks that eventually become ulcers in about a third of cases.
  • Venous stasis ulcers. Oftentimes very painful, venous stasis ulcers can lead to chronic wounds that can last for years, causing a significant detriment to quality of life. Because these are due to chronic venous insufficiency, these ulcers are sometimes alleviated when an adequate venous function is restored through proper treatment.
  • Blood clots. Venous insufficiency, by definition, involves pooled blood, and the resultant inhibited blood flow in the varicose veins can lead to the formation of blood clots. Of course, a dislodged clot may end up in other parts of the body, where it may block blood flow and create a life-threatening situation, such as arteriosclerosis/atherosclerosis, heart attack or arrhythmias, pulmonary embolism, or deep vein thrombosis.
  • Lipodermatosclerosis. Lipodermatosclerosis is a skin and connective tissue condition in which the layer of fat under the epidermis becomes inflamed. Symptoms of lipodermatosclerosis include pain, induration, a brownish-red discoloration, and a tapering of the lower leg above the ankle.

There are multiple innovative treatments for varicose veins that are minimally invasive, don’t require a hospital stay, and have fast recovery times. At Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, we specialize in ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (UGS), endovenous laser treatment, and other cutting-edge procedures that are done in the comfort of our office while you are under local anesthesia only.

These procedures are performed by a competent, professional medical staff that has determined which particular treatment is best for your specific situation, and will monitor your recovery to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with the results.

And remember that while spider or superficial veins are not as medically serious and fall more under the category of cosmetic issues, it is still risky to treat this condition with unregulated supplements.

Spider veins, which are also just under the surface of the skin but do not appear bulging and twisted, may occur on the legs and face. There are simple in-office procedures to eliminate these bothersome veins quickly and easily.

For spider vein treatment, we have various options including Veinlite sclerotherapy, which utilizes a special illumination device to help medical professionals pinpoint the best vantage points, especially those that are not visible to the naked eye, to complete the procedure and remove your bothersome spider veins.

Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, your resource for varicose vein and spider vein treatment in the Orlando area, welcomes you to schedule a consultation with our expert staff. Please call us at 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547, or contact us online.