Capitol Vein Blog

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Truth About Varicose Vein Creams and Pills


An Ashburn, Virginia patient recently came in after spending several hundred dollars on a hopeful cure for her varicose veins.  After using over-the-counter treatment for six months, her varicosities actually increased in size. Given the amount of information on the Internet about home treatment, patients are justifiably confused about what treatments really work for varicose veins.  Creams, gels, and even tablets are touted as the “easy” remedy for the aching, heaviness, and throbbing caused by varicose veins.

It’s important to understand that the cause of varicose veins is back-pressure due to gravity, pushing downward against the natural flow of blood in the legs. As this back-pressure occurs, the vein walls stretch, become visible, and cause the symptoms that are so familiar. Once the one-way valves in the veins are damaged, no cream or pill can make them return to normal. This is a progressive problem, which can be easily cured with simple office based medical procedures. 

Vein creams and pills may help to reduce the heaviness you can feel with venous reflux, but the real mainstays are the use of support hose, leg elevation, and the elimination of the sources of back flow that are causing the symptoms. Once in a while, I see someone who has slight relief from horse chestnut tablets, but more often than not, this is ineffective in ridding the leg of aching and heaviness.  The serious complications of varicose veins -- skin damage, ulcers and blood clots – cannot be prevented or repaired by topical agents. 

The Venefit Procedure, micro-phlebectomy, and sclerotherapy are effective methods for vein treatment.  Each has its own role for specific vein sizes, locations, and patient risk profiles. Your best option is to seek professional advice from a qualified vein expert, one who is a member of the American College of Phlebology, American Venous Forum, or a diplomate of the American Board of Lymphatic and Venous Medicine. Your vascular surgeons at Capitol Vein and Laser are eminently qualified, each having over 20 years of intensive vascular experience.

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