Varicose Veins in Men—What You Should Know

Varicose Veins in Men—What You Should Know

Don’t think that varicose veins are just a woman’s problem. They’re a guy thing too.  When it comes to varicose veins in men—here’s what you should know.

Varicose veins are those unattractive, sometimes painful, bulging veins usually found on legs.

It’s true—varicose veins are often harmless. But sometimes they warn of an underlying health issue.

 

You’re Not Alone

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Journal (AHA/ASA) 11 million men aged 40-80 have varicose veins.

Many men go on to develop symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, including venous ulceration.

So don’t be in denial! Sometimes it’s just plain foolish to ignore them.

 

Doctors Warn Against Ignoring Varicose Veins

If you’re a man, and you have varicose veins … don’t ignore them!

Dr. Stuart Miller of The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center warns, “Most men won’t come in until there is ulceration or bleeding … or their wife makes them come in. Waiting is not the answer!”

 

Medical Problems Associated with Varicose Veins

Ignoring varicose veins may lead to these advanced varicose vein problems:

 

Veins Have an Important Job

Veins return deoxygenated blood to the heart. An artery then takes the blood to the lungs. Once in the lungs, the blood receives new oxygen.

Problems arise when the valves in the veins weaken or fail, and veins can’t do their job. This is called venous insufficiency–a serious medical problem.

Veins can only perform properly if they’re healthy. A vein doctor should check varicose veins to make sure they are working well.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins in Men

Varicose vein symptoms include:

  • Veins that are twisted or bulging
  • Achy or heavy feeling in the legs
  • Burning, throbbing, cramping, and swelling in the lower leg
  • Increased pain after sitting or standing for long periods
  • Itching near one or more veins
  • Skin discoloration

Should you call a doctor if you have leg pain? Probably.

 

Causes of Varicose Veins in Men

The major causes of varicose veins in men include:

  • Heredity
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Age
  • Obesity

 

How to Prevent Varicose Veins—Tips for Men

Now that you know the risks, it’s easy to understand why being proactive about vein care is so important.

If you know that venous insufficiency runs in your family, taking preventive steps now is even more important.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are essential for vein health.

 Walking-for-Exercise

 

Exercise Prevents Varicose Veins

Genetics can be an indicator of varicose veins. And you can’t change that.

But you can take action to fight other associated causes of varicose veins, including being overweight or inactive.

Preventing varicose veins with exercise is a great start.

As men age, they produce less testosterone and HGH with each passing year. This slows the metabolism and causes weight gain.

Exercise helps ease this natural progression of weight gain in men. So, in case you needed more motivation to exercise, consider that fewer pounds mean less stress on veins and thus less tendency for vein problems.

Working out will also build healthy leg muscles. Calf muscles are especially important to vein heath because they help pump blood back to your heart more efficiently.

If you’re just starting an exercise regimen, choose an activity you might enjoy. But don’t over-do it. Walking, swimming, yoga, and other low-impact activities are all great to move your body.

High-impact sports, torn ACLs, or a popped hamstring won’t do much for leg and venous health.

Remember, sitting or standing in one position all day is your enemy. But that doesn’t mean you have to train for the Olympics.

Studies have shown that any amount of regular movement is helpful.

Anything from a brisk daily walk to just stepping away from your desk every so often is far better than nothing. Every little bit counts and will make a measurable difference.

 

Good Diet and Nutrition Fights Varicose Veins in Men

A healthy diet helps keep your weight down, powers your workout, and improves your mood.

Here are some great tips for top foods that improve circulation and vein health.

Beyond that, dietary recommendations specific to venous health include:

  • Adding fiber to prevent absorption of unhealthy fats and cholesterol buildup
  • Boosting levels of vitamin C to aid the production of collagen and elastin, infrastructural tissues that literally support veins
  • Staying hydrated to help fiber flush your system and maintain electrolyte balance
  • Eating more rutin, an antioxidant flavonoid found in apple peels, asparagus, green tea, figs, cranberries, and citrus zest that reduces inflammation
  • Consuming less salt, thus decreasing water retention and vein pressure

 

Choosing-Healthy-Foods at Grocery Store

 

Men Can Get Relief from Varicose Veins

Wearing compression socks and keeping legs elevated can help support veins and reduce pressure. And this reduced pressure can aid in the prevention of varicose veins, as does proper diet and exercise.

Putting-on-Compression-Sock

Sometimes varicose vein treatment is necessary to restore healthy blood flow to your legs. The presence of bulging and discolored veins or pain could mean clinical treatment is in order.

There are several safe, minimally invasive procedures that are performed in our office in less than an hour. Health insurance or Medicare covers many of these procedures.

 

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT)

EVLT, also known as endovenous laser vein therapy, only requires local anesthesia. It is a safe, virtually painless procedure that eliminates damaged varicose veins.

Ultrasound guidance is used to insert a thin heat-producing laser fiber into the vein. The procedure results in the vein closing. Your body then reroutes blood flow to a nearby healthy vein.

This procedure relieves pain caused by the varicose vein. There is little or no scarring. There is minimal recovery time.

 

Varithena

Varithena is an FDA approved injectable foam therapy. This non-surgical procedure uses a sclerosing agent that causes the vein to collapse and close. Blood is displaced into a healthy vein.

 

ClariVein

ClariVein is a non-thermal treatment that closes a targeted vein. This easily tolerated procedure is highly effective.

Contact The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center to arrange an appointment and discover the pain-free lifestyle, confidence, and improved appearance that comes with circulatory health.

Does Health Insurance Cover Varicose Vein Treatment?

Does Health Insurance Cover Varicose Vein Treatment?

Do you feel leg pain from varicose veins? Are you embarrassed to wear shorts or a bathing suit because of the varicose veins on your thighs? If so, treatment is available. But will your health insurance cover your varicose vein treatment?

Medical Necessity vs Cosmetic Appeal

Varicose veins can cause discomfort. This makes some people dread the thought of standing on their feet for a long time. Varicose veins can cause sores or ulcers to develop on legs and ankles. They can even promote development of blood clots. These veins are cause medical problems for the patient.

For others, varicose veins are more of a cosmetic embarrassment.

Are your varicose veins a threat to your good health, or are they simply unattractive? It’s important that you know the answer not only for your health but for medical insurance coverage as well.

• When varicose veins affect your health, treatment is a medical necessity. Medical insurance usually pays.

• Varicose veins are a cosmetic problem when they don’t threaten your health or well-being. Medical insurance won’t cover treatment.

To learn about your vein health, make an appointment to visit our office. Our highly skilled vein specialist will check your veins. He can develop an individualized treatment plan for you.

We even offer a free vascular screening. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. You will feel better and enjoy improved vascular health.

A stethoscope and surgical mask are on top of a few forms marked “Medical Insurance Claim Form.”

 

How do Health Insurance Companies Define a “Medical Necessity?”

Let’s start with what we know. Medical insurance will cover treatment of varicose veins when it’s a medical necessity. But here’s the catch. What one company considers a medical necessity, the next company may not.

Visit our web page on Varicose Veins to learn more. There we discuss the symptoms and treatments of varicose veins. You will learn the specific symptoms that usually make treatment a medical necessity.

The criteria most insurance companies base their coverage approval on are:

1. Annoying or Painful Symptoms

2. Identified Venous Reflux— Insurance companies want proof that a vein is not functioning. Documented venous reflux, when blood flows backwards in a vein, is cause for treatment. We diagnose it with ultrasound. However, ultrasound cannot show venous reflux in spider veins; they are too small. So, medical insurance doesn’t cover the treatment of spider veins. They may make an exception for bleeding spider veins.

3. A specified Time of Unsuccessful Conservative Treatment— Did you try an improved diet and exercise plan? Did you wear compression socks daily? Did you rest and elevate your legs each day? The insurance company will want to know this information. Each insurance company has their own requirements. Some insurance companies want you to wear compression socks for 12 weeks.

The important takeaway here is that you need to learn what your insurance company covers. A friend’s experience with a different insurance policy can be quite different. This can be true even if they use the same medical insurance company.

clipboard with Medicare form listing Medicare Parts A through D

 

Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Supplemental Plan Coverage

Medicare offers great news for treatment—that is, when the veins are causing a health issue.

This Federal health insurance requires that treatment will protect or improve your health. They may want to know that you already tried lifestyle changes. But ultimately you can count on Medicare’s financial support.

Some common vein treatments that Medicare covers include:

• Sclerotherapy
• Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy
• Laser Vein Ablation

Medicare will usually cover 80% of these costs. It is useful to have a good supplemental insurance plan to cover the remaining 20% of costs.

Be aware that Medicare Advantage will attach many stipulations to its coverage. Coverage from Medicare Advantage differs from coverage by Medicare.

Medicare and More Varicose Vein Treatments

Varicose vein removal coverage is less straightforward. There are many costs to consider, including:

• Doctor’s Fees
• Facility Cost
• Anesthesia
• Method of Extraction
• Number of Medical Sessions Needed

white paper cutout of a family of five flanked by red hearts and a stethoscope

 

Do private health insurance companies, such Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), United Healthcare (UHC) and Aetna, cover varicose vein treatments?

BCBS, UHC and Aetna are three major insurance companies that cover varicose vein treatments. But like Medicare, the companies only cover treatments of medical necessity. They won’t cover costs for a cosmetic procedure.

Each insurance company has its own criteria to meet. Once this occurs, they approve varicose vein treatment.

Contact your own insurance company to learn the specifics of your plan and policy.

Wonder if our office accepts your insurance? Then visit our website for a list of insurances we accept and to see if we are in network for your plan.

What about Varithena®, ClariVein®, and Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment (EVLT)?

These are three of the outpatient treatments option that we provide for varicose veins.

Will your medical insurance provide coverage?

Varithena is an FDA-approved sclerotherapy medication. Our doctor injects it into the varicose vein to displace the blood and cause the vein to collapse. Medicare and most private insurance companies cover this non-surgical treatment. But again, it must be a medical necessary necessity. And insurance wants to see you first tried conservative treatment options.

ClariVein is a tiny rotating catheter used in non-thermal treatment of varicose veins. Some private insurance companies and Medicare cover vein treatment using the ClariVein catheter.

EVLT uses laser heat to treat varicose veins. We give the patient local anesthesia. Guided by ultrasound, the laser closes off the vein. Our patient’s health insurance usually covers this procedure. Again, insurance companies want to see that we tried other treatment options first.

older grey-haired man wearing compression socks sitting on a rock outcropping

 

Let’s not forget about compression socks and stockings

Patients often wear compression socks as a conservative first-line treatment for varicose veins. Patients also need to wear them after vein procedures or surgery. But Medicare does not pay for these socks—even if the doctor writes a prescription.

Medicare Advantage plans may provide some coverage for compression socks or stockings under certain circumstances. This helps since compression socks can cost more than $100 with certain prescriptions.

Are you ready to take the first step?

Does treatment for your varicose veins qualify as a medical necessity? For the answer, contact us for an appointment at New Jersey Varicose Vein Center. You will enjoy visiting our state-of-the-art vein treatment facility. And you will leave with a clear idea of the medical coverage you can expect.

Chemical Peels for Acne Scars

Chemical Peels for Acne Scars

When it comes to acne, getting a pimple is just the tip of the iceberg. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to reduce or eliminate breakouts fast. Face washes, acne creams, and even medication can help. But for many, it’s the acne aftermath of scars causes concern. And it’s the reason why so many people are turning to chemical peels for acne scars.

Why Acne Scarring Occurs

When acne cysts are painfully inflamed and penetrate deeper skin layers, the risk for scarring increases. Scarring is a result of the healing response initiated by the immune system.

As acne nodules diminish, the immune system tells the body to produce more collagen. Collagen is a protein used to support skin firmness and overall health.

Too much or too little collagen determines the severity of acne scarring. For example, depressed or “caved-in” scars occur when there is not enough collagen to repair skin damage. Scars that appear raised above the surface of the skin indicate the release of too much collagen.

Acne-Scars

Raised acne scars are seen more frequently in people of color. Depressed acne scars predominantly affect lighter-skinned individuals.

Reducing the Appearance of ScarsOne of the most effective treatments to reduce the appearance of acne scars is a chemical peel. Chemical peels smooth away scar ridges and indentations. They safely and gently exfoliate the topmost layers of your skin.

What is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels use various concentrations of alpha-hydroxy, trichloroacetic, and/or glycolic acid. A licensed medical professional will apply the concentrate to areas with scarring. This helps eliminate damaged skin cells and speeds up regeneration. As the peel stimulates collagen production by causing a mild wound event, old skin cells are replaced by new, healthy skin cells.

Chemical-Peel

Chemical peels take about an hour to complete. After a peel, you should expect some redness like a sunburn. Mild chemical peels may be performed every two or three weeks. Minimize itching by keeping your skin hydrated or using a cold compress.

Severe acne scarring may require a “deep” chemical peel. This type of peel may use phenol to penetrate deeper into the skin. Communicate openly with your doctor to achieve the best results.

In addition to reducing acne scars, chemical peels smooth away fine lines, mild skin discolorations, and treat actinic keratosis.

A Great Time to Get Rid of Acne Scars

There are a lot of misconceptions about chemical peels. For some, that means it gets put on the back burner of things to do. But the number one myth about chemical peels is that you will have to hide in your home for days after due to redness and flaking. That’s not true! A chemical skin peel can be stress-free with very little downtime if any at all.

Chemical peels now consist of gentler but more effective solutions. Patients can even opt for a lunchtime peel that takes about 20 minutes. There is minimal redness, and you can resume normal activities directly following the procedure.

Before-After-Skin-Treatment

However, keep in mind that chemical peels formulated to reach deeper skin layers may cause more apparent redness and flaking.

Acne scars can easily be reduced or eliminated with safe and effective chemical peels. Call us today to schedule a free consultation appointment.

FALL CHEMICAL PEEL BONUS

Fall welcomes cooler temperatures and brisk breezes that bring a healthy, attractive glow to your cheeks. It’s also the time to wear cute, soft sweaters, leggings, and free-form hairstyles. While you sip your pumpkin spice, consider the following:

Chemicals peels rejuvenate your skin leaving your skin fresh and glowing. No more spending hours in the morning applying concealers, foundation, and powder. Just shower, get dressed, and be ready to greet the day.

The days are getting shorter and there is less sun. UV rays aren’t nearly as strong as they are during summer. You’ll still need to use sunscreen after your procedure, but you can go outside with less caution during fall versus summer.

The holiday season is upon us. Every year it sneaks right up. A chemical peel is a great way to get ready for the busy times during the season when makeup isn’t an option. For the gatherings you attend and everything between, a chemical peel can help revitalize your skin.

Get the look you want with a chemical peel this fall season at the NJVVC!

Spider Veins on Your Face: Causes and Treatment

Spider Veins on Your Face: Causes and Treatment

Thin blue, purple, or red lines, which may appear like webs or branches on your face, are known as spider veins. Some people also refer to them as thread veins or broken blood vessels.

There could be several reasons for spider veins appearing on the face. Understanding what causes them can help prevent and even treat them.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are thin and damaged veins near the surface of the legs and facial skin. They are often highly visible. Unlike varicose veins, they usually don’t cause pain, but sometimes some mild discomfort.

When blood vessels are prominent near the facial skin surface, they are also known as facial Telangiectasis. Most people refer to spider veins as broken blood vessels. When Telangiectasis appears, it is typically due to heredity and environmental factors. Extreme heat or cold and the sun are the factors that seem to play a large role in their occurrence.

Spider-Veins-on-Face

There are no at-home remedies to remove spider veins. But the good news is, this condition is easily treatable.

Before we discuss treatment options, it’s important to understand why reasons spider veins appear.

Causes of Spider Veins on the Face

● Aging ● Sun Exposure
● Gender ● Alcohol Use
● Genetics ● Skin Diseases
● Hormones ● Injury
● Pregnancy ● Liver Disease

Women are more often affected by spider veins than men. The most common causes are aging, alcohol consumption, injury to the face, changes in weather, and sun exposure.

Those who suffer from rosacea, liver disease, or connective tissue diseases often have spider veins on the face.

Pregnancy can also cause spider veins on various areas of the body. Elevated blood pressure and estrogen during pregnancy can easily lead to broken blood vessels appearing on the skin.

Spider veins are hereditary. If you have a family history of spider veins, you’ll likely see them on multiple areas of the body such as legs and face.

Sun exposure can exacerbate spider veins and make them more prominent. Chemical irritants and environmental changes are also determining factors of spider veins appearing. Protecting your skin with sunscreen and vitamins is helpful in mitigating these factors.

Spider-Veins-Closeup

Spider veins can fade with time, they are not necessarily permanent. However, they may take years to become less noticeable. Seeking professional intervention and treatment will help them fade faster.

Treatment for Spider Veins on Face

There are a number of treatments that can reduce or eliminate spider veins from your face.

Please remember that after most forms of spider vein treatment, there is a higher risk of sensitivity to sunlight. Avoid the sun directly after a procedure and incorporate sunscreen into your routine.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive spider vein treatment. It involves injecting a chemical solution into the broken veins. The veins then harden, close, and finally disappear. This treatment reduces swelling and causes the affected veins to shrink and vanish.

Sclerotherapy is an excellent solution for treating large spider veins of the face. Most people see immediate results although best results are seen after ten days.

This treatment is generally painless and won’t break the bank. There is very little down time after this procedure. Many people return to work and activities the same day.

Retinol/Vitamin A Creams

Retinol creams with vitamin A effectively fade and reduce the appearance of spider veins by building collagen in the dermis and minimizing their appearance.

Retinoid creams are mainly used for acne and rosacea. They help regenerate new skin cells by removing the outermost layer of skin. This allows for the fresh, undamaged skin to come to the surface. Your doctor can help you to find the right balance of retinoids to reduce spider veins and achieve your desired results.

Laser Treatment

Laser therapy is another form of treatment to help break up spider veins. Laser therapy is a very targeted treatment that works to destroy spider vein entirely. Lasers therapy uses a light beam to seal the vessels off, causing them to dissolve.

People with a darker complexion should avoid this therapy. This form of treatment can destroy melanin and lead to discoloration. This risk increases with the number of treatments given. One to three sessions of laser therapy may be needed to treat facial spider veins.

Many people report that laser treatments are painful. It has been likened to a rubber band snapping sensation against the face. Laser treatment might seem like a no side effect therapy, but bruising does occur often. This procedure can also be very costly.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Intense pulsed light is often used to treat spider veins of the face. The IPL treatment is similar to laser therapy. The main difference is that the light pulse penetrates down to the second layer of skin without affecting the top layer.

Pulsing light helps break up spider veins making them less noticeable. At the same time, this treatment encourages the regeneration of cells. Light therapy can also help with killing bacteria on the surface of the skin and may be helpful if you are prone to acne.

These light treatments are extremely targeted. They work best on spider veins that are very noticeable and need precise targeting to treat.

Electrocautery and Radiofrequency

In electrocautery and radiofrequency procedures, a fine needle-like tip vaporizes the dilated vessels.

The treatment may be a little uncomfortable, but it is quick and has a low chance of scarring. These techniques can treat even the tiniest spider veins that even lasers cannot.

Where to Seek Treatment?

Rely on professional help to eliminate spider veins on your face. Receiving treatment from a qualified vein care specialist reduces side effects like increased redness, itchiness, and scarring.

Your skin is precious and taking proper care of it can make a big difference in how you see yourself. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss you skin care needs.

This blog has been updated in November 2021.

Understanding and Preventing Leg Blood Clots (DVT)

Understanding and Preventing Leg Blood Clots (DVT)

The body has a number of deep veins that circulate blood and return it back to the heart from both legs. However, this phenomenal system also makes legs vulnerable to deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

DVT is a blood clot in the leg. Suffering from a current or repeat blood clot in your leg is not always an instant life-threat, but it can be. In some cases, blood clots can cause the legs to swell or have chronic pain. In other cases, the clot can come loose and cause a lung blockage or cardiac arrest (heart attack).

Deep vein thrombosis isn’t something trivial to ignore, ever. It should be treated, reduced, monitored, and prevented from occurring again.

 

Where Do Blood Clots Come From?

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when the circulatory system is not able to move blood with enough pressure and regularity. Blood eventually begins to coagulate and clot if it is unable to move around.

A partial slug or clot can start to develop when the body hasn’t moved in a long time, such as in the case of a surgery, a bed-ridden condition, or a long trans-oceanic flight in a cramped seat. Blood clots can even occur in a few hours, as proven in the cases where they are seen in children spending hours playing video games cross-legged.

Where do Blood Clots Come From

Common Symptoms of a Blood Clot in the Leg

As blood flow gets blocked or limited, the affected area tends to swell. New blood continues to come in, pumped by the heart, but the returning amount to the heart is less. This creates a backflow or a large amount of pooling in the affected leg.

Leg-with-DVT-and-Varicose-Veins

This pooling effect can be visually noticed by discoloration or an increased amount of heat, similar to an infection or impact location from trauma.

However, many patients have experienced a leg blood clot without any noticeable symptoms. A blood clot’s ability to hide makes them especially dangerous.

Any unusual swelling of the leg, pain, discoloring, or a combination of the above, along with chest pains, dizziness, or inability to breathe, are all signs to receive medical care. Symptoms tend to vary from person to person, so trying to guess if a symptom is serious or not can be a very risky gamble.

Are Blood Clots Genetic?

If a patient’s family has a history of blood-clotting, then it’s quite possible that the patient could be affected as well, studies have proved this. Interestingly, many blood clots are due to lifestyle or changes in mobility.

Obesity or being significantly sedentary for long periods of time will contribute to clotting. If a person is lying down for an extended period due to a surgery or pregnancy, can also be a factor.

Medications that reduce blood pressure have been known to be problematic for clots as well.

Deep-Veins-of--the-Leg

How To Prevent Leg Blood Clots or DVT

The easiest and most powerful method of prevention for deep vein thrombosis is to move. Stand up every hour and move your legs around. This will increase circulation and keep blood from pooling. Sitting for extended periods without moving occasionally, such as in an office setting, should be avoided.

Try a convertible desk where you can stand or sit. This will give you options throughout the day. Many companies are now providing them as a low-cost health improvement feature.

If you travel often, walk around the plane frequently or make lots of road stops to walk around and stretch your legs. Again, the hourly changing of position and moving your legs can make a huge difference in preventing leg blood clots or DVT.

Losing weight can significantly increase your internal circulatory power and take a load off your system. Extra weight and fat work against the body, making it harder to move blood through the circulatory network and back up the veins. Getting rid of that excess burden makes it easier for your heart to work and for your circulatory system to be more effective.

A routine of regular exercise is beneficial for your overall health. Optimize your workout and alternate between activities so you’re not bored and static. Move and stretch your body with weight-lifting or aerobic exercise. You don’t need to be the next Olympian; daily exercise with mild effort goes a long way towards improving your blood flow.

How to Prevent Leg Blood Clots

 

Don’t Let a Blood Clot Risk Control Your Life

Again, leg blood clots or DVT can occur for a variety of reasons, not just one thing, like heredity. A person’s lifestyle tends to be a significant contributor to risk. Exercise, a healthy diet, and getting regular doctor checkups all help in preventing DVT and allow for early warning sign detection.

Varicose veins can be an early warning sign of further vein complication and deep vein thrombosis. If you have concerns about the veins in your legs, contact NJVVC for the highest level of patient care.

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