Medical & Surgical Dermatology

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large veins that have swollen and bulged under the skin. Typically a blue or green color, these veins are caused by abnormal valves in the vein. The abnormal valve does not close properly and allows blood to flow backward in the vein when muscles relax, which causes swelling and pressure in the blood vessel walls. Varicose veins can occur anywhere on the leg, and they usually form in the superficial vein system, close to the skin surface.

Factors contributing to varicose veins may include:

  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Trauma (from an injury)
  • Age
  • Prolonged standing
  • Hormonal changes

Treatment Options

Water’s Edge Dermatology treatment options for varicose veins include:

  • Sclerotherapy – Foam sclerotherapy 
  • Stab avulsion phlebectomy

Sclerotherapy involves an injection of a sclerosing solution directly into the blood vessel with a very fine needle. Water’s Edge Dermatology uses an ultrasound guided sclerotherapy with a foam sclerosing solution. The foam solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, producing a blood clot. The clot does not move and over a period of weeks, the clotted vessel turns into scar tissue and fades.


Stab avulsion phlebectomy, also called ambulatory phlebectomy, is considered to offer the best cosmetic results for removing varicose veins. When a vein has been weakened too much to contract to its normal size, phlebectomy is used to remove the vein through small incisions. Using a local anesthetic, incisions as small as one millimeter are made to draw out the vein with a small hook.


Varicose veins cannot always be prevented, but there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of developing varicose veins.

Steps to reduce development of varicose veins:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid crossing your legs while sitting
  • Elevate your legs while resting
  • Don’t stand or sit for long periods of time, take breaks every 30 minutes
  • Wear elastic support stockings
  • Avoid wearing constrictive clothing
  • Wear lower-heeled shoes

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