Okay, I’m well acquainted with myself from head to toe (yes, I admit I do scrutinize more than I care to admit).
But recently I noticed what appeared to be a line of demarcation on the back of my left calf that just won’t go away. And then my dermatologist confirmed my suspicions—I have a varicose vein (definition: an abnormally swollen or stretched vein that protrudes from the surface of the skin in a rope-like manner) and I am not happy about it.
I’ve heard exercise can help, so I asked celebrity trainer Kira Stokes to weigh in. “Varicose veins are a circulation issue and most commonly found in the legs,” she says. “Obviously, movement helps with providing circulation throughout the legs, so maintaining good cardiovascular fitness can help ward off varicose veins.” Kira recommends sticking to lower-impact exercises like walking, cycling and swimming. “Super high impact activities, such as running, can put extra strain on the legs causing veins to swell,” says Stokes. Guess I’ll be taking the stairs from now on.
Without taking drastic measures to remove the offender entirely, I figured there must be a quick fix—somewhere. Enter: Invisi-Vein Varicose Vein Cream. This all-natural solution claims to help fade, reduce, and prevent varicose veins using anti-inflammatory ingredients like calendula extract. It says my vein will vanish within 4 to 8 weeks. Since the ingredients are natural, I’m willing to give it a shot for $29.
So obviously I can’t keep my leg under cover all summer, and with the weather warming, I’m a bit panicked about bearing my vein to the world. Well, my philosophy is, everything looks better with a tan, including my vein. This is where a really good self tanner comes in. I swear by St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. It’s like spending two weeks in the sun without the risk of burn or skin cancer and coming out looking like a bronzed goddess—so all eyes won’t be on my vein.
Since I’m never satisfied unless presented with ALL of my options, I wanted to know, should I decide I can’t bear the site of my vein any longer, what my permanent options were. So I went straight to the source: Dr. Luis Navarro, founder and medical director of the Vein Treatment Center in New York City.
He said, the latest treatment to get rid of varicose veins is Cryo-sclerotherapy. “It’s a combination of standard sclerotherapy (injecting a solution into the vein) and cryotherapy, a machine that delivers bursts of super-cooled air to numb the skin and reduce pain,” says Dr. Navarro. Here’s how it works. During treatment, Dr. Navarro injects a mild chemical solution into the vein, which irritates the walls of the vessel, causing it to collapse. “The body then reabsorbs the vein and blood is re-routed into a healthy vein, restoring circulation back to normal,” he says. A single session takes about 30 minutes, and I can be vein free in as little as two sessions. The price per session is about $500 and well worth it.
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