Many people go out of their way to avoid surgery or other invasive treatment, which is understandable. For some, there is a genuine squeamishness when it comes to needles and the potential for any level of pain. Then there are those who are wary of the time or financial commitment involved in surgical and non-surgical procedures, with added time for recovery. Others yet have a mistrust of traditional or western medicine, preferring the homeopathic approach, favoring herbs, poultices, and essential oils. Thousands of dollars can be spend each year just by one person on supplements and home remedies—even in the case of varicose and spider veins.
There are popular searches on the internet for “Get rid of varicose veins naturally” and “How to get rid of varicose veins at home.” There are certainly plenty of results for supplements and remedies to “melt away your symptoms.” Millions of dollars, in fact, are spent a year, both on personal online retailers and at general nutrition stores, on supplements and creams that have no proven medical effects, have not been approved by the FDA, and in some cases can be hazardous to your health. Supplements are an unregulated industry—and because of the fact that 50% of people will develop varicose or spider veins in their lifetime, and many of those will seek home remedies, millions of dollars will continue to be spent on just vein remedies alone. It won’t matter if they are proven to be effective or not because people will continue to buy them, companies will continue to make and sell them for a profit, and until the companies are forced into regulation, new consumers will continue to pay up, seeking magic potions and snake oils.
It is generally a good thing when people make choices toward an active lifestyle and healthy living, including organic eating and avoiding unhealthful habits, especially with diet. In my columns, I’m an active proponent on doing whatever you can to prevent the conditions for varicose and spider veins to proliferate. But the truth is that some people are genetically predisposed to the condition, and there is no 100% proven prevention for any venous condition. And once you develop this condition, no home remedy will make them go away. Pine bark, witch hazel, grapeseed oil, cayenne pepper, immersion baths, green tea, chestnut bark, St. John’s wort, aloe vera, butcher’s broom, arnica Montana, and even turpentine and enemas have all been cited as cures for varicose veins—but they do not work.
Any “improvements” noted from home remedies are a result of the placebo effect. Topical creams and ointments are a waste of money as well, and even exercise is not a cure (although don’t give up on exercise!).
I know people’s fears of procedures are real. And for those whose mothers had the old fashioned vein treatments, those fears are not unfounded.
But vein therapy has become much less invasive than the outdated veins stripping of years past. All but the most severe treatment is a quick office visit that is so simple and non-traumatizing that it can be done on a work lunch break. Laser treatment and foam sclerotherapy are state-of-the-art treatments that, for some, involve almost no pain at all.
Varicose veins are a medical condition, and if left untreated, can become something very serious indeed. You do not want to jeopardize your health. But it is good to be informed about your options. Speaking to a medical professional such as a phlebologist can answer many of your questions and put you at ease about treating your vein disease the right way.
If you’re ready for a consultation on removing your spider or varicose veins, or if you just want more information on laser treatment or sclerotherapy, contact us at 760-944-9263 or visit our website at www.sdveininstitute.com.