Ask our health experts: Sunshine Vascular & MD Cosmetic and Skin Clinic
In the last few years I have developed thin, dark spider veins on my legs, which look awful. Is there a way to get rid of them without surgery?
with Dr Karl Schulze
You’re not alone. Lots of women (and men too) develop these unsightly veins as they age and none of us like the thought of the cost, pain and long recovery time that some surgical treatments entail.
But there is another option.
Spider veins are abnormally-dilated veins that appear as tiny red, purple or blue vessels. They are commonly present on the legs, but can appear anywhere on your body. These veins are not very efficient and aren’t necessary to the circulatory system, so they can be treated without compromising your circulation and without the need for surgery, using a process called sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting the veins with a sclerosing solution, we use a saline solution. This irritates the lining of the vein causing it to become “sticky” and swell. When the procedure is finished a compression stocking is put on. The treated veins will then fade over six weeks, becoming barely visible, or not visible at all. After several treatments there is usually up to an 80 per cent improvement in the appearance of the legs, depending on the severity of the problem.
The needle we use is very fine, so it causes minimal discomfort. Patients have described the sensation as a bit like an ant bite. Usually one leg is treated per 45-minute session. For subsequent treatments it may be possible to do both legs in one appointment.
Sclerotherapy doesn’t really interfere with your daily routine. You will be able to walk immediately after each treatment and walking for 30 minutes a day for the next week is part of the recovery process. You will need to leave the compression stockings on for three days.
While all medical procedures can involve the risk of side effects, these are unlikely and are relatively minor when they do occur.
Phone: 5453 4322
118 King St, Buderim
I take multivitamins daily, but want to give my immune system a boost, is there anything else I can do?
with Melissa Drury
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that reside in our bodies, which are indispensable for maintaining a healthy nutritional balance. Pollution, a change in diet, and various factors such as stress, damage the body, forcing the body’s consumption of these vitamins.
Intravenous vitamin therapy involves the administration of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, such as amino acids, directly into the bloodstream in the form of a drip.
The IV method bypasses the digestive system, allowing delivery of greater quantities of nutrients and promoting maximum absorption. Orally administered vitamins can be inactivated in the digestive tract or poorly absorbed in high doses and can cause unwanted side-effects such as abdominal cramps and nausea.
IV nutrition therapy is not a panacea replacing an unhealthy lifestyle, but part of a holistic approach to complement and support acute/chronic conditions when the immune system needs a boost.
Some common uses for IV vitamin therapy include:
• Correction of deficiency states – for example due to severe illness or following surgery
• Reduction of symptoms and severity of cold or flu, and certain other viral infections, such as shingles, glandular fever and others
• Reduction of symptoms of the acute stages of illnesses such as cold or virus onset
• Anti-inflammatory benefits
• Preliminary studies also indicate that IV nutrition therapy may be beneficial for some forms of cancer, may enhance primary cancer treatments, and provide immune system support
Before treatment, seek medical assessment by an integrative medical practitioner, this is a GP who has further experience and qualifications in complementary medicine and therapies.