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Can Patients With Varicose Veins Still Enjoy A Spa Day?

Spa treatments, including massages and hot tubs, can be dangerous for people with varicose veins. Learn the risks so you can stay safe.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to unwind and relax, but the unfortunate reality is that plenty of classic spa treatments like the sauna or massage aren’t always safe for people with varicose veins. While these treatments are often marketed as a treatment or cure for varicose veins, the truth is that they can be both painful and dangerous. Luckily, it is possible to stay safe while enjoying the spa if you are careful and knowledgeable about the risks.

Dangers of Spa Treatments for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins form as a result of weakened or failed valves in a person’s veins. When the valves weaken, the blood travels backward down the vein and pools in the areas where gravity takes it, making the veins in those areas bulge and stretch. At the most basic level, spa treatments, especially massages, might cause pain for people who have varicose veins —  though pain is one of the lesser risks of these treatments.

Given that varicose veins are already bulging and stretched, they are more susceptible to rupturing. If a varicose vein tears and starts bleeding, that could lead to hemorrhaging, which demands immediate medical attention. Putting pressure on varicose veins heightens the risk of a rupture. Given that massage is based around putting pressure on your body, it’s not recommended that varicose vein patients get their legs massaged. 

In addition, it’s possible for a blood clot to be dislodged during a massage. In some instances, varicose veins can be an indication that vascular health has been compromised. If that’s the case, you might have blood clots in your body. By getting a massage, you risk dislodging any blood clots that might be in the vicinity of the veins. For that reason in particular, many massage therapists will refuse to massage people with varicose veins. 

Along with massages, hot tubs and saunas can be dangerous for people with varicose veins. The heat that is present in both can cause the veins to swell up, resulting in the blood pooling inside. For all of these reasons, it is better for people with varicose veins to stay away from some of the more standard spa treatments.

Safe Spa Treatments for Varicose Veins

Unfortunately, the common myth of massages being good for varicose veins is false. However, if you are careful, it’s still possible to enjoy some spa treatments with varicose veins. 

Even if you have varicose veins, it’s possible to get spa treatments that do not approach the area of the veins without major concern. Generally, massages to the upper body work are safe, though if you work with a massage therapist who has experience dealing with varicose veins, it might even be possible to get a light massage on your legs. 

One popular spa choice for people with varicose veins is a med spa. A med spa is essentially a middle ground between a true spa and a doctor’s office, making it a safer choice if you have varicose veins. However, if you go to a med spa, you should be careful about which procedures you choose.

Med spas typically offer sclerotherapy treatment for varicose veins, which is a procedure where medications are injected into the veins to make them shrink. At a med spa, the focus is typically more on aesthetics, and only the spider veins are treated. While that can sometimes be enough to make the veins disappear, it fails to address the underlying issue. That’s because those spider veins might be connected to larger veins which will not be treated at a med spa. 

For a procedure that will treat your varicose veins effectively, you need to go to a true medical professional who focuses on treatment above aesthetics. If you want to get pampered, a med spa is a great choice. If you want to treat your varicose veins and see real, lasting change, it is always best to be treated by a medical professional. If you’re considering beginning your varicose vein treatment, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today.

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