Blog

CLASSIC LIST

varicoses-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

Varicose veins might be synonymous with ageing ladies but in actual fact the condition can affect anyone, at any age. These protruding veins on the surface of the skin can cause discomfort and torment amongst those who suffer from them.

If you are concerned about varicose veins, dissecting the facts about this common condition from the myths can not only help put your mind at rest but also help you efficiently control and treat the ailment.

To unravel the truth from the inaccuracies, take a look at the following five popular varicose veins myths busted.

Myth 1: Varicose veins are merely a cosmetic issue

These lumpy veins can be unsightly and many sufferers are keen to reduce the appearance of varicose veins for cosmetic reasons. However, the symptoms of the condition stretch much further than aesthetical ones.

By increasing the pressure in the veins, the ailment can cause discomfort, including swelling, leg heaviness, throbbing and pain. This in turn can lead to fatigue and a reduced quality of life.

Myth 2: Standing for long periods of time can cause varicose veins

While standing for long periods can cause the legs to ache and perhaps aggravate the discomfort caused by varicose veins, there is no evidence to suggest the act of standing can trigger the condition.

Myth 3: Varicose veins only affect women

Another common myth is that varicose veins only affects women. The truth is the condition is not gender-specific and can affect men as well as women. Women do tend to be at a higher risk than men of developing these unsightly veins, due to the fact women produce higher levels of the hormone progesterone, which is associated with the onset on varicose veins. However, men are not immune to the condition and can also suffer from the discomfort and cosmetic angst varicose veins can create.

Myth 4: There is little point treating varicose veins as they will always return

Another inaccurate myth involving varicose veins is likely to have stemmed from less effective methods of treatment in the past, which wouldn’t fully eliminate the problem.

Today, treatments such as sclerotherapy and endothermal ablation, remove the affected veins. If the protruded veins did reoccur, it would typically be due to another malfunctioning vein.

Myth 5: Veins shouldn’t be treated unless they are causing discomfort

These unsightly veins can lead to sufferers being anxious about their appearance and damaging self-esteem. Not all problem veins do cause pain or discomfort but if they are causing cosmetic concern, the sufferer should not be worried about seeking advice about having the veins treated.

Less invasive treatments are available for varicose veins that don’t require hospital admission, such as wearing compression stockings.

If you are concerned about varicose veins and would like to discuss different types of treatment, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy and Daryll Baker, a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Centr


water-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

A good circulation of the blood is key to maintaining a healthy body. As the blood circulated, it delivers oxygen and essential nutrients to the different organs and the cells of the body. Without the circulation of the blood, the body cannot function.

It is therefore vital that we maintain good blood circulation and continue to strive to improve the circulatory system.

As well as exercising and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water is an effective strategy for improving blood circulation.

Water plays a vital role in facilitating the flow of blood around the body. Studies implicated with blood circulation have shown that a poor circulation of blood can be caused by a number of factors, including a low consumption of fluids.

Though certain fluids, namely caffeine and alcohol, can cause dehydration within the body. Dehydration has a negative effect on the organs and the cardiovascular system. As dehydration decreases the blood volume in the body, it responds by retaining higher levels of sodium. High concentrations of sodium in the blood is linked to causing high blood pressure, which can, in turn, lead to the body closing its small blood vessels, known as capillaries.

Water is the best liquid to keep the body well hydrated and healthy, contributing to the well-being of the blood vessels.

How much water should we drink?

Whilst there is no single formula regarding how much water we should drink, and it greatly depends on the individual and their requirements, studies do offer some fairly definitive figures.

Experts repeatedly advice that in order to stay sufficiently hydrated, we should aim at drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

Conditions caused by poor blood circulation

When the blood is not circulating properly through the body, health issues can rear their head, including:

  • Varicose veins
  • Memory loss
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Headaches and dizzy spells
  • Vision loss
  • Restricted blood flow to the brain

As well as drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced, healthy diet, doing regular physical exercise is an essential way to maintain healthy blood circulation.

It is generally advised that in order for the arteries to have adequate peripheral circulation, we are active for at least


cold-hands-and-feets-2-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

Problems with our circulatory systems can be a sign of other health issues, such as varicose veins and thrombosis. High or low blood pressure is a leading cause of circulatory problems. Having cold hands and feet, which is often accompanied with a tingling ‘pins and needles’ sensation, are common signs that the circulatory system isn’t working at its best.

Insufficient oxygen to the tissues due to poor circulation can cause the fingers and the toes to become white or even blue in colour.

In cold weather, the condition can be worsened. It is therefore important to take steps to improve blood circulation during the colder months.

Drink less caffeine

Caffeine is proven to constrict the blood vessels, which can lead to a rise in blood pressure. To avoid caffeine negatively impacting your circulatory system, refrain from drinking too much coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks this winter.

Keep moving

When it’s cold and dark outside, it can be tempting to curl up on the sofa and not want to move! Though sitting for long periods of time can take its toll on the circulatory system as it decreases the flow of blood around the body, which can cause cold hands and feet and could potentially lead to more serious ailments.

Make the effort to regularly move around during the winter, even if it’s just going for a short walk or doing some exercises as you’re sat down.

Consume higher amounts of garlic

Garlic has incredible immune-boosting properties and is also extremely good for the heart. Consuming garlic can help improve cholesterol levels in the blood and lessen the chances of platelet clumping in the blood.

Get plenty of exercise

Exercise gets the heart beating and the blood pumping around the body, keeping you warm and helping to stave off high blood pressure and other circulatory issues.

You might not feel like exercising when it’s cold and wet but getting regular exercise is one of the key ways to improve your blood circulation all year round.

Eat plenty of ginger

Ginger is another food type that has great healing properties, including improving the flow of blood around the body and helping keep cold hands and feet at bay. So, ensure there’s plenty of ginger in your herbs and spices cupboard this winter!

If you are concerned with any aspect of your vascular health and would like to discuss your concerns with specialists in vascular systems, get in contact with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


top-causes-of-spider-veins-on-face-1-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

The small blood vessels which connect the arteries and the veins are called capillaries. When a capillary becomes broken, they can sometimes be seen on the surface of the skin as a reddish or blue thread. These broken capillaries that are visible on the skin are often referred to as spider veins, as they resemble the pattern of a spider’s web.

The tiny red blemishes can appear anywhere on the face but often occur under the nose or under the eyes.

Whilst facial spider veins are harmless, some people are concerned about their appearance and seek to get them treated.

Some of the key causes of these broken capillaries on the face include:

Genetics

Unfortunately, it is often our genetical makeup that can make us more susceptible to facial spider veins. If older generations of families have suffered from spider veins, the chances are younger generations will as well.

Ageing

Ageing is one of the leading causes of facial spider veins. When we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and weakens. The skin loses its recuperative powers and consequently, people can see more spider veins appearing on their face.

Excessive exposure to the sun

Free radicals cause oxidative damage to the skin. As the sun contains free radicals, excessive exposure to UVA rays can cause spider veins to manifest themselves on the surface of the skin.

Smoking and alcohol

Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause the breaking and a swelling of the blood vessels. Smoking also causes the oxidation of the cells, which can be detrimental to the body’s circulatory system. A weaker circulatory system can mean that the capillaries are less resistant to breakages and damage.

Obesity

Obesity can also be a leading cause of facial spider veins. Being clinically overweight puts pressure on the body and causes the blood not to circulate around the body as well as it should. The skin is also overstretched when someone is obese, making capillaries more prone to breaking.

Hormonal imbalances

Fluctuations of the hormones are also linked to the onset of facial spider veins. The changes of hormones during pregnancy, the menopause or puberty, can lead to the formation of spider veins on the face and elsewhere on the body.

If you are concerned with any aspect of your vascular health and would like to discuss your concerns with specialists in vascular systems, get in contact with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


Ways-to-improve-the-health-and-condition-of-your-veins.docx-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

Our bodies comprise of a vascular system made up of arteries, veins and blood vessels. This vascular system delivers oxygen and blood to the cells. If our veins and arteries become damaged, it can hamper the flow of blood and oxygen around the body, making us more susceptible to chronic diseases.

It is therefore important we maintain the health of our veins and arteries.

The Vascular Consultancy provides some tips on how to improve the health and condition of your veins.

Exercise regularly

By promoting a healthy flow of blood and oxygen around the body, exercising regularly helps keep the veins strong and in top condition.

Aerobic exercise that gets the blood pumping and the heart beating, such as swimming, running, hiking and cycling, is great for improving blood circulation and keeping veins and arteries healthy. Gentler exercise like walking and gardening, gets the blood moving around the veins, helping to prevent them from becoming damaged.

If you do suffer from varicose veins, more strenuous activities may aggravate the condition, so it is generally recommended to stick to more low and modern-intensity exercise, such as walking.

A healthy diet

Getting a healthy, well-balanced diet has a positive impact on our vascular health. Eating foods that are rich in fibre can help reduce the risk of disorders such as high cholesterol, which can have a negative impact on the veins and arteries.

High levels of blood cholesterol can result in fatty plagues building up in the blood vessels, which can lead to the weakening of the artery walls. Eating a high fibre diet helps to remove unhealthy fats from our digestive system.

If you suffer from varicose veins, eating a diet rich in bioflavonoids can help alleviate the pain and swelling caused by the condition. The bioflavonoids found in the likes of dark leafy vegetables, garlic, onions, cranberries and blueberries, can strengthen the valves of the blood vessel walls, thus reducing the leakage of blood and keeping the veins in good condition.

Consuming foods that contain high levels of vitamin C is important for preserving the health of our vascular systems. Vitamin C produces collagen and elastin, which helps keep the walls of the veins strong and flexible.

The production of the elastic fibres, collagen and elastin, also helps to prevent capillaries from breaking and the appearance of superficial spider veins from appearing under the skin.

If you are concerned with any aspect of your vascular health and would like to discuss your concerns with specialists in vascular systems, get in contact with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


Advice-for-making-thread-veins-less-visible.docx-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

Commonly known as spider veins, thread veins are small but noticeable veins that lie just below the surface of the skin. Thread veins can appear anywhere on the body but tend to be most common on the face and legs.

Thread veins are extremely common, particularly in older people over the age of 50. Whilst thread veins are not dangerous, they can cause some throbbing and discomfort and some people may become unhappy about their unsightly appearance.

If you are concerned about the appearance of thread veins, there are steps you can take to improve their appearance and help prevent them from appearing in the first place.

Improve the blood circulation

Improving the circulation of the blood can help make thread veins look less unpleasant. One of the best ways to improve blood circulation is to get regular exercise.

Avoiding sitting in the same position for long periods of time and regularly moving around will help the blood circulate around the body more efficiently and improve the appearance of thread veins.

Lose weight

Carrying excess weight around ultimately puts pressure on the legs, which can result in the appearance of thread veins. Losing weight by exercising and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can alleviate much of the pressure on your legs, improve the look of thread veins, and help prevent spider veins from surfacing.

Apply vitamin K cream to the skin

Vitamin K is linked to strengthening the capillaries and preventing blood vessels from swelling. Applying cream that contains vitamin K can be an effective way to improve the appearance of thread veins.

Avoid birth control with high levels of estrogen

Birth control pills that are high in estrogen have been associated with causing problems with the veins, such as causing thread veins or varicose veins to surface. Changing your method of birth control to a pill that is less high in estrogen may help prevent the onset of unsightly thread veins.

Treat yourself to a massage

If you’re looking for an excuse to have a pampering massage, thread veins might be just the answer!

One of the principle reasons thread veins appear underneath the skin in the first place is due to the inefficient circulation of the blood. Massages help get the blood circulating around the body and improve the flow of flood through the capillaries, which in turn, puts less pressure on the veins. This improved circulation of blood through massage can be great for thread veins and you may notice an improvement in their appearance in no time at all.

To discuss treatments for thread veins, including skin laser, micro-sclerotherapy and cosmetic makeup, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy.


Ways-to-promote-foot-and-leg-care-when-flying-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

Being cramped up in a tight space without much room to move when flying, does not do the condition of our feet or legs any favours. In fact, being stationary for a lengthy period of time on a flight, means the muscles that pump fluid out of our legs are not active, which can cause our feet to swell.

This is coupled with the low pressure and dry air circulating the cabin, both of which inhibit the flow of blood. It is therefore not uncommon for people to suffer from swollen feet when they land.

Fortunately, there are some steps we can take to help prevent swollen feet when flying and promote feet and leg care.

1 – Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water

Staying well hydrated during a flight by drinking plenty of water will encourage the body to get rid of toxins in the bloodstream, which can lead to pain and swelling in the feet and legs. Drinking plenty of water is also likely to mean you need to visit the bathroom during the flight, which will also help exercise your legs and promote a healthy flow of blood.

2 – Sit in a position that doesn’t restrict the flow of blood

It can be tempting to slouch and curl up in your seat during long-haul flights. Though to prevent the restriction of blood flow, which can lead to fluid building up in your legs instead of being pumped to the heart, try and sit in a good position without slouching or crossing your legs.

3 – Walk around the cabin

Make the effort to get up every now and again during the flight to move and stretch your legs, particularly if you are on a long-haul flight. When going to the toilet, opt for the one that is furthest away from your seat, to give your legs some exercise.

4 – Avoid eating too much salt

Salt can cause us to retain fluid, which can lead to the feet swelling. Try to avoid eating too much salt both before and during the flight.

5 – Exercise your feet

You can still exercise your feet whilst sitting on a cramped aeroplane seat! Rotate your feet in a circular motion at regular intervals throughout the flight. Point your toes up and down and from side to side to help get the blood flowing through your legs and to your feet, to help prevent them from swelling up.

6 – Massage your feet

It might not be the height of luxury but kick off your shoes and treat your feet to a good massage to keep the blood flow stimulated and prevent any swelling.

If you are really concerned about swelling feet during a flight, you could always ask the cabin crew if you can have an aisle seat so it will be easier for you to get up and move around.


The-role-nutrition-plays-in-wound-healing-Five-foods-that-can-speed-up-the-wound-healing-process-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

The healing of wounds is complex. It takes time for a wound to heal itself back to its former condition. While there is no concrete cure for wounds, the food that we eat plays a role in the healing process.

Nutritional intake that is high in protein is considered to have long-term benefits to a wound and can speed up the time it takes for the wound to heal.

If you are suffering from a wound and are waiting for it to heal, eating a diet rich in protein and other essential nutrients could be one of the best moves you make to help heal your wound.
Take a look at several foods that are known to help speed up the healing of wounds.

Nuts

Nuts are a great source of protein. In fact, nuts are hailed as a “wound healing superfood.” Laden with ‘good fats’, nuts provide the body with energy that promotes a healthy movement of cells within the wound and the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the wound bed.

Beans

Another protein-rich food are beans. Eating a diet that has plenty of beans, lentils and peas in it can help reduce the amount of time the wound takes to heal.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich with lycopene, an antioxidant that is known for promoting a good immune system and protecting the body from oxidation that can lead to damaged cells. Eating plenty of tomatoes can therefore reduce the risk of wounds becoming infecting, significantly slowing the healing process down.

Chocolate

Chocolate lovers may be pleased to hear their sweet tooth could help promote the healing of wounds. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and can help maintain normal blood pressure levels. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is a leading factor in helping wounds heal as it ensures the necessary oxygen, nutrients and vitamins are delivered to the bed of the wound.

Milk

Being rich in calcium and protein, consuming plenty of milk can help strengthen the body and speed up the wound healing process. Soy milk can be particularly effective in supporting the immune system and advancing the development of new tissue.

Adding these foods to a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, can be an effective way to complement the dressing of wounds and speed up the whole healing process.


cold-hands-and-feets-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

Leg ulcers are basically formed when there is a sudden or eventual break in the cell layer of the skin. There are many symptoms for a leg ulcer, including severe pain on the leg, discoloration on the affected area and oedema on the ankles. Individuals suffering from a leg ulcer also suffer from excessive scratching on the affected area. Diabetes is the biggest cause of leg ulcer, followed by poor circulation and chronic inflammatory disorders.

Are there any home remedies?

Interestingly there are some remedies that you can implement to control the spread of the ulcer after you start getting the symptoms. Some of the home remedies to limit the affect are:

  • Rosemary and Gingko Bilabo: Gingko Bilabo and Rosemary ensure the smooth functioning of the circulatory system, and make sure that blood reaches all the corners without any hassles. This speeds up the healing process for a leg ulcer.
  • Yarrow: Yarrow is another effective remedy to control the spread of a leg ulcer within the comforts of your home. Yarrow helps dilate the blood vessels, which in turn largely increase the flow of blood to the area affected by the ulcer.
  • Honey: Acclaimed across the globe as a means to promote the healing of all types of different problems with the body, honey kills the bacteria present near the ulcer which helps in stopping any bacterial infection from spreading near the ulcer or the affected area.

The home remedies are thorough and consist of natural items, but to ensure that you follow a smooth and error free treatment, it is best that you head over to us at vascular consultancy for a complete evaluation and treatment of your leg and the ulcer.


123-1200x643.jpg
24/Nov/2017

Hyperhidrosis in very brief terminology is the excessive sweating that can result from over reactive sweat glands in the body. Doctors are of the view that it is not really dangerous, but the condition of hyperhidrosis can affect your quality of life. Considering the threat that it possesses to their quality of life, many people want to diagnose hyperhidrosis as soon as possible. This is when the question arises; when should you see a doctor for hyperhidrosis? How much sweating is really considered too much sweating?

Treatment for hyperhidrosis should be sought whenever you feel like the following things are accumulating together to hinder your performance:

  • Excessive underarm sweating
  • You start avoiding social gatherings due to the embarrassment that you think you go through because of excessive sweating
  • You have challenges with almost all of your romantic relationships, as you can’t make a relationship last with this problem

Interestingly, there are treatments for this condition. None of the treatments can be deemed perfect or the most suitable but they can bring about a change in your body. The solutions are:

  • Prescription antiperspirants: A strong dose of the antiperspirants prescribed by a doctor is bound to get you out of the problem of the over reacting sweating glands.
  • Iontophoresis: This is a form of treatment, where the hands and feet of the person are soaked in a big basin of water, and mild currents of electricity are passed. The process is gradual and has its effects over time.
  • miraDry system: This method uses the electromagnetic energy to eradicate all sweat glands from your underarms.

If you feel that you need to consult an authority in this regard, you can come to us and discuss your issues with a specialist at the vascular consultancy.


vas_logo

Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.

Contact

Wellington Hospital
34 Circus Road
London
NW8 9SG

020 7722 7370

Copyright 2016 The Vascular Consultancy