PS from the PA – September 2022

Hamilton DermatologyNews

I hope everyone has had a great summer with lots of sun-safe time outside! I know I love running outside on the Alpharetta Greenway with my husband, Zane. We put in many miles out there. In college, I got into fitness as a hobby, trained for marathons, and did CrossFit exercises. Growing up in the dermatology world, I knew that pounding exercise would take a toll on my leg veins. Well, after this summer, it has finally happened. I saw dark green veins behind my knees and spider veins scattered throughout my legs.

Veins are the vessels that pump blood back to the heart. They contain valves on the inside structure to help prevent backflow. Sometimes, when pressure builds in the vasculature, we get blood pooling and stretching of the valves. Blood then has a more challenging time returning to the heart. Varicose veins are greenish-blue in color and can sometimes cause bulging of the skin. Symptoms accompanying this are aching, swelling, cramping, or even itching. However, before vein disease progresses to the varicose stage, we can get small, red veins just below the skin’s surface called spider veins. Risk factors for vein disease include genetics, exercise, especially running and weight lifting, pregnancy, obesity, and age.

Dr. Hamilton is passionate about vein disease and has been doing endovascular ablation (venous closure) since 1999. Endovascular ablation treats symptomatic varicose veins. Before the need for endovascular ablation, however, we can treat the superficial veins with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a procedure that involves the injection of a sclerosing agent into the vessel to induce inflammation and closure. Once it is no longer a working vessel, the body resorbs it.

Sclerotherapy often requires multiple sessions performed 8 -16 weeks apart for best results. Fall is a fabulous time to start working on those pesky veins, as we recommend wearing a compression hose for 2 weeks following treatment. Starting in September, patients with mild to moderate vein disease can schedule sclerotherapy appointments with me. But if you have more prominent rope-like green veins or have had sessions of sclerotherapy with minimal results, it is essential to determine if deeper vein disease is present. In that case, please schedule an ultrasound with our ultrasound technician, Becky.

I can’t wait to work on your veins this fall!

Madison Hamilton, MMS, PA-C

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