Smooth, hairless skin, that’s the goal. But if you have varicose veins, you may be concerned about removing hair without further damaging your skin or veins. Your concern is valid. The hair removal methods you had been using before developing varicose veins may no longer be appropriate. When you have varicose veins, you must take care of and use safe hair removal methods. Otherwise, you could harm your sensitive veins.
The good news is that there are various ways to remove unwanted hair, some that are perfectly acceptable to use by those with varicose veins, and some that should be avoided.
What to Avoid When Removing Unwanted Hair
Generally speaking, if you have varicose veins, you will want to avoid hair removal methods that use excessive heat or razors.
You want to avoid using excessive heat because any level of heat dilates veins. Since varicose vein walls are already distended and weakened, increased blood flow can cause discomfort and even spontaneous bleeding.
Avoiding the use of a razor around varicose veins is just good common sense. You certainly wouldn’t want to catch a protruding varicose vein with a razor.
Popular Hair Removal Methods and How They Affect Varicose Veins
So how does that narrow down your hair removal options? Let’s take a look.
Let’s start with shaving. Hands down, shaving is the easiest, most accessible, and inexpensive way to eliminate large areas of unwanted hair. If you’ve ever used a razor to shave, you are familiar with the occasional cuts, scrapes, and razor burns commonly associated with this removal method. These are minor inconveniences for most people, but for someone with varicose veins, a small laceration can turn into big trouble. Varicose veins are highly susceptible to bleeding. Catch a varicose vein with a razor, and you’re likely to get knicked. Add the heat of a warm shower or bath to the mix, and you have a recipe for a bloody mess.
Alternative: If shaving is your go-to for hair removal, try a razor specifically designed to use on dry skin. Dry shaving, with the proper razor, can be less abrasive to the skin and varicose veins. Just be extra careful when you are shaving around a protruding vein.
Now let’s move on to a very popular hair removal method: waxing. During most waxing procedures, the wax is heated, slathered on the skin, and then removed with a fabric strip. When the strip is pulled off, it takes the wax and hair along with it.
Waxing is potentially harmful to people with varicose veins for two reasons. If you have ever been burned during a waxing session, then you know just how hot that wax can get. Even when the wax is heated to the appropriate temperature, it can cause problems when used on varicose veins.
Why? Varicose veins form when the valves in a vein are weakened or damaged. When this happens in your legs, the valves no longer work against gravity and push blood upward to the heart. Instead, the blood pools up in the vein, and the vein swells. The swelling causes the overextended vein to bulge from under the skin. As we noted earlier, when heat is applied to varicose veins, they enlarge because of increased blood flow. Now imagine heated wax hitting the skin over an overstretched varicose vein. Then imagine abruptly pulling off the wax. Ouch! Not only will this irritate the sensitive skin that surrounds the vein, but it can cause irritation and bleeding.
Alternative to hot wax: If you really want to stick with waxing as your hair removal method, you could try sugar waxing. Sugar waxing may be less traumatic because the mixture of sugar, lemon juice, and oil or water that is spread on the skin isn’t heated to the same intensity as hot wax. This may be less damaging to varicose veins.
Now let’s make our way to epilation. An epilator is a device that, when passed over the skin, extracts hair at its root. When passed over a varicose vein, an epilator’s intense pulling action could further inflame the delicate tissues and skin surrounding the vein and cause it to bleed.
Alternative: Depilatory cream could be the answer. Depilatory cream uses a chemical process to dissolve hair rather than a mechanical method to pull hair out. Because of this, it is gentler on the skin than an epilator.
Laser Hair Removal
Another hair removal option is laser hair removal. During a laser hair removal session, the provider uses a laser to aim a beam of heat at a hair follicle. The beam eliminates the follicle and prevents regrowth. Laser hair removal has proven to be a safe hair removal option for people with varicose veins. Lasers are also used to remove varicose veins in a process known as laser ablation. When heat pulsates through a varicose vein, the vein collapses and dissolves. Laser hair removal and laser ablation can be performed during the same treatment, which can be quite convenient.
A quick note about laser removal: patients are advised to avoid direct sunlight following laser treatment, so if you are still trying to get those last rays of the summer sun on your skin, you may want to wait a few weeks to start any laser treatments.
Are You Ready to Get Rid of Unwanted Hair?
If you have varicose veins and want to get rid of unwanted hair using laser hair removal, our experienced team at Evexias Medical Denver is at your service!
Are You Ready to Get Rid of Varicose Veins for Good?
If you’re done dealing with the constant inconvenience and discomfort of varicose veins, and you want skin that isn’t just hairless but devoid of ugly bumpy veins, we can help you with that right here at Denver Vein Center!
We offer a variety of vein removal treatments, including:
- Endovenous Laser Ablation of the Saphenous Vein (ELAS)
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
- Ultrasound-Guided Medical Sclerotherapy
And we’ll be with you from start to finish. We’ll take time to do an ultrasound, create a treatment plan, help you understand your insurance options, and perform the treatment all under one roof! Contact us for an appointment today!