Dry brushing is often recognized as a circulation booster. But can it prevent varicose veins?
Dry brushing is an ancient massage technique using an exfoliating brush made of firm, natural-fiber bristles to boost circulation. Many believe that the body brushing process can stimulate the lymphatic system, increase energy, and help rid the body of toxins. But what effect, if any, can dry brushing have on varicose veins?
Dry brushing has become increasingly popular among Hollywood stars and others as a method to brighten the appearance of skin by sloughing off dead skin cells, thus making moisturizing more effective.
Because people use dry brushing as a tool to promote circulation, it is often advertised as a way to prevent or alleviate varicose and spider veins. Using the brush, you gently sweep from your legs to your shoulders in an upwards motion toward your heart.
However, as with many superficial therapies for varicose veins, dry brushing offers, at best, only temporary relief from the discomfort of those raised, gnarled veins on the legs and feet. To eliminate varicose and spider veins, you’ll need to make meaningful lifestyle changes or undergo minimally invasive surgical procedures.
The Connection Between Circulation & Varicose Veins
Varicose and spider veins result from venous insufficiency, which is a breakdown in the blood flow from the legs to the heart. To keep the blood moving throughout the body, tiny valves in the leg veins push the blood upward to the heart. Varicose veins affect more women than men due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause. Age, heredity, and obesity can also cause the valves to lose strength. When that happens, blood pools within the vein walls, stretching the vein walls outward
Dry brushing can help stimulate blood flow. Like a gentle leg massage, it can temporarily reduce the symptoms of swelling, pain, and heaviness that are associated with varicose veins. However, use caution not to brush over broken skin or a protruding varicose vein, as the skin covering the varicose vein is delicate and could bleed easily. In general, if done gently, dry brushing isn’t harmful. Still, it’s not a reliable preventative measure or cure for varicose and spider veins.
Treating Your Varicose Veins & Spider Veins
The only effective way to eliminate diseased veins is by one of several surgical treatments. Here’s a quick rundown of five common minimally invasive procedures:
Sclerotherapy. A safe solution is injected into the vein during this outpatient procedure, causing the vein to collapse and eventually fade. The blood is then rerouted to healthier veins. Both spider and varicose veins benefit from sclerotherapy.
Thermal Ablation. Thermal ablation techniques involve heat from either a laser or radiofrequency energy to eliminate the diseased vein. The vein is then destroyed as blood diverts to healthier veins.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy. The troublesome varicose vein is extracted through two tiny incisions during this minor surgical procedure. Performed using a local anesthetic, patients can drive themselves home after the procedure.
VenaSeal. A newer innovation in vein care, VenaSeal involves a vein doctor using a proprietary medical adhesive to close the vein.
ClariVein. Using a mechanochemical ablation device, the physician injects a chemical known as a sclerosing agent into the vein, closing it. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes.
You can permanently eliminate the varicose veins and avoid more serious complications by treating your veins medically (not by dry brushing or other superficial methods.) All CVR procedures are performed with local anesthesia, and recovery time is brief with few restrictions.
Without treatment, the symptoms of varicose veins tend to worsen over time. It’s best to seek treatment at the earliest signs of varicose or spider veins, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.
After treatment, you can prevent new varicose and spider veins from forming by making lifestyle changes. A balanced diet, regular exercise, wearing compression stockings, and regularly elevating your legs above your heart promote healthier blood flow — better than with dry brushing.
Let Us Treat Your Veins
Center for Vein Restoration physicians focus solely on treating vascular disorders like varicose and spider veins. With the latest diagnostic tools, we’ll determine the cause of your varicose veins and recommend treatment options that best fit your needs and lifestyle. Contact us today for a consultation.