For Varicose Veins, Choose Treatment Over Tattoos

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Tattooing over varicose veins

You might be tempted to get a tattoo to cover up unsightly varicose veins. Here’s why you should think twice and visit a vein specialist instead.

Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but the last thing you should do is cover them up with a permanent tattoo. Tattooing over varicose veins could put your health at risk and can make it more difficult to treat the condition in the future. Here’s why you should visit a vein specialist before heading to the tattoo parlor.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

It’s important to remember that varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic problem. They’re a condition caused by diseased blood vessels and can have a serious impact on your health. Varicose veins develop because the one-way valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction have failed, allowing blood to pool and causing the walls of the veins to expand, twist and deform. The consequence is that the vein walls are often displaced, delicate, and easily damaged.

The Risks of Tattoos

Since varicose veins are often closer to the skin’s surface than healthy veins, they are at a higher risk of being punctured by a tattoo artist’s needle. If a vein is accidentally pierced, it might result in external or internal bleeding. Furthermore, diseased veins generally have a harder time healing. A tattoo puncture can be severe enough that it requires a visit to the vein clinic or emergency room, where the ruptured vessel can be sutured closed. Though it’s unlikely your vein will be punctured during a session, we don’t believe it’s worth the risk.

In addition, tattooing over varicose veins for cosmetic reasons is unlikely to produce the desired results. Swelling and inflammation after tattooing can cause the diseased vein to protrude even more. The swelling that causes the vein to bulge will further decrease the vein’s ability to transport blood back to the heart, which may exacerbate the condition. Plus, if the vein grows or changes — which is likely since it’s already diseased and damaged — the tattoo itself can become distorted. There’s also a heightened risk of infection, which can deform the image or cause the varicose vein to become more prominent.

The other problem is that tattoos can make it more difficult for your vein specialist to eventually treat your varicose veins. The tattoo image often has the effect of obscuring the vein from view, which can make it harder for your doctor to access the vessel or be sure that the entire diseased portion has been treated. (On the other hand, varicose veins that develop underneath a previously placed tattoo often remain easily treatable.)

Treatment Options

The bottom line is that it’s perfectly natural to feel a little bit self-conscious about the unsightly appearance of varicose veins. But be smart — visit your vein specialist instead of the tattoo parlor. Schedule an appointment at the Center for Vein Restoration today to find out how you can treat both the symptoms and underlying causes of varicose veins.

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