How Do You Get Rid of Varicose Veins That Appear Months After Birth?

During pregnancy I had no problems with swelling or varicose veins, but around the time my daughter was 9/10 months old I've noticed varicose veins on my thighs and backs of my knees. Why has this happened and how can I get rid of them? I've also just moved to a much warmer part of the country, so will this have an impact on making them worse?

Doctor Answers 9

Sclerotherapy gets rid of those ugly varicose veins in most cases.

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Sclerotherapy gets rid of spider and small varicose veins easily for $450/session and is not painful but does usually take 3-4 sessions at a month to 6 wks apart. Expect to wear support hose for a few days after each session and enjoy the new great looking legs when the veins are gone. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Post Pregnancy Varicose Veins

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Thank you for your question. Hormones, genetics, standing for prolonged periods of time, and pregnancy are just some of the inevitable culprits for varicose veins. You can obtain a consult and treatment with a dermatologist or vascular surgeon for the best results.  I hope this helps.

Varicose veins after pregnancy are treatable.

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One of the common causes of varicose veins is pregnancy and the more pregnancies, the greater the chances of developing varicose veins.  During pregnancy, the pressure of the enlarging uterus on the surrounding pelvic veins puts pressure on these veins and the back pressure causes weakening of the valves in various veins(usually the saphenous system or other branches). Weak valves are called refluxing valves.  This results in back up of venous blood leading to varicose veins. Many times, as is your case, the varicose veins took time to develop from the refluxing valves.  Usually following pregnancy, we like to wait at least 3 months before treating these veins are you are well beyond this.  The gold standard and state of the art to treat varicose veins is to first have a venous reflux sonogram to document and identify the refluxing veins.  The next step is to close the refluxing valves with either a laser or radiofrequency catheter followed by removing the varicose veins through 2mm micro incisions.  All of this is done under local anesthesia without any need for stitches.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon

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Varicose Veins & Pregnancy

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There are many reasons why people develop varicose veins during their lifetime. Over time, it has been documented that women sometimes experience varicose veins during and after pregnancy. Sclerotherapy is the most widely used procedure to help combat the appearance of unwanted spider veins, as it works by injecting an FDA approved agent into the vein to reduce their presence. It's best to schedule a consultation with a board certified dermatologist who is experienced in sclerotherapy treatment to determine if you'd be a good candidate. Moving to a warmer part of the country should not have an effect on the appearance of your varicose veins.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Varicose Veins Post Pregnancy

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Varicose veins can occur at any time, especially in those who have a family history of varicose veins and venous reflux disease, also known as venous insufficiency. When a male member of the family has venous insufficiency, almost all of the kids will develop varicose veins at some time or another. If we live long enough, all of us will develop varicose veins, reticular veins and spider veins. It is inevitable, as all veins have valves and vein valves degenerate over time ..... this is a vicious cycle, as more vein valves leak, veins get larger and more vein valves become insufficienct. In essence, your best bet is to walk every day, elevate your legs when you are sitting down (recliner), wear compression stockings and take something called horse chestnut extract (aescin) or a bioflavonoid formula. I have written books about horse chestnut extract and bioflavonoids for vein problems and I highly recommend it to all of my patients (except those with liver problems, those who are pregnant and those who are breast feeding).


I also recommend that you get tested by a phlebologist (vein specialist) with a Doppler venous scan to see if you have venous insufficiency. If you do, this problem has to be treated with VNUS Closure or EVLT. After that, you need to have  your varicose veins (bulging veins) and spider and reticular veins treated with sclerotherapy (preferably foam sclerotherapy) by an expert in the field. You can go to the major phlebology website and find a Board Certified Phlebologist to help guide you through this process.


In regards to moving to a warmer climate, I can say that veins become more dilated and more apparent in warmer temperatures and perhaps this is why you are noticing more of them ... or the fact that you are on birth control is making them proliferate more. Again, you need to be evaluated by a vein specialist and have the existing problems (venous reflux) and varicose veins treated before they proliferate more - which would require more extensive treatments and complications over time (skin discoloration with hyperpigmentation).


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I would recommend that you see a vascular surgeon for your concerns.  One to make sure that these are varicose veins and another to see what treatment options would be best for you.  

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Veins After Pregnancy

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Varicose veins can appear throughout life. As women, pregnancy, hormonal replacements, oral contraceptives, heat, and activity level can all contribute to a worsening in appearance.   Sclerotherapy uses FDA approved solutions that are injected into the vein to improve the appearance of varicose veins.  Injections are relatively painless compared to lasers, and are very effective.  I would seek treatment with a Dermatologic Surgeon or Vascular surgeon who specializes in sclerotherapy.  Good luck.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Getting Rid of Varicose Veins That Appear Months After Birth

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First, it depends if you have varicose veins - larger, bulbous veins, or spider/reticular veins - smaller reddish, purple veins. And you might have a combination, quite honestly. The first, varicose, may need to be treated with a specialized laser called EVLT by a vein specialist. It's performed as an outpatient procedure and is often covered by insurance. For smaller spider and reticular veins, those can be treated by a dermatologist with sclerotherapy. The best thing to do would be to see a dermatologist familiar with sclerotherapy for a consultation. He or she will be able to help determine what type(s) of veins you have, and refer you to a specialist as needed.

Treating Spider and Varicose Veins From Pregnancy

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Varicose and spider veins are a very common problem and typically occur on the legs. Spider veins are small enlarged superficial blood vessels that appear at the skin surface as red or blue. These dilated blood vessels may be short, unconnected hair-like lines, or connected in a "sunburst" pattern. Sometimes, spider veins occur in a small area and aren't very noticeable. Other times, they can cover a large area of skin and be very unattractive. Varicose veins are deeper and more dilated than spider veins and, depending on the severity, may need evaluation by a vascular surgeon. Ropey, bulging varicose veins typically develop after childbirth or with age.

Factors such as hormones, pregnancy, heredity, weight gain and standing contribute to the development of these veins. Prevention involves good support socks/hose to facilitate circulation back to the heart. Cosmetic treatments for varicose and spider veins include sclerotherapy which can be effective with multiple treatment sessions. Spider veins can also be treated with laser therapy.  Typically anywhere from 2 to 4 treatments (spaced about 6 weeks apart) are necessary to treat veins. Treatments aren't painful and support hose are recommended daily for the first week after treatment. 

Click on the link to view our video of the sclerotherapy treatment.


Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.