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What chemicals can cause irritation of varicose veins?

I've noticed that sometimes when I put lotion on my leg, my varicose veins begin to become extremely itchy. I've noticed that one certain kind of lotions do this though, so I was wondering are there certain chemicals I should look out for so that they don't irritate my varicose veins?

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Doctors Answers (6)

Your skin may be getting irritated from different chemicals in your lotions. It is unlikely that it is causing problems with your veins. Eucerin and cetophil are two good products you can try which have few chemicals.

Any lotions applied to the skin (topicals) that cause itching of the skin or over varicose veins may be due to an allergic or chemical irritation which may be vary by each person. Avoid lotions that have produced itching, rashes or symptoms in the past. Some prescription medications may have side effects that can be discussed with your doctor to evaluate the risks and benefits, but avoid over-the-counter products that produce itching symptoms. In general I recommend avoiding products with a long list of ingredients including botanicals, herbs and extracts which often contribute little to its benefits but may each produce unwanted side effects not limited to itching. Products with only a few well selected ingredients is preferred.

Varicose veins can themselves become itchy with a type of histamine response. It may be that a particular lotion causes more irritation. I would recommend something without any petrolatum in it such as Aveeno (generic is fine also) which uses dimethicone and is much more soothing. These are best applied immediately after showering when the skin is still damp. Perhaps it is time to be evaluated for an underlying cause of your varicose veins and consider treating them. If symptomatic you may be eligible for insurance coverage (criteria for coverage varies from insurer to insurer).

The best advice I can give is dry skin can cause itchy skin. So products or chemicals that dry skin, think soaps or alcohol based products, can lead to itching . Also some people react to certain fragrances, so use fragrance free products. Anything that makes the skin itch will make the varicose veins in it itchy, even more so because they are already slightly irritated.

I am afraid that I am not familiar with those types of chemicals. It seems unlikely that topically applied lotions can directly irritate the varicosities.

I think you just don't use the lotion that causes the itching. I also think you should be evaluated and treated Most insurance will pay for treating symptomatic varicose veins.

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