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Dermatologists Debunk Myths, Offer Advice for Conditions that Hit Below the Belt
Date:11/13/2008

NEW YORK, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- While spider veins, varicose veins, cellulite and pedicures gone awry may sound like the makings of a modern-day horror flick, the scary part is these dermatologic conditions and associated problems can strike anyone at anytime. In fact, much of what is perceived as common knowledge or factual information about these problems is little more than fiction.

Speaking today at the American Academy of Dermatology's SKIN academy (Academy), dermatologist Robert A. Weiss, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, addressed common myths about spider veins, varicose veins and cellulite, the latest treatment options, and how to ensure a safe pedicure.

Spider and Varicose Veins

Spider veins, also referred to as roadmap veins, are very tiny superficial blood vessels that increase in size over time and commonly occur on the legs. Dr. Weiss noted that some people are more susceptible to spider veins, including women and those who have a blood relative with the condition. Spider veins also are common in workers who stand regularly in their jobs -- such as nurses, cashiers or hair stylists -- as standing increases the venous pressure in the legs and can cause the veins to stretch.

Although some spider vein suffers may mistakenly believe tanning their legs can help mask their condition, Dr. Weiss warned that excess sun exposure actually can cause spider veins. Harmful ultraviolet light breaks down collagen -- which composes the walls of spider veins -- and can cause thinning and spreading of the veins.

"There are many common myths about spider veins, so it is important for patients to consult their dermatologist for the best advice on how to minimize their risk of developing the condition and how to treat it," said Dr. Weiss.

Dr. Weiss set the record straight on the following myths about spider veins:

Myth: Crossing your legs causes
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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