Are annoying, unsightly little spider veins on your legs influencing your summer wardrobe options? If you’re bothered by leg veins, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office, almost 55% of women have some type of vein concern. With spring about to kick into high gear and the season of shorts and sundresses arriving after that, it’s time to look at how Sclerotherapy can help you love your legs again!
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are tiny red, blue, or purple blood vessels that lay close to the skin’s surface and have an almost web-like appearance. They can occur almost anywhere on the body (including the face) and are especially noticeable on the legs. Although generally asymptomatic, spider veins can cause burning, itching, and even aching in some people.
Spider veins are different than varicose veins, which are abnormally enlarged, bulging veins on the lower legs, which can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as aching and swelling. Large varicose veins are generally not indicated for Sclerotherapy, and a physician who specializes in vein removal will need to be consulted to discuss their treatment.
What causes Spider Veins?
A healthy vein is a one-way valve that carries blood back to the heart from other areas of the body. A spider vein has a structural abnormality that makes it defective, therefore allowing blood to flow back into the vein and pool.
Several factors may predispose you for developing spider veins including:
- Occupations that cause you to stand for long periods
- Hormonal influences of puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
- The use of some oral contraceptives
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
- A medical history of blood clots
- Sun exposure
- Previous trauma to the skin
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy uses a very tiny needle to inject a “sclerosant,” or solution that helps close a vein, into the vessels that feed your spider veins. This solution causes them to eventually close and reroutes blood blow to healthier vessels. With time, the closed vessels are reabsorbed back into your body, and visible veins fade away. The treatment is minimally invasive, quick, and highly effective.
What happens during a Sclerotherapy appointment?
Skin Artisans is unique in that our Sclerotherapy Specialist uses a transilluminator light during your treatment to be able to identify veins that are the ‘feeders’ to your spider veins. This focus makes treatment more effective, as we are treating the real cause of your spider veins and not the symptom.
Both legs (if needed) are treated during your appointment with a series of micro-injections to each area of concern. Depending on the number of veins present, you may need to return for up to three treatments to see a complete resolution.
Is there downtime after Sclerotherapy?
Immediately after your treatment, your provider will help you put on compression stockings to enhance your healing and results. These will need to be worn for several days after your appointment to keep treated vessels compressed. She will advise you to not exercise for one week after treatment and avoid activities that increase your blood pressure like sitting in a hot tub or sauna. You may have light bruising and tenderness at the injection sites of your treatment, both of which are entirely normal and will quickly fade.
When do I see results with Sclerotherapy?
You will notice spider veins begin to gradually fade away in the weeks following your appointment. It may take up to two months to see full results. Multiple treatments may also be needed for complete clearance, but your results are permanent as once a spider vein is closed, it is completely eliminated.
It is always possible for new spider veins to form in the future, especially if you are naturally predisposed to developing spider veins. Our Sclerotherapy Specialist can help you map out an annual or bi-annual treatment and maintenance plan to keep your legs clear and summer ready with each passing year!
Ready to reintroduce shorts back into your wardrobe this summer? Then, NOW is the perfect time to start Sclerotherapy! Schedule a complimentary consultation with Kirstin Willenbring, RN, our Sclerotherapy specialist, by calling (952) 767-3163.