Say goodbye to spider veins.
Nearly 55% of women in the US suffer from some sort of vein problem. Spider veins, tiny red to purple veins that usually appear in the legs and ankles, can be more than just a nuisance. For those who wish these pesky veins would just go away, there are medical treatment options available.
Why do spider veins appear?
Several factors may contribute to the development of spider veins in the legs, including:
- Hormonal shifts
- Occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing
- Weight fluctuation
According to Steven M. Brown, MD, the majority of spider vein cases are difficult to prevent. “Heredity plays a big part in whether or not a person is going to get spider veins,” states Brown. “Fortunately, we have treatment options that diminish the veins and rebuild one’s confidence in their appearance.”
What are my treatment options?
One common method of treating spider veins in the legs and ankles is called sclerotherapy.
During treatment, a sclerosing agent is injected into the affected veins. This solution causes the vein to blanch (turn white), then gradually disappear. If you have multiple spider veins, the treatment will require multiple injections to collapse all of the veins.
Laser treatment option
Spider veins may also be treated with a laser. In this method, an intense beam of light is directed at the spider vein, which obliterates it through the skin.
More than one laser session may be needed to obtain the desired results. Sometimes, laser therapy is used in combination with sclerotherapy.
What are the side effects?
“Most patients report little if any discomfort,” says Brown. “There may be a slight tingling or burning sensation when we inject the solution, but that is gone within seconds.” The treated area may look a bit bruised initially, but the color slowly fades over the course of a few weeks.
Your doctor will discuss all of the possible side effects with you in a pre-treatment consultation, in addition to establishing a clear understanding of your goals and identifying your best course of treatment.
How long can I expect my recovery to take?
Although every patient heals at a different rate, most are back to normal activities quickly. You can expect your recovery to follow this general time line:
Within the first week:
Within one month:
- Avoid squatting, heavy lifting and running
- The treated sites might appear bruised
- Avoid sitting or standing in one place for more than an hour or two
- You will be encouraged to walk
- The bruises at the treated sites will diminish
- You begin to feel more comfortable wearing leg-baring fashions
- You can resume most exercise
After two months, your vein treatment should have completed its healing. At this point, you and your doctor will decide if any additional treatment is necessary.
Steven M. Brown, MD at Alpine Medical in Minden offers sclerotherapy and the latest in advanced VPL light-based technology for spider vein treatments. Additional services include acne and rosacea treatments, hair removal, Botox, and more. To inquire about these services or schedule an appointment, call (775) 782-9118 today.
US Department of Health and Human Services
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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