Spring is in the air! As you clear out your closet of winter clothes and try on your new summer wardrobe, check to see if your legs are ready for short skirts and bathing suits. If you notice that you’ve got some red and blue veins that make you reluctant to show your legs, now is the time to do something about it. The good news is that if you treat your spider veins today, you’ll see terrific improvement by the Fourth of July.
When do Spider Veins Generally Occur?
Spider veins can occur at any age and result when the valves in the blood vessels become leaky and fail to prevent the blood from pooling in the feet and ankles. This is a result of a combination of factors including heredity, hormones, puberty, pregnancy, and weight. While women are most susceptible, a quarter of all leg vein sufferers are men.
Although a sun tan can temporarily camouflage these vessels, in the long run the sun will make leg veins more prominent and unsightly as it breaks down collagen. Minor spider veins can be the precursors to varicose veins, which tend to be thicker, lumpy and purple and may lead to swelling and uncomfortable achiness or heaviness in the legs.
How to Treat Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective procedure used to reduce spider veins. It involves the injection, using a very fine needle, of a small amount of solution into the veins. The solution then irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to collapse. As these veins are a superfluous, “alternate route” for the blood, the body doesn’t miss these vessels and blood returns to the heart via the main thoroughfares.
Who can be treated for spider veins?
With a few exceptions, most healthy people are good candidates for sclerotherapy. If you are pregnant or have had a blood clot you shouldn’t be treated. If your veins are very tiny or too large you might not be treated.
Is Sclerotherapy Painful?
Most patients experience little or no discomfort during the procedure, which does not require any anesthesia. There might be a slight stinging as the solution is injected and the areas that were treated can become red, raised and itchy. You may also experience bruising which can last for several weeks.
How to Prepare for Sclerotherapy
Prior to sclerotherapy, you should discontinue over-the-counter supplements that cause bleeding, such as ginkgo, ginseng, and vitamin E as well as anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and aspirin. Bring heavy compression stockings with you as you will need to wear them after the procedure for at least 48 hours. You will also need to avoid hot baths, whirlpools or saunas, and direct sunlight exposure on the areas treated for at least 2 days.
Usually at least half of all veins injected will disappear with sclerotherapy in 3- 6 weeks. Depending on the number of veins, some people will need multiple treatments. In about 10% of all cases the veins don’t respond and another solution can be tried.
Because it can take a few weeks for the veins to disappear, it’s a good idea to have sclerotherapy before the start of summer!
Contact us with questions or to schedule your appointment.
Call us at 301-652-8081.