As summer quickly approaches, there is a collective push among men and women of all ages to “get in shape.” What that means, exactly, differs from one person to another. We often head into summer with ideas of losing weight or lifting sagging skin. Women may consider enhancing the shape of their breasts, or tightening their midsection so they love their bikini-ready look. These are all great ideas, but there’s more. Spider veins pose a problem for millions of people, and yet we don’t often talk about what to do to get rid of them. That’s what we want to do here.
Spider veins are not a new problem, nor are they something that requires a complicated process of treatment. For years, sclerotherapy has been the go-to method of eliminating webs of visible red and purple veins on the legs and ankles. This proven treatment works by introducing a particular chemical agent into a visible vein. This medication causes slight inflammation within the vein that causes it to collapse. As this happens, blood flows through other nearby vessels without interruption. The collapsed veins get absorbed and disappear. It’s so simple; you’d think everyone would get treated!
Details that Can Help You Move Forward
- Sclerotherapy is fast and comfortable. There is no reason to fear the treatment that will give you your legs back. Sclerotherapy involves a tiny needle. Also, numbing gel can be applied before treatment to minimize the sensation of tiny pinpricks. Finally, veins have no nerve-endings so no pain originates from them. Each treatment takes as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour, depending on how many veins require treatment.
- Most normal activities can be resumed right after sclerotherapy without any discomfort. Patients may be instructed to wear compression stockings as a way to increase the efficiency of vein closure. Compression also supports good circulation through the calf muscles, which decreases risk for future veinous insufficiency.
- Tanning should be postponed until all sclerotherapy treatments have been completed. Studies have shown that the mild irritation caused by sclerosing medication may cause discoloration on the skin if UV exposure occurs too soon after treatment.
- Only one treatment may be needed to achieve results, but this cannot be guaranteed. Some patients need one or more follow up treatments to eliminate veins that did not close after initial injections.