What is the Best Spider Vein Treatment for Me?
by Kristie Foushee
Are you fed up with those tiny red lines or blue-green veins on your legs and face but just aren’t sure how to get rid of them? We often have people ask about the best spider vein treatment options available.
Your best way to get rid of those spider veins depends on several different things. Read on to understand what causes spider veins and what the best spider vein treatment option may be for you.
What are spider veins and what causes them?
Spider veins are literally small superficial blood vessels that have expanded or dilated just below the surface of the skin. They usually start to appear in your 20s as small, squiggly, web-like patterns of red or blue colored lines. You develop more as you age. Spider veins appear on different parts of your body. Common areas include the thighs, behind the knees, on the calves, and around the ankles. You might find them on the face, cheeks, and nose as well.
Spider veins form when the valves in your veins get weak. These valves are designed to direct blood flow to go one way in veins – straight back to the heart. When the valves fail, blood begins to pool and flow backwards into the vein instead of out. This collection of blood pooling in your veins makes them more visible.
Several factors play a role in the appearance of spider veins. For some women, your genetics make spider veins an inevitable part of your future. Another risk factor stems from repetitive motions like sitting or standing for long periods of time. Fluctuations in weight, hormonal influences, sun damage, or past injuries sometimes lead to spider veins as well. They affect nearly 50% of people over the age of 50.
When is Sclerotherapy the best spider vein treatment for you?
How can you tell a spider vein from another type of vein? An easy way to identify spider veins clusters at home is to press down on the center of it. Watch to see if the color drains away as a result of the pressure applied by your hand. Now release the pressure. If you see the blood return along with the color, then you are looking at a spider vein.
Sclerotherapy is widely considered the best, most effective treatment for the appearance of spider veins. This ultra-fine precise approach uses an injectable solution (sclerosant) to shrink and collapse problem veins which eventually disappear as they are reabsorbed by your body. After the injections, application of gentle pressure prevents blood from returning to the area.
Sclerotherapy treatment is performed safely in the office. it is a relatively painless (it may sting some) and requires virtually no downtime. We recommend wearing compression stockings for a few days to maintain pressure after the procedure.
Sclerotherapy Q&A with Nurse Kristie Foushee
When is laser the best spider vein treatment?
While laser treatment for spider veins is another quick, noninvasive procedure, it is not always the preferred first-line treatment for spider veins. Laser treatment involves using a focused beam of light to heat up and destroy affected veins by targeting the pigment in the blood.
The treated veins slowly close down, allowing your body to remove them over the course of several weeks. Many patients equate the feeling of laser treatment with being snapped by a rubber band. The trade-off is that there is zero post-procedure care to minimize the recurrence.
Another downside to laser vein treatment is limited ability to treat larger reticular veins, which are often the source or “spring” that feeds into a spider vein cluster. Like a river running into branches, you want to simultaneously treat the root of the problem (reticular veins), which Sclerotherapy does.
How do I know which option is best for me?
Often, the best choice for treatment depends upon the size and location of your spider veins. Your skin type, pain tolerance and other possible health conditions affect the decision as well. In some cases, a combination of both laser and Sclerotherapy treatments are beneficial. An example is if you have very fine veins that are too small to access with the Sclerotherapy needle.
Both treatment options may require a few sessions and annual follow-up treatments to achieve optimal results. As with any cosmetic or surgical treatment, talk to your doctor. During the consult, discuss your health history, goals, and options before making a final decision.
Important note: Once spider veins appear, they will not go away on their own or with the use of home remedies. The only exception is spider veins that appear during pregnancy which do often fade after your baby arrives.
Can I treat spider veins at home?
Perhaps you are in the early stages of researching treatment options, or you might have already made an appointment with our vein specialist. Either way, there are ways you can prevent new spider veins from appearing or slow the spread of existing spider veins. Here some things you can do to improve your circulation and build healthy muscle tone to minimize the chances of new spider veins forming:
- Drink lots of water.
- Move your body often and remember to take breaks from sitting or standing in one position for too long.
- Evaluate your overall health and look for ways to add in simple exercises or diet changes (i.e. lowering salt intake) to prevent water retention and weight gain.
- Elevate your legs above your heart while resting.
- Avoid positions, like sitting with your legs crossed, that add unnecessary pressure and reduce circulation to specific areas of your legs.
At Tannan Plastic Surgery, we understand that even if you do everything right, you may still notice the appearance of unsightly spider veins. Now is the best time to schedule pre-treatment assessment and consultation with Kristie Foushee, RN. Get ready to confidently show off your legs by the Spring season!
Are you interested in learning if Sclerotherapy treatment is right for your spider vein removal? Call (919) 797-0996 to schedule your consultation today!
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