Spider veins (also known as telangiectasias) and varicose veins are conditions that can affect both women and men, but tend to be more common in women, and develop over time as we age. The condition is very common and is caused by the blood vessels and capillaries that are located just below the surface of the skin.
One of the causes of varicose veins is by weakening or damaged valves in the veins. When blood collects in the veins, the blood can expand the size of the veins making them varicose. Spider veins can also be caused in the same way, but can also occur through hormonal changes. Spider veins and varicose veins look notably different to one another. Typically, spider veins can be red or blue colored and can look like spider webs on the leg. Varicose veins tend to be larger and look like cords within the skin and mostly are blue in color but can also be red.
Both spider veins and varicose veins are not linked with serious health conditions, but they are unsightly and can be uncomfortable. For these reasons many individuals seek treatment as they feel self-conscious and shy away from wearing clothes that expose their legs.
Treatment of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
The good news is that both spider veins and varicose veins can be treated effectively. If you have painful and unsightly spider or varicose veins, sclerotherapy may be the solution for you. Dr. Green uses Asclera®, which irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to seal up and become invisible. After the vein collapses, the body slowly absorbs the remaining tissue over time until the skin becomes smooth and blemish-free.
Patients can expect a sclerotherapy session to last anywhere between fifteen and forty-five minutes in length. A number of Asclera® injections are carried out into the vein, spaced at around an inch apart, so multiple injections are carried out in one treatment sessions. It should be noted that most patients will require more than one treatment session, and these are typically carried out one to two weeks apart.
Another option is the combination of sclerotherapy with VBeam® laser treatments to address smaller veins and capillaries. The VBeam® is a pulsed dye non-ablative laser system is designed to remove vascular lesions as well as other types of skin pigmentation. The laser delivers a burst of energy that’s intense enough to treat the targeted blood vessel, but gentle enough to preserve the surrounding tissue and ensure patient comfort.
Results from Sclerotherapy Treatments
Results will generally take between four and six weeks to achieve. However, results are dependent on the patient ensuring that the correct aftercare is applied to the treatment area. Dr. Green will provide you with a full set of instructions as to what you need to carry out to ensure that your treatment is as successful as possible. These procedures are quite straight forward and involve ensuring that compression is maintained to the treatment area, and some walking will be required.
There are a few other key activities that should be avoided immediately after treatment. Heavy exercise, air travel, sunbathing and hot baths / saunas are to be avoided for a few days after each treatment. Some individuals should avoid this treatment. If you are pregnant or nursing, or have thromboembolic (blood clotting) conditions, then you may not be suitable. It is important to always discuss any illnesses, allergies or medication that you are taking prior to treatment to ensure complete success.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary with each patient.
Dr. Michele Green is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments including sclerotherapy procedures to treat varicose and spider veins. Find out more and contact us online or at 212 535 3088 to arrange an appointment.