Spider veins can be an unsightly feature for both men and women. Even though they do not pose a serious threat to one’s health, people with this condition would often want to remove these undesirable veins. Fortunately, a spider veins treatment called sclerotherapy can make these veins go away!
But before diving deeper into the procedures and principles of sclerotherapy, let us walk you through the causes and factors that contribute to the formation of spider veins.
WHAT ARE SPIDER VEINS?
Spider veins are bulged veins that resemble a spider web, hence their name. They are usually found in your legs, face, ankles, thighs, or the area behind the knees. Although it is acceptable to have them, opting to remove them is also an option, especially if they are starting to make you feel self-conscious.
These veins appear to be small, thin and can be red, purple, blue, or a combination of the said colors. They can be seen in the outer layer of the skin; that is why they are visible.
One main reason for having spider veins is venous insufficiency, a condition wherein there is a disruption in the natural flow of blood, causing the veins to bulge. This condition may be due to a valve problem, leading the blood to flow in the wrong direction. When this happens, the extra pressure due to the blood backing up damages the vein walls, which will weaken, bulge, and then raise the vein to the outer layer of the skin.
This sequence of events prompts the formation of spider veins that we commonly see. But, other factors may also cause spider veins to form. These are:
- Excessive alcohol (causing facial veins)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Sitting still or standing for a long time
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Sun exposure
- Trauma to the skin
- Medications (including anabolic steroids)
Since some of these factors involve your lifestyle, you may practice healthier habits to prevent spider veins from forming. Examples of these habits are:
- Elevating your legs whenever possible
- Stimulating healthy blood circulation
- Brisk walking for 30 minutes
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding hot baths for extended periods
If your work entails sitting behind the desk all day, try to get up and walk every 30 minutes or every hour. And if your line of work requires you to stand all day, take small breaks to rest your legs.
Moreover, if the spider veins are already starting to affect your daily activities, you may consider undergoing sclerotherapy.
GETTING RID OF SPIDER VEINS WITH SCLEROTHERAPY
Sclerotherapy has always been the go-to spider veins treatment for people wanting to get rid of the veins. Developed as early as in the 1930s, sclerotherapy has been studied, researched, and proven safe and effective by science.
Although there are other ways to treat spider veins, such as:
- endovenous laser therapy
- radio frequency ablation (RFA), and;
- medical glue
Sclerotherapy is still one effective way to do the job.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology or AAD, sclerotherapy may improve the appearance of spider veins by up to 90%. After that, the said factors prompting the growth of these veins will be the only things stopping you from being vein-free.
This spider veins treatment is minimally invasive. A solution (usually salt solution) is injected into the bulging veins to irritate the vessel linings, causing the vein walls to close and collapse. This treatment helps the blood go back to the healthy veins while the treated veins subside and are reabsorbed by the body.
IS SCLEROTHERAPY PAINFUL?
This treatment is not painful, but you might experience mild discomfort because a needle will be injected into the affected veins. Because it is non-invasive, anesthesia is not administered, and incisions are not made.
Although not much of a worry, you may experience the following physical effects during and after the treatment:
- Burning, stinging, or muscle cramps on the injection site
- Bruising in the treatment area
- New vessel growing at the injection site
- Allergic reaction to the saline solution
- Skin discoloration
- On rare occasions, blood clots
If you are scared of needles, do not worry; as professionals tell, even needle-phobic clients get through with it after a few sessions.
IS IT SAFE?
Yes, sclerotherapy has already been proven to be one of the safest and non-invasive procedures in treating spider veins. Patients report minimal complications after the procedure, and estheticians vow to its high success rates.
Compared to surgical removal of spider veins, this method is also more cost-effective and comfortable for clients. In less than 30 minutes, your vein-free skin will start showing.
THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE THE PROCEDURE
To assess if you are fit for the treatment, you may undergo a physical exam wherein a professional practitioner will examine the area of concern. Make sure to tell the practitioner your medical history, allergies, and other details about your health so that the procedure will go smoothly.
Moreover, if you have a family history of varicose veins, or if you have spider veins at an earlier age (early 20’s), additional examinations may be necessary)
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
It is required that you go back after 6 to 7 weeks to maintain the condition of your veins. But the number of sessions you need to accomplish depends on the state of your spider veins. Naturally, if you have more spider veins, you will need to go back more often.
Then after the treatment, you may be encouraged by the esthetician to walk daily in order to prevent blood clots and promote blood circulation. Your esthetician may recommend you to use compression stocking for at least two weeks to help reduce the visible veins and prevent them from returning.
WHERE CAN I DO THE SPIDER VEINS TREATMENT?
Sclerotherapy may be done in dermatology clinics or medical spas near you. In fact, some of these places offer a free consultation to know if sclerotherapy is the best treatment for you to remove your spider veins.
Through sclerotherapy, it is indeed possible to get rid of unsightly veins that bother you. Sclerotherapy has been the gold standard for spider veins treatment, and health professionals can certainly vouch for that. So, if you are looking for a place to do the treatment, make sure to consult a clinic or spa with state-of-the-art facilities and experienced staff.