Who remembers their mothers or grandmothers pulling on nude pantyhose anytime they wore a skirt because they were fretting about the veins on their legs? Or what about that one infomercial that advertises cover-up make-up for the legs just to hide visible veins on the calves? At Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, TN, we know the key to smooth, flawless legs is sclerotherapy, a treatment for spider veins and varicose veins.
How Many Sclerotherapy Sessions Do You Need?
Broadly speaking, the vast majority of patients only require one to two sclerotherapy treatments to produce the desired results. The small number of treatments required to achieve ideal results is one of the major draws for this treatment. However, since everyone is different, it may be the case that the number of treatments required for your treatment will be different than the general estimate.
If you have minor symptoms, such as only spider veins or a few varicose veins that are just starting to form, it’s possible you may only require one treatment in total. Minor symptoms of spider veins and varicose veins can usually be handled by a single exposure to the special chemical formula used for this treatment because these minor symptoms respond more quickly.
If you have more moderate symptoms, such as spider veins in several places and more pronounced varicose veins, then you may require two or more treatments. Moderate cases of spider veins and varicose veins may appear on one or both legs and require more chemical exposure to resolve the damaged vein walls.
Other FAQs About Sclerotherapy
1. How Does Treatment Work?
This is a minimally invasive treatment that works by injecting a chemical directly into the affected vein. The chemical will irritate the lining of the damaged vein, eventually causing the vein to collapse and close. When the vein is closed, blood will be directed to healthy veins, while the closed vein will eventually be absorbed by the surrounding tissues and fade from view.
2. How Soon Can You See Results?
Typically the results of this treatment show up after about four to six weeks, which is when the collapsed vein will be absorbed by the body. You may see results sooner if you are only being treated for minor spider veins; likewise, more moderate varicose veins may require more than six weeks to manifest the results.
This is especially true if you will require additional treatments, such as follow-ups to address more pronounced varicose veins. Patients with moderate vein issues may require up to six to eight weeks to see results after their final appointment.
3. Are Results Permanent?
Yes, the results of this treatment are permanent. This is because once a vein has collapsed, it will not open up again over time, not even after several years. Veins that have been exposed to the chemical treatment will not become spider veins or varicose veins again.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility of developing new spider veins or varicose veins. The veins that have taken the redirected blood flow still may eventually develop their own vascular deformities due to extenuating factors, such as how long you sit or stand each day. You can of course have additional treatments for new spider veins or varicose veins that develop.
4. How Common Are Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
Both spider veins and varicose veins are common in women and men. However, these vascular issues are more common in women, with about one out of every four women experiencing either spider veins or varicose veins.
Varicose Veins and Hormones
Varicose veins may be more common in women due to factors such as hormones or pregnancy. Pregnancy in particular is when a lot of women develop spider veins and varicose veins, likely because of the new shift in weight caused by the pregnancy, which places additional stress on the veins in the legs.
Some women notice changes in their veins during the pre-menstruation cycle; this is more common for women who have spider veins, although varicose veins may also be more prominent during this time.
5. What Is the Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
Both spider veins and varicose veins are how we describe veins that are visible to the naked eye. Our veins should generally not be able to be seen through our skin; however, when a vein is overtaxed by blood flow and develops a damaged cell wall, the veins become more visible through the skin due to swelling. That said, the main difference between these two vascular concerns is size and appearance.
The Main Difference
Spider veins are generally much smaller and appear like spider-webs or tree roots beneath the surface of the skin, usually between the size of a penny and a silver dollar. Spider veins also tend to be red or purple in appearance and show up where the skin is thinner, such as around the ankle bones.
Varicose veins, on the other hand, are more pronounced, with a thicker, gnarled, or twisted appearance. Varicose veins are dark blue or green in color because these veins are larger, and they also develop over muscle, particularly the calves.
6. What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins happen when blood pools in the veins for too long, stressing the vein walls and causing them to be visible through the skin surface. Spider veins can sometimes be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases. However, spider veins are also commonly caused by other factors, such as obesity, inactive lifestyle, pregnancy, age, and genetics.
One of the most common types of conditions associated with spider veins is rosacea, which usually appears on the face. Rosacea is a condition that makes the skin appear flushed or inflamed and is usually caused by enlarged veins beneath the skin surface. It’s common for treatments for spider veins to also address rosacea, as some spider veins can appear on the face.
7. What Causes Varicose Veins?
It’s important to understand that varicose veins are not usually a life-threatening condition. Indeed, varicose veins are regarded as a benign vascular condition that requires no treatment unless for cosmetic purposes, just like spider veins. And similarly to spider veins, the causes for varicose veins are similar, including:
There are many lifestyle factors that lend themselves to the development of varicose veins, but there are two main factors to discuss here: sedentary lifestyle and alcohol consumption. A sedentary lifestyle means that there is not enough movement throughout the day, which causes blood to pool in the legs from sitting or standing for too-long periods. This means that your work may be the cause of your varicose veins if you are not allowed to move around frequently.
Alcohol consumption is also a factor. This is because alcohol is a vasodilator, which means the consumption of alcohol makes the veins in the body shrink and expand, resulting in blood pressure changes that put stress on the veins in the body. Alcohol consumption over time can cause the emergence of spider veins, varicose veins, and broken capillaries on the face, particularly over the nose.
Your genetics are another factor that may cause varicose veins, especially in women. If your immediate blood relatives, such as your mother or your sister, have developed varicose veins over the lifetime, you are also more likely to develop them. Your genetics are out of your control, so if this factor is the cause of your varicose veins there is not much you can do as a preventative measure. In fact, women who have genetic links to varicose veins tend to develop them earlier in life, sometimes as early as their 20s and 30s.
Being overweight or having a greater body weight than is recommended for your height is one of the more common causes for varicose veins. Obesity puts more stress on the body, including the vascular system. When the vascular system is stressed, it’s more likely for cell walls of blood vessels to be damaged by the greater weight put on the legs, which is why varicose veins develop.
8. Can You Prevent Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
To a certain extent, yes. It’s possible to prevent the development of further spider veins and varicose veins by getting regular cardiovascular exercise, elevating your legs, and managing your weight. You might even want to wear compression stockings if you have to sit or stand for long periods of time, to help regulate the flow of blood from your legs to the rest of your body.
9. Is Sclerotherapy Safe?
Yes, this treatment is safe and has been used for several years with great success. Patients rarely have negative reactions to this treatment and are usually satisfied by what this treatment can accomplish for them.
10. How Should You Prepare for Treatment?
Preparing for your treatment is simple. Your general instructions to prepare for your treatment will include directions to not shave or wear lotion on your appointment day, discontinue taking certain supplements like Vitamin E, and do not take blood-thinning medications like aspirin. These instructions should be followed for at least one week before your treatment.
11. How Long Will Your Recovery Take?
This treatment has a relatively short recovery time. After your treatment, you will be limited from strenuous exercise for at least three to five days; after this period has passed, you are free to return to your normal exercise routine. Most patients feel fully recovered from treatment after five days, and the majority of patients immediately return to most normal activities, including work, on the same day as treatment.
12. What Are Your Post-Treatment Instructions?
During your recovery, you will also need to follow certain post-care instructions to make sure you obtain the desired results from treatment. The most common post-treatment instructions include avoid saunas, hot tubs, and blood-thinning medications, engage in light exercise such as walking, and to wear compression stockings as directed.
13. Is There a Best Time for Treatment?
No, you may have this treatment at any time in the year. If you are having this treatment to prepare for a special occasion, please schedule your appointment at least two to three months before your event.
14. Can This Treatment Fix All Veins?
While this treatment can be used on most veins in the body, it is not recommended for the treatment of spider veins on the face. For spider veins or broken capillaries on the face, the best treatments include:
- Light PodNeo
15. Who Are Good Candidates?
Most patients make good candidates for this treatment, provided they attend a consultation appointment and are deemed qualified for the treatment. You are likely a good candidate if you have either spider veins or varicose veins you would like to diminish.
Say Farewell to Spider Veins for Good With Sclerotherapy
You don’t need nude pantyhose or strange infomercial leg make-up to make your spider veins and varicose veins go away. With the right treatment, your legs can look young and healthy once more. If you think the right way to say farewell to your spider veins is with sclerotherapy, contact Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, TN to schedule your consultation today.