Are you sick and tired of itchy red or blue raised leg veins? Do you suffer from uncomfortable swelling, numbness, or tingling? Do your legs hurt more as the day progresses with relief only when you elevate your legs at night? There’s a good chance you suffer from spider veins or varicose veins. The good news is you don’t have to live with irritating symptoms forever. FDA-approved leg vein treatments can help you improve your aesthetic and mitigate your risk of developing more serious medical conditions.
At Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD in Dedham, MA, we offer several leg vein treatments for all types of diseased veins. Keep reading to discover how many treatments you will need to achieve your ideal results, as well as answers to some of your other most pressing questions.
Most Effective Leg Vein Treatments
The most effective treatment for leg veins can range from at-home care to invasive medical procedures depending on the cause and severity of the disordered veins you suffer from. Today we’re taking a closer look at self-care, compression garments, sclerotherapy, laser treatments, radiofrequency ablation, and endovenous laser therapy.
When spider veins or varicose veins are caused by pregnancy, self-care combined with compression stockings may be enough to address your concerns with diseased veins.
The first and most important step in the self-treatment of diseased veins is to elevate your legs above your heart regularly. When you sleep, put two or three throw pillows under your ankles. This gives your veins a break and allows gravity to help venous blood in your lower extremities return to your heart. You can also elevate your legs using a reclining chair while you are relaxing before bed.
If your job requires you to sit or stand for excessive periods of time, take a break every half hour and walk for a few minutes. If you have a desk job, make yourself a cup of tea, send a fax or walk over to your supervisor’s office to ask a question. If you are a cashier, re-stock your displays, sweep the floor, sanitize your bagging area, or do 10 squats and 30 toe raises.
Besides taking regular breaks from a sedentary job, you should also make sure you are exercising at least 2.5 hours a week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) agree that 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity is necessary for optimal health. If you’re trying to lose weight, double this recommendation to 300 minutes of moderate activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of the two.
Avoid Excessive Heat
Heat constricts your blood vessels, exacerbating varicose and spider veins. Avoid spending an excessive amount of time in saunas, heated pools, hot baths, or hot tubs. If you’re trying to treat disordered veins at home, we strongly recommend a quick, hot shower or warm bath.
Watch Your Diet
Whether you’re trying to treat your own varicose veins, or prevent new ones from developing, watch what you consume. Tobacco products and alcohol are notorious for elevating venous blood pressure, especially when consumed in excess.
You should also monitor your sodium consumption very closely. Do your best to keep your salt intake to one to three grams per day. Read all labels carefully and measure any salt you put into your food until you get a good idea of how much salt is in the food you eat regularly. Finally, avoid the excessive consumption of trans fats, saturated fats, and added sugar. Shopping on the exterior of the grocery store is the easiest way to control your spider veins via your diet.
Often putting extreme pressure on your upper legs, obesity is one of the most common causes of varicose veins. If you suffer from obesity and varicose veins, consult with a licensed nutritionist to develop a meal plan that will allow you to lose weight safely and effectively. You should also consult your general health practitioner to create an exercise plan that is safe for you and will help you achieve your weight loss, health, and fitness goals.
Compression stockings can be purchased “over the counter” at your local pharmacy. These may be adequate if your spider veins or varicose veins are caused by pregnancy rather than age, obesity, or a sedentary lifestyle. However, you may need a prescription-strength compression garment if your symptoms are severe.
Compression stockings apply steady pressure to your veins, focusing most of the pressure closer to your extremities. This pressure helps your veins move blood back to your heart. It also reduces swelling, which commonly plagues the lower legs of people with spider and varicose veins. This mitigates your risk of developing a potentially life-threatening blood clot. However, you will still have visible disordered veins. If traditional compression garments are ineffective, come in for a consultation to determine the ideal size and pressure, you need to treat your symptoms.
Laser treatments are most often used to treat small varicose veins and spider veins. During this type of treatment, your vein specialist will direct a beam of laser light at the diseased vein. Smaller affected veins may disappear immediately after your first treatment. However, varicose veins and larger spider veins may darken. It can take between one and three months before they disappear completely.
Following laser treatment, you may need to wear a compression garment for a short time. You will also need to protect your legs from the sun’s harmful rays for three to four weeks. Wearing pants is not adequate for sun protection. You need to apply a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 35. If you have extremely fair skin, look for a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of at least 55. Make sure you reapply your sunblock every four to six hours as directed. This mitigates the risk of developing dark spots caused by excessive sun damage.
Aerolase is arguably the premier laser treatment for spider veins and varicose veins of the legs. Most lasers pulse for three to 30 milliseconds, but such treatment can hurt and even scar. The Neo Aerolase, contrastingly, is a revolutionary Nd:YAG laser. This innovative laser pulses for 650 microseconds. Pulsing 30 to 50 times faster than traditional laser treatments for leg veins, the only “side effect” you can expect is a gentle warming sensation during your treatment session. This is akin to a hot stone massage and not painful or uncomfortable at all.
Am I a Good Candidate for Aerolase?
Contrary to popular belief, the Aerolase Neo laser treatment is safe and effective for all skin types and tones. If you are looking for a quick, comfortable leg vein treatment without downtime, burning or scarring, you are most likely a good candidate for Aerolase. However, the best leg vein treatment for your unique needs depends on several factors. Therefore, you will need to come in for a one-on-one consultation so we can assess your condition and create the best treatment plan for you.
How Does It Work?
During treatment, a gentle but extremely powerful light beam heats the targeted veins. This causes them to collapse in on themselves. As a result, the treated veins starve from loss of blood and are eventually absorbed by surrounding tissue.
While it takes several weeks for larger varicose veins to disappear, you will notice very shortly after treatment that your symptoms, such as itching, swelling, pain, and tingling is gone.
EVLT and RFA
EVLT (endovenous laser therapy) and RFA (radiofrequency ablation) are high among the most innovative, revolutionary leg vein treatments. They are most often recommended when a client is a poor candidate for an invasive vein removal procedure but has diseased veins too large or numerous to be treated by sclerotherapy effectively. Both treatments destroy the vein from the inside. EVLT is most commonly used to treat small varicose veins and spider veins. RFA is usually used to treat large varicose veins.
What to Expect During These Treatments
During endovenous laser therapy and radiofrequency ablation, you can expect to receive local anesthesia. This means the treatment site is numbed, but you will remain awake during treatment. A tiny incision is made above the diseased vein, and a catheter (for RFA) or laser fiber (for EVLT) is inserted into the vein. Then, the radiofrequency or laser device is activated, heating the inside of the vein. This causes the vein to collapse and seal itself shut. While the heat destroys the vein walls, it does not damage the surrounding tissue.
What to Expect After Treatment
After treatment, you must put a prescription-strength compression stocking on each leg that was treated. Then, you will be observed for a brief period before being discharged. To mitigate the risk of any side effects, walk every day for exercise, and wear compression stockings as directed. You should wear them except when bathing or sleeping for one to two weeks. You can return to nearly all your daily activities the day after treatment, and you can expect to see the treated veins disappear after around a year. You may need more than one treatment to achieve your ideal results.
How Many Leg Vein Treatments Will I Need?
How many leg vein treatments you will need depends on several factors, including the cause of your diseased veins, how many veins need to be treated, your lifestyle, and the type of affected veins you suffer from. As stated previously, EVLT and RFA treatments usually require one or two sessions to treat all veins. Contrastingly, laser light treatment often requires three or more treatment sessions.
When it comes to Aerolase, smaller varicose veins and spider veins can be treated with only one session. However, very large, twisted varicose veins may need two treatment sessions before they disappear completely. If you have an extensive number of disordered veins to treat, even if they are small, you may need two treatment sessions to treat them all with Aerolase.
Learn How to Achieve Your Ideal Aesthetic
Spider veins are unattractive and can be itchy and painful. Varicose veins are extremely uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening. But you don’t have to live with disordered veins. Depending on the size and number of diseased veins you have, you may need only one or two treatments to enhance your appearance and improve your health.
To schedule your initial consultation, contact the professional vein experts at Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD in Dedham, MA today to schedule your initial consultation. We will diagnose the condition of your veins, identify the cause, and advise you on the safest, most effective leg vein treatments for your unique needs. We can’t wait to meet you and help you achieve your ideal aesthetic.