Varicose veins and spider veins alike can be unsightly and distressing. Removing them is usually a choice, and one concern you may have is how many treatments it will take to see the best final results. At Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD in Dedham, MA, we offer sclerotherapy leg vein treatments for unsightly spider veins and varicose veins and can help you understand how many treatments you’ll need for your unique needs.
How Many Leg Vein Treatments Will I Need?
Whether your issue is varicose veins or spider veins, sclerotherapy is a simple, safe, proven treatment for reducing or eliminating them. The total number of sessions you’ll need will depend on the extent of the vein issue and your goals.
For some people, the goal is simply to reduce the number of veins or get rid of just the veins in a particular area. For others, the goal is completely removing all offending veins. You can usually expect around one to three treatments to take care of the issue, but at your consultation with us we’ll be able to give you more specific information.
How Sclerotherapy Works
Of all leg vein treatments available, this one is perhaps the oldest and has a good track record of results. During treatment, we simply inject a solution into your veins with a very small needle. The solution won’t harm you, but it irritates the vein until it swells and shuts off. Then your body does the rest.
Over the course of the next four to six weeks, your body will metabolize the vein and then get rid of it naturally. Meanwhile, the blood will simply be diverted into nearby healthier veins. This is a good treatment for varicose veins and for spider veins that appear on the legs, where laser treatments may not be as effective.
The Benefits of Sclerotherapy
Veins Are Gone for Good
When your vein has been treated with this therapy, it simply disappears. You never have to worry about it cropping up again. The body absorbs it, and while you can grow new veins, the old one will never trouble you again.
No Surgery Involved
This is a great way to get rid of unsightly veins without having to resort to surgery. Everything is done right here at Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD, and there’s no need to worry about incisions, scars, or long recovery times.
Minimal Support Stockings
With this treatment, you’ll only need to wear support stockings for around a week, and only continuously for a few days. We’ll give you more details when you come for treatment, but overall the support stocking use is minimal with this treatment.
A Proven Procedure
This treatment has been widely used to deal with vein issues since the 1930s. We know it works, and we know it’s safe.
Best Candidates for Sclerotherapy
Nearly any healthy person, man or woman, is a good candidate for this treatment. It doesn’t require surgery, so there’s no need to worry about allergies or reactions to anesthesia, and since it’s done in the office and no extensive downtime is necessary, it’s easy for most people to fit a treatment into their busy schedules.
The only people who should always avoid sclerotherapy are those who are pregnant. If you’ve had a blood clot in the past, let us know so we can evaluate this treatment for you on an individual basis.
What to Do After Sclerotherapy
In addition to wearing support stockings for around a week, you’ll want to avoid a few things for two days or so. You don’t want excessive heat in the treated area, so no baths, hot compresses, or soaks in the whirlpool. It’s also a good idea to keep the treated area out of direct sunlight. Simply wash the area gently with mild soap and warm, but not hot, water.
How Leg Veins Develop
The Circulatory System
Our circulatory system carries blood to and from the heart and all the tissues of our body. The arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body, where the tissues will use various components of the blood, especially oxygen. Our veins carry the used blood back to the heart to be refreshed.
Because of where our heart is placed within our bodies and the effects of gravity, the veins in our legs have a tough job. While the arteries are working with gravity as they take blood away from the heart, the leg veins are going against gravity. To do their job, they rely on tiny one-way valves within themselves. These valves keep blood from dropping back the wrong way due to gravity.
Over time, some of these one-way valves will malfunction. No one knows for certain why they do, but if you have family members with spider veins and varicose veins, there’s a good chance you will develop them, too. They also can develop when the vein is under too much pressure, which can happen when you spend too long sitting or standing in the same position repeatedly or put on a lot of weight.
These valve issues also seem to have a hormonal component, since women are more likely to develop them than men and particularly in relation to times of hormonal fluctuation, such as during pregnancy or menopause. However, valve malfunction can happen to anyone at any time, and when it does, blood flows backward in the vein and pools, causing the spider and varicose veins we love to hate.
Dangers of Diseased Veins
For the most part, spider veins aren’t a serious condition. They are merely a cosmetic nuisance for most people. In the case of these veins, the valve malfunction isn’t really a big deal. In a few cases, however, spider veins can indicate that there’s a deeper blockage someone else in the body, so if you see the number of spider veins in your legs growing, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.
Varicose veins are much more likely to cause an issue than spider veins. No one likes the way these veins make their legs look, but beyond that, they can become more than just a cosmetic problem. If your varicose veins are causing you pain, aching, or heaviness in your legs, be on the lookout for these complications:
As the pressure builds up in your vein, it can leak into the surrounding tissues and create swelling of the entire leg. This can be unsightly, cause socks and pants to stop fitting, and can even lead to hardening of the skin in extreme cases. More than anything, it can be very uncomfortable. Treating your veins can remove the possibility of this side effect or stop the discomfort if you’re not getting relief from compression socks and elevation.
If the vein has a lot of pooled blood in it, it can burst, especially if you hit the area suddenly on something hard. If the bleeding stays inside, you’ll see significant bruising. If the skin is broken, it can bleed much more than you’d normally expect from a cut of the size, and it may be necessary to get medical treatment for it. Again, having the vein treated in a timely fashion will eliminate this risk.
The swelling caused by the varicose veins can make the skin change. As the skin changes, it becomes less resilient and able to heal because it isn’t getting the steady flow of oxygen and nutrients it needs for good health. Over time, a break in the skin can become a difficult-to-heal ulcer. Infections can also arise as bacteria that our skin normally protects us from gets into an area where the body’s healing abilities are already compromised. By treating the vein, you can lower the swelling and prevent infection or allow an existing one to heal.
This is the scientific term for a blood clot, and blood clots are more likely in a varicose vein than in a healthy one. About 3% of people who suffer from varicose veins will develop a blood clot in one of these diseased veins.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Thankfully, this is a very rare condition, but about 25% of people who develop a blood clot in their varicose veins will also develop deeper clots. When clots form in the deeper veins, it’s a very serious, life-threatening condition that can lead to pulmonary embolism. If you have experienced a clot in your varicose veins, having them treated can make it less likely you’ll experience deep vein thrombosis.
Is It Time for Leg Vein Treatments?
While there can be some serious complications from diseased veins, for the most part treating your veins is an optional thing. How do you know if it’s time to seek treatment?
You Are Embarrassed by Your Appearance
Your leg veins should not control your wardrobe choices and dictate your activities. If you find yourself rejecting shorts on hot days only because you’re embarrassed about your legs, it’s time to seek treatment. If you avoid the pool or the beach, having leg vein treatments can give you back the smooth, flawless skin you want.
You Are Experiencing Pain
If your veins are causing you pain, throbbing, or aching, there’s no need to live with this. With a simple sclerotherapy treatment, you can be rid of that pain and discomfort.
Your Veins Are New
The sooner you have leg veins treated, the faster, easier, and simpler it is to deal with them. If you’re just starting to notice an issue with veins, or if you’re noticing more than you previously had, you should consider vein treatment as a proactive step.
You Have Bleeding
If your veins have started to bleed, either within the skin or outside it, it’s a good time to have them treated. Constant bleeding is a health issue you should have taken care of as soon as possible.
You Aren’t Getting Relief From Home Remedies
If you’ve tried compression garments, moving around, elevating your leg, or other home treatments to relieve your pain or reduce the swelling in your legs–but those treatments aren’t working–it’s a good time to consider getting a leg vein treatment.
While home remedies are inexpensive, they can be time-consuming even when they do work, and no one should go through life wasting time daily worrying about whether they’ve elevated their legs for long enough or have the right sort of compression garment. By treating the veins, you can put the issue behind you and save your energy for more important things.
Get Your Veins Treated Quickly
If you have spider veins or varicose veins that are causing you pain or disrupting your aesthetic, it only takes a few treatments to get rid of them. Visit Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD in Dedham, MA today to learn more about the treatments we offer and talk to a specialist about the fastest way to get rid of your problem veins for good.