Though we have recently enjoyed a crisp dip below freezing, it’s only a matter of time until the brutal Texas heat exacts its revenge for the brief reprieve. As the tandoori death-bake resumes, we’ll have no choice but to shed our rarely used winter clothes and begin to show some skin.
But, as you prepare to get back into warm-weather attire, you may be confronted with the unwelcome reminder that it was more than just cold weather keeping you in long pants.
Many women (and men!) struggle with the sight of spider veins on their legs. At best, they are a distraction when you’re enjoying the sunshine in your swimsuit or shorts, at worst they are extremely unsightly and painful.
While women seem to be the most affected with these tiny, road-map-like veins found primarily on the legs and face. Heredity is the largest contributing factor of susceptibility according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Other common causes include hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy, aging, injury and standing occupations.
While you may be embarrassed about your spider veins, there’s no need to be; spider veins are much more common than you might think. In fact, as many as 50-55% of women in the country suffer from some form of abnormal veins, while a close 40-45% of men are affected.
Fortunately, there are minimally invasive treatment options for spider veins that will have you back in your favorite shorts before the heat makes its return.
Sclerotherapy for leg veins
Using a very small needle, a medication is injected into the treated vein. The medication causes the vein to seal and shrink over the course of two to five treatments and to eventually disappear. There are three options when it comes to sclerotherapy, all of which I discuss in-depth with each patient before treatment.
- Liquid Sclerotherapy: This option works best for treating spider veins and involves directly injecting the medication into the target vein.
- Foam Sclerotherapy: Traditionally used for treating larger varicose veins, this therapy involves mixing the injected medications, either Sotradecol or Asclera, with air or an alternative gas to create a stronger, foam solution before injection.
- Ultrasound-guided Sclerotherapy: This option is designed to treat veins below the surface of the skin. The injections are guided, observed and administered using ultrasound technology.
A typical session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, after which you’ll spend about 15 minutes walking on a treadmill onsite. After that, you’re free to carry on with your day. In fact, I encourage you to engage in some sort of aerobic activity for at least half an hour everyday the week following your treatment.
Pulsed Light Rejuvenation with advanced FotoFacial for facial veins
This treatment is most effective for treating spider veins and redness located on the face, neck and/or chest and involves using a pulsed light device and a laser, the Varilite, which emits two different wavelengths of laser light. Using the devices together provides optimal results, improving broken capillaries as well as reducing pigmentation and other visible imperfections.
Slight redness will occur after treatment, but only for about 30 minutes. Improvements can be seen as quickly as the first treatment with the best results visible after five sessions.
Both Pulsed Light Rejuvenation and Sclerotherapy are non-surgical, yet they deliver significant improvement in your appearance and quality of life.
Remember, hiding your skin with makeup or winter clothes isn’t the only solution for spider veins. It is possible to feel comfortable in your skin again. With a little bit of help from your dermatologist, you can prepare for the coming summer and actually enjoy the prospect of donning shorts and dresses.
Dr. Steven Zimmet has been practicing in Austin, Texas for over thirty years. He is a sought-after cosmetic dermatologist and a world-renowned expert in vein care. Dr. Zimmet has been named by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America for dermatology/phlebology Vein Magazine named Dr. Zimmet as one of the 25 most influential professionals in vein care worldwide. As the Founding President of the American Board of Phlebology, Past-President of the American College of Phlebology and Editor of the Phlebology Journal, Dr. Zimmet travels the world to share his expertise in vein treatment. At Zimmet Vein & Dermatology, Dr. Zimmet also offers an array of aesthetic services, including Ultherapy, CoolSculpting, Liposonix, Pulsed Light Rejuvenation, Endymed, Botox and fillers. Dr. Zimmet’s mission is to help his patients achieve optimal results through clear information, thorough guidance and clinically advanced treatments.
Call (512) 861-8901 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zimmet. Mention CultureMap for an exclusive 15% discount on spider vein services.