There are several areas of the body, such as the underside of the wrists, the crook of the elbows, and the ankles, where you expect to see veins through thinner skin. However, sometimes we see veins on areas of the body with thicker skin, such as the legs. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do by yourself to correct the appearance of spider veins – but at Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL, we believe there is a treatment plan that can help you get rid of these veins for good.
Spider veins are essentially small veins that are visible through the skin. Usually, these veins have a red or purple hue and tend to look like spider webs or roots beneath the skin. While these veins aren’t dangerous and aren’t necessarily a sign of ill health, they can be embarrassing to live with. In fact, many women feel self-conscious about these veins and go out of their way to hide them – but with the right treatment, you can get rid of these veins and be proud of the appearance of your legs.
How Can You Get Rid of Spider Veins?
Generally speaking, several treatments can be used to address superficial vein concerns. One of the most popular treatments is sclerotherapy. However, there are also non-invasive treatments to consider, such as Lumecca and Vaculaze.
Lumecca is an IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment that is used to treat spider veins and pigmented lesions on the skin. As a light-based treatment, the gentle thermal energy can improve the clarity of the complexion and effectively erase small visible veins on the face and legs. This treatment is gentle enough to not damage any of the surrounding skin tissues.
Vaculaze is another IPL treatment that is used to treat both spider and varicose veins. The thermal light energy of this treatment will cause small veins near the skin surface to close up, and eventually fade the appearance of varicose veins. Like Lumecca, this treatment can be used on virtually every area of the body without any damage to the surrounding skin.
What Can You Expect From These Treatments?
Overall, these treatments usually take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete depending on how many areas of the body or face are being treated. During your treatment, the IPL devices will flash with light and create a snapping elastic sensation on the skin. Some patients may prefer to use a topical numbing cream during the treatment for the sake of comfort. Overall, these IPL treatments are much safer and more comfortable than sclerotherapy.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
The number of treatments you will need will depend on the treatment device being used, the condition of your veins, and how quickly your body responds to the IPL energy, The vast majority of patients will be able to see results within about three treatments, although more treatments may be necessary if your vein concerns are pronounced.
When Will You See Results?
You will be able to see the results of your treatment several days or weeks after your appointment. This is because it will take some time for your body to naturally eliminate the closed-up vein tissue. However, compared to other vein treatments, you will be able to see the results of this treatment much more quickly.
Are Results Permanent?
Yes and no. While these treatments will successfully and permanently remove the appearance of these visible veins from your legs, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to worry about future spider or varicose veins. Because many factors can cause these veins to appear, it might be the case that you will have new vein-related superficial concerns in the future depending on certain lifestyle factors. However, veins that have been treated will not be able to return.
How Can You Prolong Results?
If you want your legs to look good for the longest time possible, then it’s important to prioritize prolonging your results – and that means making certain changes that will make it more difficult to develop vein concerns in the future. The top three things you can do to prevent future spider and varicose veins include managing weight, exercising regularly, and other lifestyle habits.
Weight management is key for avoiding spider and varicose veins. Our legs bear a significant portion of our weight when we are upright, which means that the heavier the overall body mass, the more the veins in the legs are strained by additional pressure. When you are at a healthy weight, you place much less pressure on the legs and have a significantly lower chance of developing superficial vein concerns.
Exercising regularly is also important. When you exercise regularly, you are strengthening your legs, your vein strength, and your overall circulation. Better circulation means it’s more difficult for blood to pool in the legs and stress vein walls. Ideally, you should have about three hours of cardiovascular exercise a week.
Other Lifestyle Habits
There are other lifestyle habits that you can adopt to prevent further spider and varicose veins. For example, you should avoid crossing your legs over the knee when you sit, particularly if your legs tend to go to sleep. You should also try to elevate your legs when you are resting or even when you are sitting. You should try not to stand or sit for long periods of time, and if you do, you may want to wear compression stockings to help regulate blood flow.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Causes Spider and Varicose Veins?
Both spider and varicose veins are benign vein conditions that are thought to be caused by blood pooling in the veins that are close to the surface of the skin. Essentially, excess pressure in the veins causes stress in the vein walls, which eventually makes these walls expand or break down. When these veins are close enough to the skin surface, particularly areas of the body where the skin is thin, they can become visible. Particularly advanced spider and varicose veins even have a texture that is detectable through thin skin.
But blood pooling is only the main cause of these vein conditions. Several other factors are thought to contribute to the occurrence of these veins, particularly among women. Some of these factors include:
Spider and varicose veins tend to show up once women are past the age of 30. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as less collagen in the skin making the skin thinner, and veins more visible. It could also be because the structure of the vein walls also weakens more easily as we age.
Pregnancy and the associated hormonal fluctuations are also significant causal factors. Hormonal changes can affect the strength of body tissues, blood pressure, and other biological processes that may make it much easier to develop superficial vein concerns. Additionally, the weight gain associated with pregnancy may also place more pressure on the legs.
People who are overweight or obese tend to be at higher risk for developing spider and varicose veins. Unfortunately, even losing a significant amount of weight will not undo these vein concerns, which is why it’s important to stay at a BMI healthy weight or as close as possible.
Your genetics are beyond your control, but they could also be an important factor for the development of spider and varicose veins. If your parents or grandparents have had these superficial vein conditions, then it’s likely that you are at a higher risk of developing these veins as you age. Some people may even develop these veins earlier than their 30s because of genetic factors.
2. Are Women More Prone to This Condition?
Yes, women are more likely to develop both spider and varicose veins. It all comes down to hormones. The female body produces high levels of estrogen and progesterone, both of which are important for fertility, menstruation – and muscle control related to your cardiovascular system. Increased progesterone production throughout the month, pregnancy, and the lifetime can cause the muscles controlling vein tension to relax, which allows for blood to pool more easily in greater quantities in the veins.
3. Does Having Spider Veins Make It More Likely You’ll Get Varicose Veins?
Sometimes, spider veins are considered a precursor to varicose veins, but the truth is that many women have one vein concern without having the other. This is because each of the veins affected by these conditions is different. For example, spider-type vein concerns typically occur in smaller veins, such as capillaries, while varicose veins occur in larger veins. Depending on your body, you can develop one or both vein conditions.
4. Do These Vein Conditions Mean You’re Unhealthy?
No. Because these vein conditions are benign and not dangerous, they are not considered a significant indicator of overall health. Sometimes, spider and varicose veins are signs of poor circulation, but there is little evidence that these vein conditions are related to cardiovascular disease. If your veins ache, feel tender, or are increasing in number, then you may want to see a physician before seeking cosmetic treatment.
5. Where Can These Veins Appear?
Spider veins tend to appear on almost any area of the body, although they are most common in the lower legs and the face, particularly on the cheeks. It’s possible for these veins to also appear on the outer thighs. Varicose veins, on the other hand, generally only appear on the calves.
6. Where Can These Treatments Be Used?
Laser treatments for vein concerns can be used on virtually any area of the body that needs treatment. It’s common to use these laser treatments on the face, as well as the legs. Please discuss your possible treatment areas with our experts during your consultation.
7. Who Are Good Candidates?
Candidates who are ideal for these treatments include those who have spider or varicose veins. Most patients are over the age of 30, in generally good health, and are not currently pregnant or planning to be. A consultation will determine your eligibility for this treatment based on the condition of your vein concerns.
Get Rid of Spider Veins for Good With Laser Treatments
Every woman wants to feel confident about her body, but sometimes that’s easier said than done when you’re feeling self-conscious about the appearance of spider veins on the legs or face. Fortunately, there are laser treatments that can safely erase the appearance of these vein concerns so you can feel fully confident in your appearance. Please contact the Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL to schedule your consultation today.