Winter is finally over and warm weather is finally on its way. That means that it’s time to break out the shorts and skirts. Baring your legs in the summer time may be easier said than done, especially if you have varicose veins. Varicose veins are a condition in which your veins are visible beneath your skin and appear blue in color. Another common name is “spider veins”. They typically have a bulging or twisted look to them. Varicose veins are generally not harmful but they can make you feel self-conscious about how your legs look. If you have varicose veins, they can be treated using sclerotherapy or laser treatments.
How Varicose Veins Develop
Your blood vessels help move blood throughout your body. When blood moves through your legs, however, the blood has to go against gravity to make it back to your heart. To help keep your blood moving, there are multiple one-way valves inside your blood vessels that open and close as your heart pumps. These valves keep your blood moving upward to your heart and prevent backflow into your legs.
Varicose veins begin to develop when the valves stop functioning properly. This may be due to older age, weight gain and prolonged standing. Your blood vessels and surrounding muscles have a hard time pushing blood back up toward your heart, causing blood to pool in your veins. As your blood pools, it puts pressure on your veins, causing them to swell and become more visible. The pressure also causes your veins to twist and bulge out.
Treating Varicose Veins with Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is an injection treatment option for people with varicose veins. A medicine called Asclera or a hypertonic saline solution is directly injected into the vein. The solution irritates the walls of the vein, causing the vein to collapse. The blood inside the vein starts to clot and is removed from the body, and the vein eventually becomes scar tissue. This causes the vein to fade so it isn’t visible underneath your skin. Because these veins are superficial towards the top of the skin and not deep veins, collapsing them won’t cause major disruptions in your blood circulation.
Patients usually notice a difference in the appearance of their varicose veins after one treatment. It is, however, generally recommended that you have between 2-5 treatment sessions to get the best results. Sclerotherapy injections may take about an hour to administer, after which the patient is free to go home. There are some temporary side effects associated with sclerotherapy, including itching, redness, or bruising around the injection site.
Using Lasers to Treat Sclerotherapy
Another method of removing varicose veins is with laser treatments. Using a laser allows the technician to specifically target each vein at different points. The heat from the laser damages the walls of the vein, creating the same results as with sclerotherapy injections. The walls collapse and create scar tissue, effectively closing the vein. The remants from the procedure eventually fade away.
Two such laser treatments available from Dr. Diane Walder are the VariLite laser and the V-Beam Perfecta. The VariLite laser is better suited to large bluish veins, but it can also be used to treat small red blood vessels that often occur on the face. The V-Beam laser is effective at treating spider veins as well as varicose veins, and it can be used to treat other types of skin conditions as well.
Laser treatments are generally painless. Most patients experience a warm or tingling sensations during the treatment. Like sclerotherapy, patients typically see a change after one treatment but need multiple treatments to get the best results.
Schedule a Varicose Vein Treatment Consultation
If you have unsightly varicose veins that you would like to improve in time for summer, contact Dr. Walder to schedule a patient consultation. Dr. Walder and her associate Dr. Stacy Chimento are highly skilled dermatologists who operate out of two locations in Miami, FL. Dr. Walder is considered one of the best dermatologists in the country, and she uses a variety of noninvasive treatments to improve many different skin conditions, including varicose veins.
When you schedule a consultation, you’ll meet with the doctor in person to allow her to examine your varicose veins. You will discuss any concerns or issues that you would like addressed and go over your medical history. The doctor will then determine the best method of helping you achieve your goals and set up future appointments for your treatments.
You can schedule an appointment for a patient consultation by contacting Dr. Walder today at (305) 866-2177.