Many areas in the U.S. are still months away from swimsuit season, but it’s never too early to start preparing your skin for the big reveal. Despite your best efforts to improve your skin’s health and appearance, though, you might suffer from varicose veins on your legs and smaller spider veins elsewhere across your body. While the exact cause(s) of these bulging veins remains unknown, they seem to occur when blood vessels become blocked. Varicose and spider veins are typically harmless, but they can stomp on your self-esteem, especially during the summer. Fortunately, these unwanted features can be treated and, in some cases, removed with the proper processes and lifestyle adjustments.
Here’s how to treat your spider veins so your skin is smooth and clear in time for swimsuit season.
Sclerotherapy remains the most sought after and effective treatment for varicose and spider veins available. This spider vein treatment consists of injecting the unwanted veins with a sclerosing agent (i.e. saline solution and others), which collapses the vein and allows the body to naturally do away with its remains. While patients might experience some discomfort during this treatment, it is largely safe, and side effects are rare and usually mild. That said, your dermatologist must deem you a proper candidate for this procedure -- if you get the go-ahead, they will refer you to a vascular surgeon. For most patients, multiple treatments at 4-6-week intervals will be required for the best results, and many patients see at least a 50% improvement each time.
Aside from sclerotherapy, spider veins can also be treated via laser technology. More specifically, endovenous laser ablation directs powerful bursts of light (or radio frequencies in certain cases) toward the unwanted veins, causing them to fade and, ideally, disappear. This non-invasive procedure isn’t usually as effective as sclerotherapy, but it’s a promising alternative for those who either aren’t good candidates for sclerotherapy or who prefer less invasive procedures. Potential side effects of laser therapy for spider veins include bruising, redness, swelling, discoloration, and itching.
The two treatments mentioned above aren’t the only options for minimizing or removing spider veins. For larger, more stubborn veins, your dermatologist might recommend catheter-assisted procedures (i.e. invasive laser or RF treatments), high ligation & vein stripping, ambulatory phlebectomy, or endoscopic vein surgery (if your varicose/spider veins are accompanied by ulcers and other complications). Each of these treatment options have their own advantages and risks, and it’s important to talk to your dermatologist about whether they would be necessary or optimal for your condition.
Regardless of whether you undergo any of the above treatments for spider veins, there are many things you can do in day-to-day life to mitigate and prevent these unwanted veins. Wearing compression stockings, for instance, helps prevent blood from pooling in your legs by applying regular upward pressure. If you’ve just undergone a procedure for your varicose or spider veins, your dermatologist might tell you to wear these socks/stockings for 2-3 weeks following treatment.
Anything you can do to increase your body’s blood flow will reduce the emergence of spider veins. So, starting up an exercise routine that keeps you moving 30-60 minutes a day (even if it’s just walking) can help you prepare for swimsuit season.
Tight clothes can constrict blood flow and make your veins more prominent over time. Do your best to wear looser clothing whenever you can so you can shed those layers this summer and show off your smooth skin.
Finally, the food you eat has an impact on your blood flow and overall health. If you want to prevent spider veins, experts recommend consuming more potassium, fiber, and flavonoids while reducing your intake of salt and sugar. Doing so won’t just make you feel better; it’ll help you look your best, too.
Seeking spider vein removal in preparation for summer and beyond? The pros at Premier Dermatology Partners are happy to give you more information on how to prevent, treat, and get rid of your unwanted veins as quickly as possible. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.