Unsightly veins tend to suddenly appear on the legs and face with age, but can also form as a result of other factors including obesity or pregnancy. Sometimes these veins are more than just unattractive to look at – they can hurt too!
DermASAP is committed to helping all patients address concerns they have about spider veins or small varicose veins. Thanks to advances in medical technology, there are different ways to eliminate these painful or unattractive marks with vein treatment. The two types of vein treatment offered at DermASAP are laser vein treatment and sclerotherapy. Schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Plymouth or Quincy, Massachusetts to find out more!
ABOUT VEIN THERAPY
At DermASAP, we offer laser vein treatment and sclerotherapy. Both of these treatments are highly effective at treating varicose and spider veins, among other conditions. Varicose veins, which can sometimes be painful, are large blue or purple veins that appear like bulging or twisted cords under the skin’s surface. Spider veins are smaller and appear closer to the surface of skin. They are named after their spider web-like appearance.
Vein therapy can help patients reduce the appearance of:
Large or protruding varicose veins
Smaller spider veins
By minimizing or eliminating the veins, these treatments can also help correct common side effects of varicose and spider veins including pain, itching, and redness. At DermASAP, we have seen very high patient satisfaction with vein therapy and pride ourselves on the individualized treatment that we provide to each and every patient.
Good candidates for vein therapy are men or women in good health who wish to diminish the appearance of their varicose or spider veins. In some cases, these veins may be painful. Women who have developed veins due to pregnancy may also be good candidates. Other people who are at an increased risk for developing spider and varicose veins include those who are overweight, burn easily and frequently, women taking birth control, and people over the age of 50. However, age is not a major factor in determining one’s candidacy; this can only be assessed after a consultation examination with Dr. Reed.
Certain laser vein therapies may not be a good option for candidates with darker skin tones, as some lasers may cause skin discoloration. Thankfully, DermAsap now offers the advanced Cutera Excel V Laser, which is capable of addressing vascular and pigmentation issues in any skin type. Sclerotherapy may not be a good option for patients who are pregnant, insulin dependent, or have lupus, blood clots or severe asthma. In general, it is important that candidates for vein therapy be in good health and have realistic expectations for their treatment.
In order to determine whether or not one would be a good candidate for laser vein therapy or sclerotherapy, it is important to schedule a consultation with Dr. Reed at DermASAP. Taking into consideration the patient’s medical history, as well as a physical examination, we will help the patient choose the best course of action for their body and lifestyle.
TYPES OF VEIN THERAPY
There are two main types of vein therapy that we offer at DermASAP. We are proud to offer both laser vein therapy and sclerotherapy to our patients. Neither option is better than the other. Technically, extremely small veins may be better treated with laser. It is not uncommon forDr. Reed to recommend a combination of the two treatments in order to best meet the patient’s needs.
LASER VEIN THERAPY
Laser vein therapy uses a machine that omits highly focused beams of laser light. The heat from these beams cripples the veins, resulting in scar tissue that eventually blocks off blood flow and causes the vein to die completely. At DermASAP, we now offer treatment with the Cutera Excel V Laser system, which applies cutting-edge laser technology in one of two wavelengths, enabling doctors to treat vein and other vascular issues at various depths of the skin. We also use the Cynosure Elite MPX, one of the most advanced and popular brands on the market, to address not only veins, but also broken capillaries and rosacea. This treatment furthermore restores the youthful, even toned appearance of a patient’s face and/or legs.
The Cutera Excel V Laser and Cynosure Elite MPX uses laser energy to target the problematic veins and destroy them with heat, all without the need for surgery or anesthesia. This significantly reduces recovery time following the treatment. Patients may experience some mild discomfort during the treatment, and some redness and inflammation for a short time afterwards, but the treatment as a whole is very tolerable and side effects dissipate quickly. The vessels are then resorbed by the body and the blood flow is redirected to healthy veins.
Following laser vein therapy treatment, the skin may appear somewhat pink. However, this will fade on its own over the course of one hour to two days. The majority of patients will find that they require no downtime following their treatment and are free to resume normal activities. However, patients should be sure to avoid direct sun exposure and wear sunscreen for the prescribed amount of time following treatment.
Capillaries will disappear almost immediately following treatment and other veins will disappear over time. Typically, patients will require more than one treatment in order to achieve their desired results. Since it can take up to a month for the full and final results to appear, we recommend that patients schedule their treatments at least a month, if not longer, prior to going on vacation or attending an event where they hope to show off their legs.
Sclerotherapy has been around for over seven decades and is still one of the most commonly used treatments for spider and varicose veins. It works by injecting a solution that irritates the vein walls and causes them to collapse. Like in laser vein therapy, this then causes the blood to clot and the vein to die. The vessel will transform and visibility will decrease gradually. With sclerotherapy anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of veins injected will disappear from sight with treatment. The blood flow is then able to redirect to stronger, healthier veins.
In this procedure, a saline solution, or other irritant solution, is injected directly into the problematic veins through a very fine needle. As the solution works its way into the vein, the patient may experience slight discomfort. However, this will disappear within a matter of minutes. The duration of treatment typically takes about half an hour, but will depend on the number of veins to be treated. Both spider veins and varicose veins can be treated with sclerotherapy. However, some spider veins may be too small for a needle and will therefore require laser vein therapy.
RECOVERY / RESULTS
Following sclerotherapy, patients are encouraged to maintain their normal activities but may need to wear a compression hose for a week after the procedure. They should also avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen for the prescribed amount of time. Patients who receive sclerotherapy treatment for spider vein removal will notice that results improve gradually over time. Injection sites may look like raised bumps, similar to insect bites after treatment but will dissipate on its own.
In most cases, patients can resume regular daily activities immediately after sclerotherapy. High intensity exercise should be avoided for at least 48 hours. Side effects from treatment may include darkening of the veins and bruising near the injection site. Compression hose are recommended for at least one week, and as many as two weeks after treatment. This will help aid in healing and minimize side effects. Larger veins may appear pigmented, but this will gradually fade over time.
During the patient’s initial consultation, Dr. Reed will recommend the appropriate amount of treatment sessions for their optimal results. Most require an average of two to four sessions, spaced one month apart. Aftercare instructions are provided before the treatment is done and any questions can be answered at this time.
In some cases, we may recommend a combination of sclerotherapy and laser therapy in order to provide patients with maximum results.
At DermASAP we understand that not every treatment is right for every unique situation. During an initial consultation appointment, we will discuss the options available and go over any concerns that patients may have. With a thorough examination and considering the patient’s medical history, Dr. Reed can assist them in making educated decisions in regards to their condition and the best way to treat it.
It is important for candidates to keep in mind that both laser therapy and sclerotherapy will require more than one treatment in order to correct the appearance of varicose and spider veins and the results can take up to one month to fully appear. For this reason, many patients will choose to undergo the treatment in fall, winter, or early spring in order to be summer ready.
Average cost: $200-$500
The cost of your sclerotherapy treatment will depend on your specific case and if you opt to receive additional treatments or procedures. Please feel free to schedule a private consultation to receive a quote.