Spider veins are natural, but that doesn’t mean that we have to like them. In addition to being unsightly they can deteriorate into varicose veins which larger and can cause discomfort and even pain. But never fear! Here at Coastal Vein in Corona Del Mar, CA, we know the best ways to help you get rid of spider veins for good, so that you can look and feel your best.
What’s the Best Way To Get Rid of Spider Veins?
There are many ways to get rid of spider veins, but Sclerotherapy is one of the best. Sclerotherapy helps to get rid of spider veins by starving the diseased veins of blood. This is accomplished by administering a sclerosant inside the affected vein. The chemical compounds used in the sclerosant are so irritating to the venous wall that it collapses in on itself. With the venous wall collapsed, no blood can flow through the vein; the blood is rerouted, flowing through healthy veins back up to the heart.
How Effective Is This Treatment?
This treatment is incredibly effective. It wouldn’t be approved by the FDA if it didn’t work; the FDA reviews the results of third-party, independent clinical trials. After several clinical trials with large sample sizes, it has been found that 86% of people who received this treatment were satisfied with the results a month after the first treatment session.
The other 14% of people who were identified as good candidates, but weren’t satisfied with the final results, needed a follow-up treatment. To give you a good idea of what to expect, you should only need one session if you are trying to treat spider veins in one area of the body, like the calves, shins or thighs. If you are trying to treat spider veins in several regions of the body, like the face and hands, you may need two sessions.
Will This Treatment Work for Me?
To determine if this treatment will be an effective solution for your needs, you need to come in for an initial consultation. During this initial consultation, we will assess your case, identifying how deep beneath your skin’s surface your diseased veins are, as well as how many veins need to be treated, how thick they are, how diseased they are and more. While assessing your damaged veins, we will look for signs of blood clots or other potentially dangerous conditions.
Depending on the location of the veins you’re looking to treat, you may need to receive an ultrasound test. This is usually necessary when the disordered veins are in the lower legs, there’s a high risk that a blood clot exists in the targeted area and it’s hard to tell accurately how far the veins are from the surface of your skin.
What Happens During Treatment?
When you come in for your treatment session, we will clean the treatment area with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Once the area is free from dirt, debris, pollutants and other irritants, a very fine-gauge needle will be inserted into the diseased veins and the sclerosant will be injected. If your spider veins are in your legs, you will lie on your back with your legs elevated slightly. If you wear comfortable clothes, you should be comfortable during treatment.
The gauge of the needle used is so fine that you won’t feel any pain during your short session. Due to the non-invasive nature of the treatment, there is no need for general anesthesia or local anesthesia combined with a powerful sedative. However, if you are anxious about the injections, you are free to talk to your psychiatrist about taking a mild sedative. Furthermore, you may ask us for a solution that includes lidocaine, an injectable local anesthetic.
How Should I Prepare for Treatment?
Since sclerotherapy isn’t an invasive procedure, there’s not a lot you have to do to prepare for treatment. During your initial consultation, after we’ve determined that you’re a good candidate for this treatment, we will give you a comprehensive list of instructions based on your current health and lifestyle. Here’s a brief overview of a few things you should do to prepare for treatment.
What To Do the Day Before Your Treatment
The day before your treatment, you should avoid shaving the treatment area or applying lotion. You should also drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest and make sure you have comfortable clothes to wear to treatment. If possible, wear clothes that expose the treatment area. If your spider veins are on your lower legs, try to wear shorts or baggy sweatpants that will roll up easily.
How Should I Care for Myself After Treatment?
Again, since this isn’t an invasive procedure, there’s not a lot you have to do to care for yourself after treatment. Primarily, you should avoid any activities that may elevate your blood pressure to an unhealthy level, minimize your consumption of foods and beverages that can elevate your blood pressure significantly and protect your skin from the sun.
Activities That Can Elevate Your Blood Pressure
For the first 48 to 72 hours after your treatment, avoid any activities that can put pressure on your stomach if the treated spider veins were in your legs or abdomen. Examples of such activities include calisthenics, like mountain climbers, sit-ups or crunches, resistance training, like deadlifts and cardiovascular exercises, like jogging, spinning, swimming or rowing.
Nevertheless, some exercise will be beneficial to you during your recovery period. We strongly encourage all of our clients who receive sclerotherapy to walk for at least 30 minutes daily at a moderate pace during the first two to three weeks after their treatment. If you start to have difficulty breathing, you are walking at an intense pace and should quickly reduce your exercise intensity.
Foods and Beverages That Can Elevate Your Blood Pressure
Unfortunately, many American staples wreak havoc on blood pressure. Coffee and tea contain caffeine, a chemical known to dehydrate the body, elevating blood pressure. How much caffeine you can consume before your blood pressure elevates to an unsafe level depends on several factors, including your body weight and tolerance for caffeine. Generally accepted advice is that men should consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine daily; women no more than 200.
Short of buying a blood pressure cuff, there’s no surefire way to know if your caffeine intake is affecting your blood pressure drastically. The most common mild signs of too much caffeine include dizziness, diarrhea, headache and irritability. The most common severe signs of too much caffeine include difficulty breathing, vomiting, confusion, chest pain and tachycardia. If you suspect you’re consuming too much caffeine, drink lots of water and stop caffeine consumption.
Lesser-Known Caffeine Sources
While it’s commonly known that most kinds of coffee and tea contain caffeine, many people are unaware of how much caffeine is in other foods, drinks and medications they consume regularly.
A single alertness aid contains 200 mg of caffeine, the recommended daily limit for women and half the recommended daily limit for men. Most medications designed to treat migraines, muscle aches and menstrual pain contain 65 mg per tablet, or 130 mg per dose. Read labels carefully, especially the labels of chocolate, candy bars and sodas. Make sure you’re only consuming one serving of these surprisingly caffeine-dense consumables.
Activities That Can Dilate Small Veins
You should also avoid activities that can dilate small veins, such as activities involving heat. Avoid saunas or hot tubs for the first two weeks after your treatment session. You should also avoid taking steaming-hot baths. During the first 14 days following your treatment session, take a sponge bath and avoid getting hot water on the injection site, or cover your dressing with Saran wrap while you take a tepid bath.
Other Post-Treatment Care Instructions
Wear a compression garment over the treated area for at least 48 hours after your treatment session. Compression garments help your blood flow back to your heart effectively and mitigate the risk of your blood trying to flow through the veins collapsed by treatment. This prevents blood clots.
You should also care for yourself after treatment by applying sunscreen to the treated area every four hours, or as directed on the bottle. Unprotected sun exposure can lead to hyperpigmentation discoloring your skin. To mitigate this, we recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor at least 55 for two to three weeks after your treatment.
Other Clinically Proven Removal Methods for Spider Veins
Radiofrequency Ablation Vein Closure
Sclerotherapy is often considered to be the most effective way to get rid of unwanted spider veins, but injecting a sclerosant into diseased venous walls isn’t right for everyone. If you’re afraid of needles, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) vein closure may be the ideal spider vein removal treatment for you. A local anesthetic will be injected before treatment to numb the targeted area and ensure your comfort, but there won’t be multiple injections like sclerotherapy.
Once the treatment area is numb, a tiny incision will be made and a cannula (very fine tube) will be inserted into the spider veins. Through this tube, radiofrequency (sound) energy is emitted. This sound energy produces a powerful, but gentle, heat that burns the walls of the diseased veins. Once the treatment is complete, you will receive a prescription-strength compression garment to wear for roughly one week after your treatment.
Venaseal Vein Closure
Venaseal vein closure is another incredibly popular spider vein removal method. Much like sclerotherapy closes off the entrance to the targeted vein wall by irritating it to the point of collapse, Venaseal vein closure seals off the entrance to the defective vein with a safe, effective medical-grade glue. This spider vein removal method may be right for you if you’re afraid of needles and sensitive to heat.
If you are particularly sensitive to heat, you may find that the warmth from the sound or light energy produced during RFA vein closure or laser vein treatments is too great. Venaseal vein closure will probably be the best treatment for you if you have a low tolerance for thermal heat and you’re allergic to the anesthetic administered to prevent discomfort during treatment.
Discover How To Get Rid of Spider Veins Today
According to the FDA, sclerotherapy is a safe, effective way to get rid of spider veins. It has been used for decades and is seen as the gold standard in disordered vein treatment. If you’re only trying to get rid of spider veins, you should only expect to need one session. To learn more about this, or other effective spider vein treatments, request an appointment at Coastal Vein in Corona Del Mar, CA, conveniently located fewer than five miles from Newport Beach, CA. We look forward to seeing you soon!