When the goal is smooth, healthy, and more youthful-looking skin, there are a number of factors that can get in the way of achieving this aesthetic—particularly when it comes to the development of varicose or spider veins. Often accompanied by painful swelling, discoloration, and a webbing effect at the surface, both varicose and spider veins can be a frustrating development for men and women alike over time. Just as important to recognize when it comes to these veins is that the results of their development are not only the visible features but underlying issues that could tell a wider-reaching story about an individual’s health profile.
What Causes Varicose and Spider Veins?
The human body requires a constant flow of freshly oxygenated blood to function properly and veins and arteries are part of the complex system charged with making sure blood is returned and distributed from the heart. Veins have the essential role of returning oxygen-depleted blood to the heart from far-reaching extremities which means working against the pull of gravity. One way valves within the veins help achieve this constant flow but in the event that valves malfunction, it doesn’t take long for blood to begin to flow the wrong direction and pool in place in the lower extremities. Often, this situation leads to the development of varicose veins that might bulge under the surface of the skin, present as twisted lengths of rope below the surface, and be accompanied by a variety of painful associated systems.
While less painful than varicose veins, the development of spider veins can be just as frustrating for patients on an aesthetic level. Spider veins often present as webs of blue, purple, or red on the skin and can develop anywhere on the body. While some spider veins are linked to excessive UV ray exposure, genetics or hormonal fluctuations, other spider veins occur when blood looks for a new route away from problematic varicose veins.
Treatment Options to Consider
Whatever the underlying cause for the development of varicose and spider veins may be, individuals looking to diminish or eliminate them today have plenty of options to do so. While cosmetic and medical services of the past often revolved around removing problematic veins through a painful process known as vein stripping, advances in technology and techniques make it easier than ever for patients to undergo procedures that are safe, effective, and minimally invasive at most.
Among the many options for treatment on the market, foam sclerotherapy is finding its spot at the top of the list for those looking for a highly efficient route to reducing underlying vein issues while enjoying a quick to non-existent recovery time. Foam sclerotherapy is proving to be extremely effective at treating larger varicose veins as well as moderate spider veins across the body.
How Foam Sclerotherapy Works
Foam sclerotherapy treatments begin with an attending physician clearly marking and mapping where problematic veins are on a patient. Once the mapping is complete, a local anesthetic is injected to ensure the procedure is painless for the patient. Over the course of 30 to 40 minutes, foam sclerosant will be injected through a small incision directly over the problematic vein. The foam sclerosant works to irritate the vein to the point of closure and collapse. Eventually, the vein is reabsorbed naturally by the body, allowing blood to circulate in a more constructive manner following healthy veins. One of the greatest benefits of foam sclerotherapy versus liquid sclerotherapy is the foam’s ability to stick exclusively to the inside of the vein wall, ensuring there isn’t leakage into the surrounding blood flow or tissues.
Following treatment, the vast majority of patients are recommended to wear a set of compression garments to promote healthy healing and blood flow for at least 24 to 48-hours. Pressure stockings are advisable for two weeks following treatment, however, all of these recommendations do not interfere with a patient’s ability to return to their everyday schedules and activities.
Foam sclerotherapy as a treatment option for varicose or spider veins is extremely safe. This outpatient procedure avoids the need for a lengthy hospital stay, use of general anesthesia, or a difficult recovery period where a patient would need to care for significant incisions or follow-up scarring.
Schedule a Consultation Today
There’s no reason to wait when you’re ready to learn more about the many options available when it comes to reducing or eliminating problematic varicose and spider veins. Reach out to Dr. Wright and his team at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center today to find out more about the services we offer as well as our practice of establishing care for long-term vein health. We’re dedicated to providing world-class service in a place where comprehensive patient care is always a top priority. Contact us for more information or to schedule your initial consultation.