What do you need to know before getting spider vein treatments? Also known as sclerotherapy, these treatments can reduce the web of purple, blue, or red veins on your legs. If this is your first experience with spider vein removal, take a look at what you need to know about the procedure and prep steps.
Do You Have Spider Veins?
Before you start to explore your options, make sure that you have spider (and not varicose) veins. It's common to confuse spider and varicose veins. But these two issues are different. Varicose veins are thicker, twisted, and have a rope-like texture. These veins are red, blue, or even skin-colored and may bulge outwards.
Spider veins are also often red or blue. Unlike varicose veins, these slimmer or smaller veins won't have a noticeable rope-like look or bulge out from your leg.
Can You Eliminate Spider Veins?
You can reduce the appearance of spider veins in your legs. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the two primary methods used to treat spider veins are injections and laser therapy. The injection method causes the affected veins to collapse. The collapsed veins fade away, leaving behind fresh, clear skin.
As the name implies, laser treatments use laser light. The focused beam of light destroys the vein. Even though the light damages the vein, it won't hurt the surrounding skin. This allows you to remove the vein without changing the appearance of the nearby area.
How Should You Prepare For Spider Vein Removal?
Only a licensed medical doctor should remove spider veins. This is not a salon or day spa cosmetic procedure. The first step of the removal process is an initial consultation. The doctor will need to examine the area and take a full medical history. This will help your medical provider to create a treatment plan and recommend the best course of action (either injection or laser therapy).
Both procedures are done as outpatient treatments in a doctor's office, medical center, hospital, or another similar health care setting. You won't need anesthesia for the removal. This means you don't need to restrict food or water intake before your appointment (unless otherwise directed by your doctor).
Preparation for this type of procedure is usually easy. Your doctor will provide you with pre-procedure instructions to follow. These are personalized to the patient and may include medications (over-the-counter, prescription, or natural supplements) to avoid in the days leading up to your removal appointment.
Contact a local medical center to learn more about spider vein treatments.