What Causes Spider Veins And Varicose Veins?
Veins are the pathways for de-oxygenated blood to return to the heart. In the legs, veins fight a true uphill battle, pushing the blood upward the entire way. Our muscles and tissues act to help push the blood through the veins, but as we age these tissues lose some of their strength, so they don’t support the vein walls as they did in younger years. Plus, the vein walls become weaker. This combination sometimes allows blood to flow backward, where it pools and pushes the vein walls outward. This is how varicose veins and spider veins form.This combination sometimes allows blood to flow backward, where it pools and pushes the vein walls outward. This is how varicose veins and spider veins form.
Other factors can lead to the formation of these veins: pregnancy, heredity, weight fluctuations, hormonal changes, and activities/occupations that require prolonged sitting or standing.
What Is The Difference Between Varicose Veins And Spider Veins?
While these veins form the same way, varicose veins are generally larger than spider veins. They are the veins that push outward on the skin surface. Spider veins usually form as small clusters on the thighs, ankles, and calves. Dr. Keamy uses the XEO laser to treat smaller varicose veins and spider veins.
Laser Vein Removal Procedure
Dr. Keamy finds the XEO laser to be effective for removing spider veins and small varicose veins. First, she uses a local anesthetic in the area of the spider veins. Next, she sets the laser wavelength to match the color of the targeted vein. The laser light energy penetrates the skin surface and is absorbed by the color of the vein beneath. When the vein absorbs this energy, it converts to heat energy. This heat coagulates the blood inside the vein, causing the vein walls to collapse. This seals off the vein; any blood that was routed through the vein is rerouted to a neighboring, healthier vein. Once the vein is shut down, the body begins to scavenge the vein, removing it completely in time. But there is a dramatic lessening of the vein’s appearance at the time of treatment.
How Is Laser Spider Vein Removal Different Than Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy has been the method for removing spider and small varicose veins since the 1930s. In sclerotherapy, a saline solution is injected into the vein, irritating the vein wall and causing it to collapse, the same result as with laser treatment.
Dr. Keamy feels laser vein removal is superior. First, patients don’t have to go through the numerous injections required with numerous spider veins. For some people, the saline solution leads to itching and irritation for a period after treatment. Second, lasers can treat numerous veins in the area at one time. Third, since we set the laser wavelength precisely to the color of the target vein, there isn’t any damage to surrounding skin. Plus, the handpiece has a cooling tip that keeps your skin comfortable.
How Many Treatment Sessions Are Needed?
Most spider veins respond well to a single treatment. Some smaller varicose veins may need a second or third treatment to fully disappear. We space these treatments 4-6 weeks apart to be sure the body won’t finish the job first.
Laser Vein Treatment Recovery
Immediately after your treatment, you may feel a slight bump on the skin above the treated vein, but this goes away within a few hours. The area may also look a little redder as if it is bruised. If you’re having a number of veins treated, we will recommend wearing support hose for a week or two to help the body begin the process of removing the veins. But there isn’t any downtime or need to avoid any activities.
How Long Before I See Results?
After Dr. Keamy hits the vein with the laser energy, it is visibly diminished immediately. The color will change from dark blue or purple to light red, making the vein resemble a cat scratch. It will then fade away completely as the body reabsorbs the vein over the next 4-6 weeks.
Would Laser Vein Treatment Work For Me?
Basically, anyone can remove unwanted spider veins with this method. The procedure is topical, so there are no incisions or necessary recovery time.
Schedule A Consultation At Keamy Cosmetic Centre
For more information on the type of laser treatments that we offer and how many sessions are required to treat your particular area of interest. Please call (508) 836-8733 to a schedule a consultation.