Spider Vein Treatment in St. Louis, MO
Spider Veins - What Are They?
Spider veins (also known, as telangiectasias) are small dilated blood vessels that appear near the surface of the skin. Spider veins tend to be red or blue in color and sometimes can itch, burn and potentially bleed.
Spider veins are typically an inherited problem which often show up with hormonal changes and pregnancy in women. Many men are also affected. They can be caused by an increase in pressure from deeper vein under the skin. Their presence may suggest an insufficiency (back flow) in these veins. An ultrasound will be able to diagnose this if present. If present this will need to be addressed prior to treatment of spider veins by the surgeon.
The most important consideration in the treatment of spider veins is to make sure these tiny surface veins are not being supplied by larger "feeder" veins (reticular veins) from below.
This is determined by using "trans-illumination", a very strong light which penetrates the skin to show the deeper "feeder" veins below. If indicated by symptoms such as pain, swelling, leg heaviness, leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, an ultrasound study may be performed.
Ultrasound allows the surgeon to evaluate the very deep veins that could be the cause of these spider veins, varicose and reticular veins.
Treatment of spider veins is by either sclerotherapy (injection), laser or a combination of both.
Our center uses Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate (Sotradecol) or Polidochanol (Asclera) exclusively for vein injections which are FDA approved and have minimal complications. Other solutions such as concentrated "saline" have more side effects and are generally more painful and not FDA approved for spider veins. Consultations are complimentary.
Sclerotherapy Spider Vein Treatment:
Sclerotherapy vein treatments are minimally uncomfortable. After a series of treatments excellent clearing can be expected. In some people with strong family histories of vein problems, new veins may appear in the future. The initial course of vein treatments may take 3 – 5 sessions, depending upon how your particular veins respond. This is variable. People will often come back in the future for "touch up" vein treatments. Treatments are usually 4-6 weeks apart.
Sclerotherapy sessions address specific areas and are based upon SAFE amounts of sclerosing solutions depending upon size and/or number of veins treated or strength of solution used.
After treatments a medical grade compression stocking is worn for one week. These are not your "grandmother's stocking" but quite elegant and comfortable. This ensures that the solutions stays in contact with the vein wall and isn't "flushed" out by your circulation during the healing process. The veins may look worse during the healing process.
Smaller surface veins are treated with laser. To simplify this, it can be described as a focused beam of light energy through various types of crystals. The beam targets the blood cells in the vein. This causes some heat and damages the vein wall. The skin is pre-cooled before the veins are treated and again afterwards. Minimal discomfort is experienced. Laser vein treatments can be used in difficult areas such as ankles, facial veins and other areas on the body.
Facial Spider Veins:
Veins of the face and nose can be caused by long standing sun damage, wind damage and family background (such as German and Irish).
Veins on the nose and face can be very distressing to patients and are often mistaken for over-indulgence of alcohol. Both men and women suffer from these often large and unsightly veins.
The preferred treatment of these smaller veins is by laser in the hands of a practitioner with experience and training. Our physician and nurses use the Cutera Xeo laser or the Dornier Flexipulse.
Results vary but are almost always excellent. One or two touch-up treatments may be required to eradicate most veins. It is important for patients to use SPF 30 – 35 (UVA and UVB) sun protection daily. This should be applied more often if exposure is prolonged with or without sun presence. Prior to treatment with laser, sun exposure should be avoided for 3 – 6 weeks depending upon skin type and depth of tan.
Larger blue facial vein such on the temples, forehead and under eyes may be also be treated with the Cutera Xeo. many people with these feel they appear "bruised" or bulge under exertion. In some cases they are treated with a combination of injection and removal.
Facial vein consultations are complimentary.
Want to learn more about spider vein treatment? Call our St Louis, MO office at (314) 993-8233 today!