February in Atlanta isn’t all that daunting. No snow tires to worry about. No shoveling to break a vertebra over. No frost-bitten fingers or nose. Despite the lack of Lake Erie-esque weather to deal with, a Georgia winter is still a good time to get your legs in shape for the shorts and sundresses of spring and summer. That means doing something about those annoying purple, blue, and red clusters of veins coursing about just under your skin. Spider veins.
At Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery, we put our lasers to work getting rid of the spider veins on your legs.
What causes spider veins to form on my legs?
The veins are the pathways for de-oxygenated blood to return to the heart. In the legs, the veins have to fight an uphill battle. When we’re younger, our muscles, skin, and connective tissues all pitch in and help push the blood upward through the legs. But as we age our vein walls and surrounding tissues weaken. This can allow the blood to pool. This is how varicose veins and spider veins form. Spider veins are smaller, and are just under the skin surface, making them very visible.
A variety of factors can make a person more prone to developing spider veins: pregnancy, weight gain and loss, hormonal changes, and activities/occupations that require prolonged sitting or standing.
How do lasers remove spider veins?
At Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery, we task our cutaneous laser with spider vein treatment. First, we apply a numbing agent to the skin above the veins to be treated. Next, we set the laser wavelength to match the color of the targeted vein. The pulse of laser light then penetrates the surface skin and is absorbed by the blood in the vein below. The light energy converts to heat, and the heat coagulates the blood inside the vein. This causes the vein walls to collapse, sealing off the vein. In most cases, the vein is immediately less visible, but over the course of the next few weeks the body will scavenge and absorb the vein and it will totally disappear.
Will my veins be gone immediately?
Most spider veins respond well immediately, lessening in color and visibility. Some disappear instantly; others may take a few weeks for the body to absorb them. Larger spider veins may require a second laser treatment.
What are the advantages of using laser vein therapy?
There are really no risks involved with these treatments, whereas methods such as sclerotherapy can cause slight bruising and patients can sometimes have a reaction to the saline solution. Lasers also are faster and more efficient when treating larger groups of spider veins.