Vascular therapy is a non-surgical, and minimally invasive treatment for removing unwanted veins. Laser or light energy treatments are commonly used to correct vein issues without harming the skin or tissue. Vascular treatments are designed to destroy the vein walls and result in a collapse.
Spider veins are commonly found on the thigh or lower leg, can form virtually anywhere on the leg, from the uppermost region of the thigh to the ankle. Occasionally, spider veins will appear on the face, called Facial Telangiectasia. These are small, red or purple blood vessels that can be caused by a number of skin conditions, including sun damage, heredity, rosacea, hot and spicy food, exercise or emotions.
Our laser energy penetrates deep down and is absorbed by the cells in the vessel wall and the blood, causing coagulation which seals off the blood flow. The vessel walls then collapse and eventually dissolve.
What are vascular lesions?
Vascular lesions are relatively common abnormalities of the skin and underlying tissues, more commonly known as birthmarks. There are three major categories of vascular lesions: Hemangiomas, Vascular Malformations, and Pyogenic Granulomas. While these birthmarks can look similar at times, they each vary in terms of origin and necessary treatment.
Common Types of Vascular Lesions:
- Nevus (port wine stains)
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Cherry Angiomas
What are the cause of having vascular lesions?
Common problems in adults, both spider and varicose veins are mostly the result of insufficient blood flow. They can cause significant fatigue, heaviness, restlessness, discomfort, aching, swelling or tingling. Many also find them cosmetically undesirable and they can lead to social embarrassment.
The most common location for symptomatic spider and varicose veins is the legs, while spider veins can also occur on the face. They differ somewhat from each other, although both can be successfully treated in our office.
What kind of treatment is used to treat Spider Veins or for other Vascular Reduction?
Sclerotherapy is a method to eliminate leg veins, varicose veins, and superficial telangiectasias (spider veins) by injecting a solution, called a sclerosing agent, into the veins. Most people who have sclerotherapy performed will see good improvement. It may be impossible to cause all spider veins to fade; improvement of 60% to 90% is usual with a full course of treatment.
The Long Pulsed Yag Laser, on our Spectrum laser machine, is another treatment option used on legs and on the face. The Quanta Evo Nd:YAG laser penetrates through the skin and is readily absorbed by hemoglobin and melanin chromophores (veins and vascular lesions). The Laser light is delivered through the skin and into the vein. After heating, the vein walls collapse and seal shut. The sealed vein is then broken down and absorbed by the body.
The number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition differs from patient to patient, depending on the extent of spider veins present. One to six, or more, treatments may be needed; the average is three to four. Individual veins require one to three, or more, treatments. Treated vessels will typically fade away over a period of six months.
What is the aftercare of this treatment?
IMPORTANT! Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds to the treated area. Once the scabbing process is complete, ALWAYS apply broad spectrum SPF 50 or higher to the area for a minimum of 3 months following your last treatment. This skin is still healing and can EASILY become damaged by any UV rays and may cause hyperpigmentation and/or premature aging.
- Taking collagen, vitamin C and L-lysine supplements over the course of your healing process can give your immune system and collagen production a boost.
- Avoid drinking and smoking in the process of healing.
- Do not use AHA’s, BHA’s, Retin-A or Renova for 72 hours following treatment.
- Avoid direct sunlight for 72 hours following treatment.
- Wash treated are morning and night with cleanser.
- If redness or sensitivity occurs, wash treated area and apply a cool compress or ice pack. If sensitivity continues for more than 12 hours, contact your physician or skincare provider.
- Avoid shaving over any treated area until skin has fully healed.
- Avoid exercise for 24 hours following treatment. Heat, steam or sweat can add to inflammation.
- Do not use any pools, hot tubs or saunas until your skin returns to a more normal state.
- If you are prone to cold-sores, the treatment may cause a breakout, ask your doctor for a prophylactic treatment such as Valtrex (5 days prior and 5 days after are optimal).
- Do not peel or pick at loose skin or crusting. This may result in SEVERE scarring and discoloration to affected area. If crusting occurs, apply petroleum jelly to the affected area until healed.
- Keep skin well hydrated with appropriate moisturizer.
- Do not use anything harsh on your skin (like acids, peels or physical exfoliants) until you have reached 8 weeks post treatment.