Spider Veins. The Varicose Veins’ little cousin. Not pretty. And when they’ve been forming and gathering for over a decade, well, let’s just say no one should have to look at that. After five pregnancies, various retail jobs and being a waitress for three years, mine had gotten pretty bad. Dresses were no longer fun to wear. Oh, I’d have brief moments of thinking I looked good while wearing a dress or skirt, but then I’d remember those veins….
In case you’re wondering what they are and what causes them, here is some basic information:
- Spider veins are branch-like looking veins that are usually red and/or blue and close to the surface
- They appear on the face or legs and can cover either small or large patches of skin
- Spider veins can be caused by pregnancy, excess weight, age, sun exposure and injury
I finally decided to at least look into treatment. Rather than a laser treatment (which can cause burns if not performed properly) I chose Sclerotherapy (SKLER-o-ther-a-pee) . Sclerotherapy is when a needle is used to inject a chemical into the veins. In short, this causes them to close. (I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly crazy about the whole needle thing, but it’s what my dermatologist’s office offered. And I trust them. Immensely.)
Side effects can include redness and swelling at the injection sites and bruising. This should clear up within a few weeks. Additional treatments may be necessary depending on how dense the patches of veins are. Mine were pretty bad, so I will be having at least one more treatment.
Here is a great resource site where you can get more in-depth information.
This is what they look like immediately after the treatment (yes, I am aware that I should have taken a ‘before’ photo before the treatment. Bear with me, I’m working out some kinks)
Oh, and my not so favorite part is the compression stockings one gets to wear for 3-5 days after treatment! Let’s just say that with the weather here is Southern Arizona being in the upper 90’s – low 100’s I was not exactly thrilled! But I was a good patient and did it anyway, because I wanted to see maximum results!
Here are the results after one week (Sorry folks, still working on lighting issues. My house is unbelievably dark!) There is some bruising, but the vein clusters seem to be getting smaller. Also, the really dark long vein was not treated. It appears I have to see a vein specialist for that one (Yay me?).
You (and I) have to remember that this is a process and will take 6-8 weeks to see real progress. But I believe it will be well worth it!