Most people develop at least a few unsightly leg veins during their life. Though small veins, like spider veins and reticular veins, aren’t usually harmful to your health, they can make you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your legs.
At Sublime Aesthetic Professionals in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, Angie Bjorgaard, RN, BSN, and the aesthetic team offer several safe and effective treatments that can improve the appearance of bothersome leg veins and help restore your confidence.
Understanding unsightly leg veins
Your vascular or circulatory system is made up of blood vessels that transport blood all over your body. Oxygen-rich blood travels from your heart through your arteries to other places in your body, and it returns to the heart for more oxygen through your veins. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that connect your arteries and veins to other tissues.
To keep the blood flowing the right way, your blood vessels have one-way valves. When the valve stops working correctly or if the walls of your blood vessels weaken, blood can pool and cause your veins to swell. This can trap blood in the blood vessel, which appears through the skin as unsightly red, blue, or purple lines.
Here’s a look at two common types of unsightly leg veins:
Spider veins develop when the one-way valve inside your capillaries stops functioning properly. They don’t bulge through your skin and are usually harmless to your health, but spider veins can make you feel self-conscious or embarrassed about the appearance of your skin.
Although you can get spider veins almost anywhere, the legs and ankles are the most common location. Anyone at any age can get spider veins, but certain risk factors increase your chances, including:
- Being female
- Having a family history of spider veins or other vascular disease
- Having a personal history of vascular disease
- Having chronic constipation
- Standing on your feet most of the day
- Being or having been pregnant
- Being or having been overweight or obese
Your risk of getting spider veins also increases if you’ve had an injury that caused swelling, like a broken ankle or foot.
Reticular veins or feeder veins are larger than spider veins, but smaller than most varicose veins. Like spider veins, they don’t protrude from your skin and are most often found on your legs in places like the backs of your knees, inner thighs, or ankles.
The risk factors for reticular veins are the same as for spider veins. But unlike spider veins, which don’t cause noticeable symptoms, having multiple reticular veins may cause symptoms similar to varicose veins, which include:
- Feeling of heaviness in the legs
- Aching, fatigued legs
- Tenderness or discomfort
When not treated, reticular veins can trigger the development of spider veins.
How to get rid of bothersome leg veins
At Sublime Aesthetics Professionals, we understand how frustrating bothersome leg veins can be. We offer two vein treatments to make your spider or reticular veins a thing of the past. Here’s a closer look:
Your Sublime Aesthetics Professionals provider may recommend sclerotherapy to treat your reticular or spider veins. This injectable treatment uses a chemical solution that irritates the walls of the blood vessel and forces it to collapse.
Your body then absorbs the damaged blood vessel and removes it along with other cellular waste in the weeks following treatment. The number and duration of sessions required varies based on the location and number of veins you want treated, but most sessions take less than an hour.
The needle used during sclerotherapy is so small that it doesn’t trigger any bleeding, and most patients report the treatment is pain-free. Sometimes, however, you might have a mild itching or slight burning sensation that resolves quickly.
Excel VTM laser treatment
Noninvasive excel V laser treatments use laser energy to heat the damaged blood vessel and make the walls collapse. The laser system is specially targeted to affect the blood vessels while keeping your surrounding tissues safe.
Just like with sclerotherapy, the results take several weeks to appear as your body’s lymphatic system removes the treated blood vessel tissue from your body. Sessions generally take fewer than 15 minutes, but they may take longer depending on the size of the treatment area.
During your session, your provider may use a cool treatment tip to keep your skin comfortable as the laser sometimes feels like the snap of a rubber band on your skin, though this resolves quickly. You may notice some redness or swelling in the first few days after treatment.
Ready to banish bothersome leg veins? Schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Sublime Aesthetic Professionals in East Grand Forks.