Sclerotherapy FAQ

Sclerotherapy FAQ

What are spider veins?
Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins.  They are closer to the surface of the skin and are more visible in coloration.  Often, they are red and blue.  They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines that appear to grow off each other.  They can be found on the legs and/or face.

What causes spider veins?
The heart pumps out blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries.  Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart to refill with oxygen and nutrients.  As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body through the veins.  Veins have valves that act as one-way valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs.  If the valves become weak, blood can leak into the veins and collect there causing spider veins.  They can also be caused by increased age, hormonal changes, obesity, exposure to sun, injuries, pregnancy, lack of movement, medical issues, or hereditary.

Do leg vein treatment work?
Laser treatment for spider and reticular leg veins with Palomar® technology uses a 1064nm wavelength laser to send energy into the blood and vessel walls, where it is absorbed by hemoglobin. The hemoglobin is heated by the absorption of energy, and the vessel coagulates and closes off. The constricted vessel then degenerates, and the leg vein is no longer visible from the surface of the skin.  The Palomar® Lux 1064 can also be used on the face and other parts of the body.

What are Palomar laser leg vein treatments like?
Safety glasses are worn by the practitioner and patient.  Your practitioner will place the Lux1064 hand piece on your skin.  The hand piece will trace your veins while pulsating.  Each pulse sends a beam of light through the skin without injury to coagulate and close off the vein.  An audible tone and flashing of light will happen with each pulse.  A mild discomfort is only felt while the hand piece delivers the pulse.

Are these treatments safe?  
We'll will review all risks and benefits of the treatment with you.  All questions will be answered so you are comfortable with the procedure.  Palomar leg vein treatments are safe for your skin and comfortable.

What should I expect after the treatment?
Immediately after treatment, you can expect a mild tender sunburn-like sensation.  The veins treated will have a red cat scratch type look.  This usually lasts 12-24 hours, and can be soothed with cold gel or ice packs.

How can I prevent spider veins?

  • Not all spider veins can be prevented.  Here are some steps you can take to help prevent spider veins.
  • Wear sunscreen spf 30 or higher to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins of the face.
  • Regular exercise to improve circulation and vein strength.  Cardio exercises that work your legs include biking, walking, and running.
  • Keep a healthy weight BMI 19-24 avoids excess pressure on your legs.
  • When sitting, avoid crossing your legs.
  • Do not sit or stand for long periods of time.  Shifting your weight from one leg to the other about every few minutes helps.  If you must sit for a long period of time, get up and walk around every 30 minutes.
  • Use compression stockings and avoid constricting clothing around the waist and groin.
  • Wearing high heels for a long period of time increases your risk for spider veins.