I am 33 years old and tried on my bathing suit for the opening of our community pool where I take my two small children. On my legs were all these broken blood vessels. My legs look like my mother’s legs, and she is over 55 years old. Is there a solution for my legs’ unsightly veins short of wearing long pants to the pool?
Your broken blood vessels (spider veins) are known medically as telangiectasia and are not actually broken, but are dilated (swollen) skin capillaries.
Frequently there appears to be an inherited tendency for the condition. Generally, the telangiectasia (spider veins) is not associated with the larger varicose veins, but most people with varicose veins have some spider veins. Most medical insurance companies consider treatment of spider veins to be a cosmetic procedure and generally will not cover the cost.
There are individuals who complain of leg pain due to their spider veins without varicose veins. Many patients will benefit symptomatically from the treatment of spider veins.
There are various treatments for spider veins, however, sclerotherapy remains the most cost effective method. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a solution that irritates the inner lining of the capillaries so they collapse and are unable to fill with blood. There is very little discomfort with the proper injection technique. Usually the vessels disappear over 2-4 weeks.
Patients with severe spider veins may require more than one treatment session spaced about six weeks apart. The goal is to produce 75 to 80 percent improvement.
One must remember that this is treating the problem, not the cause, which is related to hormones, lifestyle, leg trauma, pregnancy, and sun damage. This means that treatment in the future may be required. I have many patients who treat their spider veins once a year during the winter months and are extremely pleased with their results.
Make sure you seek out a well-trained physician for safe and effective treatments to eliminate the unsightly spider veins and the negative impact it has on your quality of life.