Leg Veins

Leg Veins and Spider Vein Treatment

Leg veins: the nemesis of women over 40! Sometimes sooner!! One really notices leg veins and spider veins in spring and summer; but the best time to get rid of them is fall and winter.

Types of Leg Veins and Treatments

Unsightly leg veins come in two types, the bulgy varicose-type veins, and the smaller spider veins. The larger “bulgy” varicose veins have imperforate deeper vessels which allow an abnormal flow of blood from the deeper veins into the more superficial ones. These types of veins need to be assessed with ultrasonography and treated these days with intravascular catheter laser treatment of the larger feeder veins. In the old days, these veins were surgically stripped. Our team works with vascular surgeons who can address this for you if needed.

The other, more common types of veins are termed “spider veins” which show as “bruises” or “blue stains” on the legs. Patients often get asked how they got “that bruise”, which can be annoying to say the least. These types of veins occur in clusters but some patients will have them widespread on the legs, from the ankle to the thighs.

These can be successfully treated using a number of sclerosing agents. Most patients need a series of treatments separated by a few weeks: this will vary depending upon the severity of the veins and the distribution. Once the series is completed, a maintenance treatment once a year is often wise.  

Spider vein treatment often results in some bruising and discoloration for 1-3 weeks. And then it can take 2-3 months to see the full results of the treatment. Also, more than one treatment is usually needed. That’s why there’s no better time than now to start! Here’s what you need to know about spider vein treatment to get your legs looking great.

The nemesis of many women over 40! What can we do about these unsightly leg veins? It seems that in the spring and summer our legs come out of hiding, and we start noticing them again.

The summer is the time to make the plan and the appointments in the fall so your legs will look great for your winter holiday and next summer. Summer is also the time to cover these with a great self-tanner and some leg make-up like the Lorac Tantalizer Body Bronzing Illuminizer.

When you get your leg veins treated there is often some bruising and discoloration for 1-3 weeks, and occasionally longer. Also, more than one treatment is usually needed. That’s why this is a good time to plan, but not treat.

Covering Your Leg Veins in Summer

I mentioned the Lorac product to cover leg veins. What is it? It’s a body makeup. Yuk you say! Doesn’t it wear off on clothes and everything?

It absolutely does NOT! The first time I used it, I was so sure it would rub off that I put sweats on to test it. After 2-5 minutes, it doesn’t budge. I’ve even gone swimming with it on, and it wears off gradually and evenly. I’ve lotioned my legs and then put it on, and it still stays put. Covers leg veins and bruises pretty well.

If you have a bit of tan or color already, it gives you a perfect little glow/shimmer. And, if you don’t have any color, it gives you color, a little shimmer and looks natural! The Lorac is about $30.00 online.

How to Apply? Just take a small glob, and rub it all over your legs (either dry or over lotion), smooth it for about 30-60 seconds well especially around the ankles and the knees and you’re done. Set 2-5 minutes before clothes. It lasts until you wash it off with cleanser. Great with a little on the shoulders or the chest too.

Options for Leg Vein and Spider Vein

Sclerotherapy is injections of a gentle solution using an acupuncture-sized needle into the blood vessels. This irritates the inside of the vessel and causes them to shrink and slowly disappear. A number of different solutions are used for sclerotherapy including a concentrated sugar solution (glycerin), a very dilute, mild detergent solution, sodium tetradacyl, polidochonol and hypertonic saline. An experienced surgeon will use one or more of these to give you the best results. 

What is laser therapy for leg veins?

On the face, veins will respond to a number of different lasers and laser wavelengths. However, with leg veins, the treatment has to be much more nuanced. The aim is to heat the inside of the vessels without damaging the surrounding skin, so that the vessel collapses and scars shut.  The best laser for leg veins is an 1064 nm NdYag laser with a properly chosen duration and power. Small to medium veins respond the best to lasers. However, the results of sclerotherapy overall are better than those of externally applied laser beams.

Are these treatments safe? Neither one works for everyone, but they are both time-tested and safe when done by a skilled and experienced provider. Your provider can advise you on which spider vein treatment would be best for you.


Which spider vein treatment is right for me?

In my opinion, sclerotherapy works better for more people than laser leg vein treatments, so I often end up recommending sclerotherapy over laser leg vein treatments. But this depends of course on the person and their veins. You should not have sclerotherapy if you are pregnant or diabetic.

Do leg vein treatments work for everyone?

In my opinion, sclerotherapy works better for more people than laser leg vein treatments, so I often end up recommending sclerotherapy over laser leg vein treatments. But this depends of course on the person and their veins. You should not have sclerotherapy if you are pregnant or diabetic.

How will my legs look after a spider vein treatment?

They will look worse for a week or two. The veins will be redder and bruised. After approximately one month, your legs will generally look like they have not improved. This is normal. It often takes a full 90 days to see the effects of a treatment. Especially over large veins, you may have some brown staining for up to 3-12 months. The brown color is iron pigment (hemosiderin) that is left over from the red blood cells decomposing and being carried away by your own immune system.

How long should I wait between treatments?

Since your legs will look worse for approximately one month, and improvement occurs over 2 or so months, you should wait 6 to 8 weeks between appointments. However, this varies from patient to patient and we will guide you.

How do I look after my legs after treatment?

You should wear compression hose or bandages over the treated areas as much as you can during the waking hours for a week. With the modern methods of injections, we let patients resume normal activities almost immediately.

A Product to Cover Your Leg Veins and Spider Veins and Bruises!

This is a good product to cover the veins on your legs: Tantalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer by Lorac.

What is it? It’s a body makeup. Doesn’t it wear off on clothes? It absolutely does NOT!  This product stays on very well and one can even go swimming with it on. It can also be used to not only cover up leg veins but also bruises!