Pain-free solution for spider veins


Though generally harmless, hair-thin blemishes, known as spider veins, can cause some to want to cover up even in the heat. Treating spider veins is rarely a medical necessity (though some seek treatment to relieve the aching the veins can cause), but for those who want it, spider vein-free skin is just a zap away.

No one knows why some people develop spider veins and others don’t, but genetics, the hormone estrogen and possibly the hormone progesterone are thought to play a role. Spider veins appear more frequently in women than in men, and are particularly common in pregnant women and those taking oral contraceptives or hormone-replacement therapy.

Getting rid of spider veins is safe and easy. Sclerotherapy, the gold-standard treatment for spider veins, involves injecting a saline solution or detergent into the veins, causing them to clump together or clot and become less apparent. “Anybody who has veins they don’t like is a good candidate (for sclerotherapy) because it’s an incredibly safe, easy procedure,” says Dr. Lisa Donofrio, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine.

In some cases, several injections are required. The procedure feels like a tiny needle stick, and Donofrio says even needlephobic patients usually get through it with little difficulty. Donofrio particularly recommends treatment for people with a family history of problem veins who are showing signs relatively early – for example, those who have multiple patches of spider veins by their early 20s.

There is a strong chance — up to 90 percent — of greatly improved appearance after sclerotherapy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Results last for two years on average, notes Donofrio. After that, genetics or whatever other factors caused the veins to appear in the first place tend to take over, and maintenance treatment is required to keep the skin vein-free.

Charges for sclerotherapy typically range from $375 to $750 for both legs. Some doctors charge a set fee; others charge per vein treated.

Laser treatment can also eliminate spider veins, but it tends to be less effective and more expensive than sclerotherapy, with the same level of discomfort, according to Dr. Matthew P. Olivo, a dermatologist based in Westmont, New Jersey, and a fellow of the AAD. Lasers, however, are a good option for treating delicate areas and for people who are allergic to the injection solution.

Doctors often use a combination of sclerotherapy and lasers: sclerotherapy for the major part of the treatment and a laser to get rid of the tip of the vein. Laser techniques for removing spider veins are expected to improve greatly during the next decade.

While most side effects of sclerotherapy are not serious, you could experience a number of physical reactions during and following the treatment, including:

  • stinging, burning or muscle cramps during injection
  • skin discoloration
  • new vessel growth at the site of injection
  • raised, hive-like bumps or tiny sores in the treatment area
  • bruising
  • allergic reaction to injection solution
  • blood clots, in rare instances

Source: webmd


Fixing spider veins, stretch marks and more: Solutions to skin problems


1. Spider Veins
If the valves inside your blood vessels become weak (whether from age or genetic predisposition) and are unable to pump blood back to your heart efficiently, “the blood pools and causes the veins to enlarge,” said Dr. Robert J. Min, chair of radiology. That
causes capillaries close to the skin’s surface to show up as little red squiggles, most commonly on the legs. And those, friends, are spider veins.

What Works
Sclerotherapy: Using a tiny needle, a doctor injects the spider veins with a medicated solution that “causes them to collapse and permanently disappear,” said Dr. Fredric Brandt, a dermatologist in Miami and New York. You’ll probably need two to three sessions to eradicate a spider vein fully. Cost: $200 and up per treatment.

Vascular laser: “The blood inside the veins absorbs the wavelength from this laser, creating heat, which contracts the veins,” said Richard G. Glogau, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. Very small spider veins
benefit most; you’ll need several sessions to see a difference. Cost: $200 and up per treatment.

What Doesn’t Work
Keeping your legs uncrossed (crossing them is said to cause spider veins). “Unless they’re crossed 24 hours a day, the effect is minimal,” said Dr. David Goldberg,  a dermatologist with practices in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

Quick Cover-Up
Neutralize redness with yellow-based body makeup, says Lusine, a makeup artist in Los Angeles. Set with translucent powder to keep it in place

2. Stretch Marks

When skin gets stretched too fast, as it can when you gain weight quickly, such as during pregnancy, or if you went through a growth spurt as a teenager, “the collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis rupture,” said clinical professor Richard G. Glogau.

The result is scars deep within the skin―stretch marks. New ones are red or dark brown, because the skin becomes inflamed when the fibers break. (You might also notice a change in texture, as if your skin has little divots in it.) With time, most stretch marks
lighten in color.

What Works
Pulse dye laser (for newer stretch marks): The light from this laser is absorbed by the pigment in the irritated area, which heats the blood vessels and makes the vessel walls collapse, said dermatologist Dr. David Goldberg. The color is reduced significantly, so
marks are much less obvious. (But divoting will still be apparent.) You’ll need about five treatments, spaced one month apart. Cost: $500 to $800 per treatment, depending on the size of the affected area.

Excimer laser (for older marks): The beam “increases pigment production, so eventually the silver or white lines become the color of the rest of your skin,” Goldberg said. This type of laser requires 10 to 20 treatments, spaced about two weeks apart. Cost: $200 to $700 per treatment.

What Doesn’t Work
Over-the-counter stretch mark creams, which claim to rebuild collagen but don’t.

Quick Cover-Up
A self-tanner “helps minimize the look of both new and older marks,” said makeup artist Lusine. For the most even coverage, exfoliate the area before applying.

3. Cellulite
Those bumps and dimples are all about genetics (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Contrary to what many people think, cellulite is nothing more than regular fat. But if you’re predisposed to cellulite, that fat bulges forward between the bands of tissue that connect your skin to your muscles, said Dr. Alan Gold, a plastic surgeon in Great Neck, New York. Excess weight can cause cellulite to become more prominent, due to the extra fat under the skin, but even thin people can have it.

What Works
Endermologie: A technician runs a vacuum-like suction tube over your skin and follows that with a heavy-duty massaging roller. The bands under the skin are stimulated and stretched temporarily, causing swelling and thickening, which plumps the skin so dimples appear smoother. You’ll need a treatment every eight weeks. Cost: $150 and up per session.

Cellulite creams and gels: In the short term, creams and gels can make cellulite appear less obvious. Ingredients such as caffeine make the skin swell, and polymers form a light film on the skin as they dry, pulling it smooth. You need to apply daily, since you
remove the product―and its effects―when you shower. Cost: From $10 at drugstores to more than $100 at department stores and spas.

What Doesn’t Work
Mesotherapy, in which a doctor injects saline or some other liquid into the skin to disperse fat. Liposuction is a bust, too: It sucks out fat but not the bands of tissue that create the bumpy appearance.

Quick Cover-Up
Try a body bronzer or a tinted self-tanner, even on darker skin, to visually smooth out the look of dimples.

4. Scars
As skin heals from a wound, it can produce too much collagen and a scar forms. The tendency to scar is genetic, so there’s not much you can do to prevent scars, though you can minimize the effects. Hypertrophic scars, the most common kind, are raised but don’t extend past the borders of the original wound. Keloids are raised but grow beyond the wound’s edges; people of African descent most often suffer from them. Depressed scars, like those from acne, are exactly that―indented.

What Works
Silicone products: A sheet of silicone placed over a hypertrophic or keloid scar (after the wound has healed) or a cream, such as Scar Fade, rubbed in daily “can make scars stop overproducing collagen and become permanently flatter,” said Foad Nahai, president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Sold over the counter, silicone products, which must be used consistently for several months, work on new and old scars. Cost: About $20 for sheets; about $10 for Scar Fade.

Fraxel laser: Best for depressed scars, this laser targets pinpoint-wide areas of skin, resurfacing the top and boosting collagen production underneath. After several sessions, indented scars should be leveled off. Cost: $500 and up per treatment.

What Doesn’t Work
Rubbing in vitamin-E oil.

Quick Cover-Up
Dab on a creamy, pigment-rich concealer that matches your skin and pat it into the scar to blend the edges. Brush on a bit of translucent powder to set the concealer, said makeup artist Lusine. (A very big keloid, however, will still be visible, even with

Source: Fox news