We might still be in the winter season, but spring and summer will be here in the blink of an eye. And that means warmer weather, which means it will soon be time to break out the summer wardrobe – shorts, T-shirts, tank tops and bathing suits.
But if you’re one of the roughly 80 million adult Americans who suffer from unsightly varicose veins and spider veins in your legs, spring and summer may be the seasons you dread most. Spending time at the pool, on the lake or perhaps even just taking a bike ride in the neighborhood can often be embarrassing if you’re self-conscious about the appearance of your legs.
The good news is that there’s still plenty of time to fix the problem, so you’ll be able to fully (and comfortably) enjoy your time in the great outdoors this year without giving a second thought to what your legs look like.
In most cases of varicose and spider veins, we are able to administer sclerotherapy as treatment. This simple, non-surgical medical procedure has been in use in the United States since the 1920s and has proven to be safe and virtually painless.
During sclerotherapy, the physician uses a very fine needle to inject a sclerosing solution into the abnormal vein. That solution is designed to irritate the inner lining of the vein, causing it to collapse. The body automatically adapts to reroute the blood flow, and unsightly veins disappear.
Most patients are able to resume daily activities shortly after the procedure, and healing only takes a few days, in most cases. It may take some older veins a few weeks to completely disappear, which is why patients who decide to undergo the procedure now should see noticeable improvement in the appearance of their legs by spring and summer.
Even better news is that although sclerotherapy for purely cosmetic purposes may not be covered by some insurance plans, the cost is $300 out of pocket, which makes dramatically improving one’s appearance more affordable than many may expect.
Keep in mind, however, that in addition to the aesthetic benefits, removing varicose and spider veins can improve a patient’s health since these abnormalities typically don’t go away on their own and can lead to more serious symptoms like leg pain, cramps, swelling, redness and restless legs, to name just a few.