Have you been looking into a treatment for the spider or varicose veins that can creep in due to age or pregnancy? Problem veins are frustrating, and many patients find themselves uncomfortable showing their legs when they don’t like how these veins look. If you want to wear your favorite outfits again with confidence, foam sclerotherapy may be a good option for you. Our team at Advanced Dermatology Center in Wolcott, CT, is here with some information on this treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Foam Sclerotherapy?
It Can Handle Larger Veins Than Liquid Sclerotherapy
Both liquid and foam sclerotherapy can be very helpful treatments, and either could be a fit depending on what your needs are. Both treatments involve a ‘sclerosing’ agent. For liquid sclerotherapy, this agent is injected into the vein as-is.
The foam version of this treatment is mixed with air until it has a whipped cream sort of texture. This foamy texture enables the sclerosing agent to treat larger problem veins than regular sclerotherapy.
Insurance May Be More Willing To Cover This Treatment
Since foam sclerotherapy can be used for both cosmetic and medical purposes, your insurance may be more willing to cover some or all of the treatment cost. On the other hand, liquid sclerotherapy is usually reserved as a purely cosmetic treatment, so insurance may not be as willing to cover it.
While the sclerosing agent within this treatment is its primary benefit, the foam-like structure of the solution plays an important role in boosting how effective the treatment can be. The foam allows for more contact within the treated vessel walls, which can make this treatment’s results more predictable and reliable.
Imaging Can Be Used With This Treatment
Since the foam sclerosing agent used in this treatment has a different density than blood, it’s easier to use imaging technology to detect how the treatment is progressing. While the use of imaging may not always be necessary, sometimes it’s a helpful tool to help see if the one treatment was enough, or if a follow-up treatment will be needed down the line.
It Can Bring Fast Relief
If part of the reason why you’re seeking out treatment is the physical discomfort associated with problem veins, you may be able to experience physical relief from your symptoms even faster than you see physical improvements.
When a vein isn’t working properly it may cause feelings of heaviness, itching, burning, or an uncomfortable pressure in the affected area. Even the slightest improvement can bring noticeable relief in these cases, and your symptoms should continue to improve as the vein continues to shrivel up and eventually disappear.
No Need for Anesthesia
If you want a simple treatment that doesn’t require the use of anesthesia, sclerotherapy might be just what you’re looking for. The straight-forwardness of this treatment is part of what makes it as easy on the body as possible.
A Boost of Confidence
Whether you have an important event coming up, are about to hit the beach, or just want to be confident in your body, improving the appearance of varicose or spider veins can help many patients feel more comfortable in their bodies.
If you do have a specific event coming up, like a wedding, we’d encourage you to plan ahead of time. How fast the veins disappear can depend on how quickly the body closes and absorbs the vein. Some patients, especially with smaller spider veins, may see an improvement in as little as three weeks after their treatment. For other patients it may take longer.
Planning Ahead of Time Can Save You Frustration
Many patients benefit from multiple treatments to address all their problem veins and to get the best results possible. The good news is the foam version of sclerotherapy usually doesn’t have to be spaced out quite as long as the liquid version, so if you need multiple treatments you can still get improvements as quickly as possible.
In the end, if you let us know the date of your big event, during a consultation our experienced team would be happy to offer advice about the best treatment timeline so you can feel your best for the big day.
It Can Improve Your Health and Mobility
If your varicose vein symptoms are causing pain, you may find yourself less active than you used to be. The bad news is, that isn’t great for your health and can even compound the issue over time. The good news is with the right treatment, improved comfort levels can help you get moving again.
Since treatment should address both the pain and swelling that can come along with varicose veins, it can help many patients get back to activities they used to enjoy. This can improve your sense of wellbeing, but it also has a host of other benefits. More exercise is good for your circulation and muscle tone, which may help you avoid or delay the development of new varicose veins in the future.
Reduced Ulcer Risk
Varicose veins cause more than cosmetic concerns, as long-term varicose veins can actually lead to sores and ulcers developing on the skin. These venous ulcers often start with an area of inflamed and irritated skin around the problem vein. Over time, these areas may begin to leak fluid and become a chronic issue.
Treating the veins before it gets to this point can help prevent these sores and ulcers from developing.
Treatment May Prevent Broken Skin Issues
Due to blood pushing against it, the skin over varicose veins can start to thin and stretch out. This can make the skin over your veins thinner, and more prone to breaking either due to a scratch or even spontaneously.
The fear of this happening can cause some patients to avoid things like hiking where their legs may get scratched, or wearing light clothes out of fear that ruptured skin could ruin their clothing.
Treating Varicose Veins Can Help Prevent Blood Clots
Blood clots that form close to the skin from within a vein are called superficial thrombophlebitis, and they can cause painful symptoms such as swelling, tenderness, or redness over the area.
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, are clots that are found deeper under the skin and tend to be more serious, as when they break off they could travel to your lungs. If it does reach your lungs, it could become a pulmonary embolism, which can cause issues with breathing or even deadly consequences. If it is determined that you could be at risk for developing clots due to your varicose veins, it may be time to seek out treatment.
It Can Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Has the aching feeling in your legs been interfering with your ability to either fall asleep or stay asleep? Many patients find that when they’ve had the underlying cause of their discomfort treated, their sleep is much improved. While it’s a given that being well-rested feels good, there’ are more benefits to good sleep than that.
Good Sleep Can Protect Your Immune System
Sleep is a time for the body to rest and recover. A well-rested body and immune cells are more equipped to battle any bugs that come your way.
Sleep Is Good for Your Heart
The heart works hard, and just like any hard worker it needs proper rest to be able to continue working at its best. When your body is stressed from a lack of sleep, that can trigger the release of cortisol. This cortisol tells your already tired heart to work even harder, which may increase your risk of heart issues if you continue to be sleep-deprived.
A Lack of Sleep May Contribute to Weight Gain
While we can’t sleep away our excess weight, a rested body is more likely to have a well-balanced appetite.
This is due to ghrelin and leptin levels. Ghrelin is what tells the body that it’s hungry, while leptin is what tells you you’re full. When you haven’t had enough rest, it can cause an increase in ghrelin levels, and a decrease in leptin levels. Since it’s no fun to go back to sleep on a grumbling stomach, this can lead to some extra calories from late-night snacks.
Sleep Can Be a Matter of Safety
While it’s common to hear about the risk of driving while impaired, it’s not always mentioned how a lack of sleep can significantly increase your risk of getting into a car accident. When the brain hasn’t had enough time to rest, it slows your reaction time down.
For this reason, it’s important to know when painful symptoms from untreated varicose veins are starting to interfere with your sleep and safety.
FAQ About Foam Sclerotherapy
1. How Does It Work?
The whole goal of this treatment is to target diseased veins so they close and disappear from view. Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive way to carry this out, since it involves a simple injection into the vein.
The solution used for foam sclerotherapy is, as the name would imply, prepared as a foam. The expansion from the foam helps the chemical agent within this treatment to have a more uniform surface contact along the treated vein’s wall. This, in turn, helps encourage a more even closure as the vein decreases in size.
2. What Happens to the Vein After Treatment?
Part of why varicose and spider veins appear is due to blood pooling in veins that aren’t working as well as they should. Once these defective veins close, blood won’t be able to use them anymore. The blood will now be redirected through healthier veins in your legs as the closed vein is naturally absorbed by the surrounding tissues of your body.
3. Can I Treat My Varicose or Spider Veins at Home?
There’s no known way for a patient to safely treat their own spider or varicose veins, but there are some things you can do that may either prevent them from developing or help to slow their progression as you look into your treatment options.
Exercise is an excellent preventative measure, and can also increase your comfort levels by helping to reduce swelling in the veins and legs as the activity carries blood out of them. If varicose veins are making it painful to exercise the way you used to, it may be worthwhile to look into swimming. Swimming is often an ideal way to exercise if you’re battling pain.
Elevate Your Legs
Varicose veins can cause blood to pool around your legs. During times of rest and sleep, it may be helpful to elevate your legs to help your blood get moving again.
Feed Your Heart
A diet with balanced fiber levels and lower salt may help with circulation. On the topic of feeding your body, don’t neglect hydration! Plenty of water means your blood will have an easier time traveling throughout your veins.
If You Need More Information, Drop Us a Line
If you’re ready to learn more about the many treatments our experienced team offers to support your health, contact us today at Advanced Dermatology Center in Wolcott, CT, to set up your consultation!