Getting Ready for Summer - Vein, Vein Go Away

Princess 19 on 29 Mar 2011 at 12:00am

In the second of our series focused on getting bodies ready for summer, we look at the Real Scoop on how to achieve hot legs.  Today's goal: make those veins go away. Since they're beneath the skin, it's gonna take more than a cream. 

No more Spiderwoman

In the summer, the shortest shorts and teensiest bikinis are on parade.  So it's no surprise that women make up about 88% of patients that receive vein treatments. 

There are laser vein treatments and injection treatments, also known as sclerotherapy.  The former is best used for larger varicose veins, while spider veins are usually treated by the latter.

Laser vein treatments

laser vein treatment before and after

Laser vein treatment is when a laser is pulsed onto the veins in order to seal them off, causing them to dissolve. Different types of lasers can be used, such as an Alexandrite or Yag laser, which are also used for hair removal.  Successful light-based treatment requires adequate heating of the veins.  For the best results, several treatments are usually needed. 

How much does it hurt?

Patients on RealSelf have said they did experience pain and bruising, especially at the point of origin where the laser is pointed.  Thus, recovery is not pain free, but not too uncomfortable.  All seemed happy with the results once recovery and bruising was all said and done (though only 58% said it was worth it).


Sclerotherapy involves an injection that reduces the appearance of vascular blemishes, spider veins, and broken blood vessels. The injection causes irritation and inflammation inside the vein and leads to clotting and closure of the vein. The medicine can be in the form of a solution or a microfoam.

Pain factor, please?

Patients on RealSelf describe the pain as a minimal pin prick with bruising and bumps on their legs during the recovery process.  There is also often some form of discoloration. 

Only 52% of reviewers said this procedure was worth it. Few have experienced instances where the small veins burst from treatment, and therefore exacerbated the appearance. But those that had positive experiences said their veins disappeared. 

Which treatment should you choose?

According to Austin-based dermatologist Steven E. Rasmussen, MD, “…sclerotherapy is technically much more difficult but yields better, more reliable results for leg veins."  Most doctors on RealSelf agree that both treatments will more than likely be used on patients depending on the severity of the vein appearance.

So - pin prick or pulsing pain?

Obviously, it's not that easy to decide.  The various factors of pain, recovery, and results are what matters the most.  Consult a doctor before you consider any treatment. 

At the end of the day, what's a little pain when the results are shorter shorts? 

Photo Credit: By Leonard John Matthews