Blue Light Therapy Debunked
Blue light therapy is often touted by Med Spas as recommended for treating spider veins and varicose veins. However, this is often because it is a treatment that doesn't require administration by a doctor and thus it is the only option they can offer. However, the truth is that it's not proven to be effective. Some patients do notice a difference after multiple expensive treatments; however, there is no guarantee. Over time, the idea is that the heat destroys the damaged blood vessel, and then it shrinks and dissolves. The process is lengthy and expensive, and immediate or long-term results aren't guaranteed. Sclerotherapy, on the other hand, is an effective and cost-effective vein treatment performed by a vein doctor.
Sclerotherapy as Treatment
is an effective treatment for getting rid of spider veins and varicose veins. The way it works is by injecting an irritant into each of the affected areas. As the walls of the veins become irritated by the injected irritant, they then stick together, which keeps blood from flowing into that area. The procedure causes the vein to shrink, thus reducing the swelling. Over time, the spider veins vanish or fade. Sometimes, several treatments are necessary to completely get rid of the veins. As the veins disappear, they get reabsorbed into the body. Sometimes, vein specialists treat larger veins with duplex ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. During this procedure, they use an ultrasound to map out and visualize the veins in question. The process allows for a more accurate monitoring of the injected solution.
Sclerotherapy must be performed by a medical professional such as:
- A dermatologist
- A vein specialist
- A plastic surgeon
- A cosmetic surgeon
What Happens After Treatment?
Sclerotherapy is a quick and simple procedure. Sometimes, it only takes 10 minutes to perform. It's performed in the office, and typically without anesthesia. After undergoing sclerotherapy, the patient typically wears compression stockings for days to weeks. After the procedure, spider veins will begin to disappear, but it can take up to 6 weeks for complete results. Depending on the severity of the spider veins or varicose veins, some patients need multiple treatments.
Are There Side Effects?
The sclerotherapy procedure is quick and safe. Rarely, patients will experience swelling, discomfort, or warmth around the injection site. However, this can be treated easily. Some patients experience minor and brief discomfort. If a blood clot occurs in one of the treated veins, you may require drainage from that vein. However, this is extremely rare. Generally speaking, sclerotherapy is a quick, easy, safe, and painless procedure.
What Can You Expect From Sclerotherapy?
Depending on the veins requiring treatment, your doctor may request an ultrasound on the veins in your legs. The ultrasound is painless and uses sound waves to create images of the veins in your body. Before your treatment, don't shave or put any lotion on your legs. Make sure you wear comfortable, loose clothing to your appointment. Typically, no anesthesia is necessary for sclerotherapy and treatment takes less than an hour. During the procedure, you'll lie on your back and elevate your legs slightly. Your doctor will cleanse and treat the area with alcohol, and use a fine needle to insert the solution into the varicose or spider veins.
Some people experience minor cramps or stinging when the needle gets inserted into the vein. If you have a lot of pain, tell your doctor. After the needle comes out, your doctor applies compression to the area and massages it to keep blood away from the injected vein. Then, they'll tape a compression pad onto the site to keep the area compressed while the next vein receives treatment. How many injections you'll need depends on the size and number of veins requiring treatment.
Opt for Sclerotherapy Over Blue Light Therapy
Many people use blue light therapy to treat their varicose or spider veins, but the treatment is costly and requires multiple sessions to become effective. Plus, treatment is typically not administered by a medical professional. If you have varicose veins or spider veins, they could be indicative of a more serious issue. The best and most cost-effective way to treat your veins is by going to a vein doctor for sclerotherapy treatment.