If you've got spider veins (small blue or red veins that appear just beneath the surface of the skin), welcome to a large and typically frustrated club. More than half of the population has or will have spider veins or their larger cousins, varicose veins, at some point in their lives. Of the two, spider veins are much more common.
Usually, spider veins are just a cosmetic concern. They might make you feel self-conscious, but there's no medical issue to worry about. In rare cases, the veins can point to a problem with blood flow deeper in the body. Occasionally, the veins will cause some discomfort, such as itching or burning in the legs.
Even if your spider veins aren't causing you physical discomfort and aren't a sign of a deeper problem, you might not want to live with them. Fortunately, treatments are available to help you say goodbye to problem veins for good.
Before looking at the treatment options for spider veins, it helps to have an understanding of where the veins come from and why some people get them. Usually, something called venous insufficiency is behind problem veins, both spider and varicose.
With venous insufficiency, your veins don't pump the blood up to the heart as well as they could. Some blood flows back down, backing up in the legs. The backup of blood makes the veins visible (in the case of spider veins) or enlarges them (in the case of varicose veins).
Some people are just more prone to problem veins than others because of hormone levels, genes, and lifestyle habits. In some cases, the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop problem veins can be reversed or corrected, in other cases, the risk factors are beyond the person's control.
Two treatments are usually recommended for spider veins. The first treatment uses lasers to heat up the veins, ultimately destroying them. Laser vein therapy usually causes the unwanted veins to disappear about a week after the treatment. While some people might only need a single treatment session to get the results they want, many need as many as four sessions to fully treat their spider veins.
The other common treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy. While a laser treatment destroys visible veins with the energy from a laser beam, sclerotherapy uses a chemical solution. The solution is injected into the veins, causing them to collapse. Over the course of a few weeks, the veins eventually fade away.
While some people see a noticeable improvement with just laser treatments or just sclerotherapy, a few get the best results when they combine the two procedures.
Once the spider veins are treated and gone, they won't return. That doesn't mean that new veins won't develop in other areas of the legs or on the face, however.
Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent spider veins from returning or to reduce the risk of them getting worse.
One of the best things you can do to prevent spider veins is to wear sunscreen daily. Exposure to the sun's UV rays can make the veins worse. Wearing sunscreen is particularly important if you are prone to developing the veins on your face.
Another thing you can do is to wear compression stockings on your legs to keep spider veins from getting worse or returning. After either a laser treatment or sclerotherapy, your surgeon is likely to recommend wearing compression stockings to help the results appear more quickly.
Compression stockings won't get rid of existing veins, but because they put an upward pressure on the legs, they can help to improve blood flow and keep blood from pooling in the veins.
Other things you can do to keep spider veins from coming back or to keep them from getting worse include getting enough exercise, losing weight if you're overweight, avoiding sitting or standing in one place for long periods and elevating the legs when you can to help blood flow back to the heart.
At the Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. Masri Clinic offers laser treatments for spider veins as well as sclerotherapy to patients at practice locations in Birmingham and Dearborn, Michigan. To schedule a consultation with the Masri Clinic and learn more about what you can do about spider veins, call (866) 487-3223.
There are two main reasons that laser treatments are among the most popular cosmetic procedures out there: they're both versatile and effective. Laser treatments can help to improve the appearance of a person's skin in several ways. Some laser treatments focus on removing unwanted hairs or unwanted tattoos from the skin. Others can improve common problems such as spider veins.
Lasers can also help to rejuvenate the skin, reducing imperfections to help a person look more youthful. Laser treatments can remove common skin concerns such as warts, moles, and freckles. Lasers vary in terms of their intensity and in what they do to change or correct the skin. One of the most popular laser treatments available is the CO2 fractional laser.
But is the CO2 laser the right choice for you? Let's take a look.
Laser skin treatments can either be ablative, meaning they damage the entire outer layer of the skin, or non-ablative, meaning they create controlled injuries that leave the upper layers of skin intact. Traditional CO2 lasers worked by removing damaged skin, allowing fresh, new skin cells to replace them. Although the results were usually very dramatic, the recovery after a traditional CO2 laser treatment was pretty intensive.
CO2 fractional lasers use a specific pattern of laser beams to repair damaged skin without having to destroy the entire outer layer of skin. The laser beams are broken up (or fractionated) into tiny beams of light that penetrate skin to the dermal layer. As the skin heals from the treatment, it pushes the damaged skin cells out of the tiny holes made by the fractionated laser beams. Surrounding skin is unharmed during the treatment, so recovery is usually much shorter compared to a traditional CO2 laser treatment.
CO2 lasers can treat a wide range of skin concerns, but they can't solve every problem. One common use for this laser treatment is to reduce the appearance of sun or age spots. Age spots are areas of hyperpigmentation that often develop on the face and hands as a result of years of sun exposure.
The laser can also treat wrinkles and changes in skin texture that develop as a result of aging. Another common use for CO2 lasers is to reduce the appearance of scars, such as raised scars or acne scars. Since the laser treatment helps to encourage the production of collagen in the dermis, it can also help to improve skin that's starting to lose its firmness or elasticity.
One common issue that a CO2 laser might not be able to treat is facial redness. In fact, after treatment with the laser, it's very likely that a person will have some visible redness in the treated area. The redness should fade as the patient recovers from the treatment.
CO2 laser treatments aren't right for everyone. People who are good candidates typically have a skin concern that can be readily treated by the laser, whether those concerns are hyperpigmentation, wrinkles or lines, enlarged pores or scarring.
What a person expects to get from the treatment also affects whether they are a good candidate for the procedure or not. It's important to have realistic expectations about what the treatment can do and can't do. For example, laser treatments will help improve the appearance of your skin and can give you a dose of confidence, but they won't change who you are.
It's also a good idea to understand what to expect in terms of recovery after a CO2 laser treatment. Although the CO2 fractional laser is less invasive than the traditional CO2 laser, it can take as long as 14 days for your skin to fully heal after the procedure. It's common for skin to feel slightly sunburned for up to two days afterward.
While you might see some results from the treatment within a week or so, it can take a full six months before the final, full results are visible. How you care for your skin after the treatment can influence how dramatic your results are and how quickly they appear.
At Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. Masri Clinic offers a variety of laser treatments, including CO2 fractional laser, to patients at practice locations in Birmingham and Dearborn, Michigan. To schedule a consultation with the Masri Clinic and learn more about your laser skin resurfacing options, call (866) 487-3223.
Laser treatments might seem like they belong in a science fiction movie or novel, but they're very much part of our reality in everything from manufacturing to cosmetic medicine. The energy produced by laser beams can make significant improvements a person's appearance or correct a range of cosmetic issues.
Whether you've considered laser treatments in the past or are new to the concept, here are just a few of the issues the lasers can help to correct.
Few hair removal options are meant provide long-lasting results. If you shave, you probably have to do it at least once a day. If you wax unwanted hair, you need to keep up with regular waxing appointments. Laser hair removal, on the other hand, is often able to eliminate unwanted hair for good after just a few sessions.
Usually, people schedule between three and six treatment sessions, each one spaced a few weeks apart. The treatment works by sending energy from a laser into the hair follicle. The energy is enough to destroy the follicle, so that hair no longer grows.
While older methods of hair removal were often only recommended to people with dark hair and light complexions, more advanced technology means that the laser treatments can be customized to work on people of all complexions and hair types.
One of the biggest downsides of getting a tattoo is that the decision you make at age 18 or 20 is often going to be a decision you need to live with for the rest of your life. That doesn't stop plenty of people from getting tattoos when they are young, though.
Fortunately, tattoo removal options have come a long way in recent years, thanks in large part to advances in laser technology. While older laser tattoo methods didn't work well on all colors of inks and were notoriously long and painful, the PiQo4 laser has considerably improved the treatment. The PiQo4 laser works on four different wavelengths so that it's able to remove more colors than other laser removal options. It also works on a wider area of skin at once, meaning that overall treatment takes less time.
Spider veins look like blue, red or purple spider webs just beneath the surface of the skin. They're usually not a medical concern, but they can make you feel very self-conscious, especially if you like to wear shorts or skirts when the weather's nice. The veins can also develop on your face, which can further affect your self-esteem.
How to treat spider veins depends in large part on their size. While large veins are better treated with sclerotherapy, a chemical injection that causes the veins to collapse, smaller veins can be effectively treated with a laser.
The heat from the laser is usually enough to cause small spider veins to collapse. After a few weeks, the collapsed veins fade from view. The destroyed veins don't return and any blood that flowed through them ends up being redirected to other veins in the body.
Coffee grounds, dry brushing--what haven't people tried to get rid of cellulite, the dimples that form in skin due to fat cells bulging up through the surface?
It turns out that all they needed was a laser. VelaSmooth is an effective treatment for cellulite. It works by targeting the connective tissue that pulls on the skin from the underside, causing the outer layer of fat to bulge and create a bumpy texture.
Finally, it's worth pointing out that laser treatments can do a lot to improve the appearance of the skin. While many anti-aging treatments focus on one issue at a time, such as wrinkles, dark spots or skin sagging, many laser treatments can tackle multiple issues simultaneously. For example, a laser treatment can help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also tackling a dark spot or collection of freckles. Lasers can help to improve the texture of skin as well by encouraging the production of collagen in the dermis.
Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. They offer several laser treatments to correct a variety of concerns. They can help you decide on the treatment option that will best meet your goals, whether you want to remove a tattoo, get rid of excess hair, eliminate spider veins or cellulite, or reduce the signs of aging. To schedule your free patient consultation at The Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.