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Around Portland, there’s no shortage of water, whether it’s the Willamette River to the south, the Columbia to the north, or the coast to the west. That means swimsuits and shorts are part of our summer wardrobe. So, when you donned your favorite suit or shorts this summer, were you distressed to see those little clusters of purple or blue lines on your legs? Ugh. Spider veins.

Now that we’re entering the fall and our weather is about to take its usual turn for the wetter and greyer, this is a great time to come see the skin care specialists at Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery and let us get rid of those spider veins.

Why do I have spider veins?

Arteries take oxygenated blood from the heart and lungs and deliver it to the body. The veins are the roadways back home to the heart. And the legs veins don’t have an easy job — they’re fighting gravity the whole way. As we age, the strength of the support tissues and even of the veins themselves can diminish. This can cause the blood to back up and pool in spots. This shows itself in spider and varicose veins. Because spider veins are just below the surface of the skin, they are very visible.

How can I get rid of them?

Sclerotherapy is nothing new. It was first used in the 1930s to make unwanted veins close up and go away. At Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we’ve used both lasers and sclerotherapy on spider veins, but we feel that sclerotherapy is a better option on the legs.

In sclerotherapy, we inject a special sclerosant agent directly into the vein in question. Today, we use new solutions that have replaced saline as the sclerosant agent. These newer agents are much more effective in starving the vein of protein, collapsing them very quickly. Plus, these newer agents also have an anesthetic effect to help keep the patient comfortable. After the veins are injected and collapse, the body goes about absorbing them over the next couple of months, but they immediately become nearly invisible after they collapse. Any blood that ran through the vein is routed to an adjacent vein.

What happens afterward?

After your treatment, we put you in compression stockings that you’ll wear for two weeks during your waking hours. This compression improves your results, so most veins need only one injection to disappear.

Fall’s a great time to show those annoying spider veins who’s the boss. Call us at (503) 297-3440 and let’s get to work getting your legs ready for next summer!