ASCP Skin Deep


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find your dream career! 35 Light Relief Look to laser therapy or IPL to treat spider veins by Maggie Staszcuk Often just a cosmetic issue, unsightly spider veins are one of the most common cosmetic complaints among adults. Also known as telangiectasia, this red or purple web of veins can show up anywhere on the body, including the face. However, the lower body is most often affected, and nine out of 10 women over the age of 25 have some form of visible leg veins. 1 WHAT ARE SPIDER VEINS? Spider veins are simply enlarged veins that become dilated due to increased pressure. Blood pools in the veins and causes them to push up to the surface of the skin.2 These enlarged veins can develop or become worsened by prolonged sitting, standing, and even from pregnancy. However, genetics is the most important factor in developing spider veins. According to Alison Tam, MD, "Millions of women work on their feet or sit at desk jobs, but they do not develop spider veins; millions of women get pregnant and do not develop spider veins; millions of women gain weight or have venous disease in their legs, but do not develop spider veins. It is the interplay of genetics, environment, and how you care for yourself that dictates whether you develop spider veins, at what rate, and what age they appear."3 TREATMENT There are many ways to treat and cover up the look of spider veins, from DIY cosmetic camouflage products to outpatient surgeries, depending on the severity of the bulging veins. Sclerotherapy is still considered the gold standard for treating large, bulging veins on the body, but for treating clients with small, superficial spider veins (both on the face and the body), laser therapy or intense pulsed light (IPL) are the best choices. Diode lasers with varying wavelengths between 532 and 1,064 nanometers can be set to any diameter to target pigment in the veins, cause coagulation, and destroy them. The treated veins will darken for several weeks and then vanish entirely as the body reabsorbs the blood cells.4 Side effects of laser therapy include erythema or redness, crusting, swelling, and blistering if the laser is not set to the correct parameters.5 expertadvice ADVANCED MODALITIES

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