After spider vein treatment, most people walk right back into their day-to-day lives — no downtime required. Still, the speed of your recovery and the results you notice depend on the quality of your spider vein treatment aftercare.
It’s well worth making a plan for yourself since you’ll be investing time and money in the process. Below is all you need to know about spider vein treatment aftercare.
What Recovery Might Feel Like
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you may notice some mild leg cramping in the first 24 to 48 hours after treatment. Most people don’t need a prescription medication to cope with the discomfort.
Also, around the treatment site, you’ll probably notice some bruising and itchy bumps that resemble mosquito bites. These usually go away within a few weeks.
If you have laser treatment, you may feel a mild burning sensation similar to a sunburn. There may also be some slight flaking, swelling, or — in rarer cases — slight blistering.
What Happens Throughout Your Recovery Timeline
Even though spider vein treatment is usually downtime-free, there is a recovery process. Your body will heal at its own rate — but here’s how the process usually goes.
The First Week
Soreness typically fades in a few days, but bruising remains. It’s important to encourage good circulation by walking frequently and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing. Try to take walking breaks every hour or two.
It’s best to avoid high-impact and intense exercises like running and weightlifting at first. If you’re unsure whether a particular activity qualifies as intense, ask your doctor.
The First Month
After a month, you’ll be ready to resume more strenuous activities. Follow your doctor’s advice, and don’t give up your walking habit. It’s still a good idea to take walking breaks at this time.
Treatment bruises will usually fade and your treated spider veins will start to lighten. The affected veins may not completely disappear, at least not yet, but many people find that they’re more comfortable showing the affected area in public.
If you opt for another round of treatment, it can happen any time after two to three weeks. Most spider vein treatments require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results.
Two Months and Beyond
You’ll see the full effects of spider vein treatment within two months. If your spider veins were widespread, you may choose to go in for additional treatment.
When You Can See Results of the Spider Vein Treatment
When you see results of spider vein treatment depends on:
- How widespread your spider veins were before the treatment
- How your body responds to the treatment
- The type of treatment you underwent
With sclerotherapy, you may see results in as little as three to six weeks, but larger or more widespread spider veins may take three to four months.
The time frame is similar for laser therapy. Newer treatments like VeinGogh and ThermaVein use an advanced heat-based technology called ohmic thermolysis. This tends to work faster but is reserved for the smaller spider veins usually seen on the face and ankles.
Some people notice that their spider veins disappear completely after treatment. For others, the affected veins fade to the level where they’re barely noticeable against the skin.
You may get the results you want after just one treatment, or you may need to go back for more treatments. Talk to a vein specialist about what the process will probably look like for you.
What To Know About Spider Vein Treatment Aftercare
When it comes to spider vein treatment recovery, walking is one of the best things you can do to feel better and give yourself the best possible results. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can also help. It’s also important to follow all of your doctor’s recommendations and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments.
You’ll probably find that your vein specialist recommends wearing gradient compression stockings, a kind of specialized sock that promotes circulation in the legs.
The aftercare strategies above apply to all three standard treatments for spider veins — sclerotherapy, laser therapy, and ohmic thermolysis. Other steps are specific to certain types of treatment.
Tips for Laser Spider Vein Removal Aftercare
If you have laser therapy for your spider veins, you may be more likely to experience a burning or stinging sensation after treatment. In addition to OTC pain medications, cold compresses and aloe vera topical treatments may help.
Be extremely gentle with your skin after laser spider vein removal, avoiding extremely hot water and direct sunlight.
Tips on What to Avoid After Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is the generally accepted gold standard for spider vein treatment. It’s less painful than laser spider vein removal and aftercare is easier, but you still need to be careful. Here’s what you need to avoid after undergoing sclerotherapy:
- Direct sunlight on the treated areas — for at least a month after treatment, wear a high-SPF sunblock and keep the area covered
- Removing bandages and any other wound dressings within the first 24 hours of the procedure, or before your doctor tells you it’s okay
- Strenuous activity for a week after treatment, or until your doctor tells you it’s okay to resume those activities
- Very hot water including very hot showers, baths, and hot tubs
Tips for Not Developing New Spider Veins
A course of spider vein treatments may involve one session or more, depending on your situation. After that, the treated veins won’t come back — but new spider veins may develop. To reduce the likelihood of that happening, follow these expert recommendations:
- Avoid long hot tub soaks.
- Exercise regularly, focusing on low-impact activities like walking or cycling.
- Rest with your legs elevated.
- Take a walking break after long periods of sitting or standing.
- Use gradient compression stockings regularly.
If new spider veins do develop, don’t feel guilty. Even healthy people with great self-care strategies get spider veins. You may decide that another course of treatment is in the cards, and that’s okay.
Need Help Looking for a Vein Specialist in Your Area?
If you’re looking for more personalized advice about spider vein removal, My Vein Treatment’s specialist locator tool can help you to find a qualified professional in your area.