The Tipping List
Get a Leg Up
Are veins standing between you and a pair of short-shorts this summer?
I’m willing to bet that just about every woman reading this has a gripe or two about her legs-and if it’s not cellulite, my number-two guess is veins.
First things first: let’s distinguish between varicose veins and spider veins. The varicose variety are raised, wormy and sometimes painful; while spider veins lie just below the skin’s surface and are smaller and more of a nuisance than a potential medical issue. The types of veins you have may dictate your course of treatment, so seeing a doctor to determine the kind of veins you have is actually important.
The easiest solution for camouflaging spider veins (and the color of varicose veins) is to cover them up with body makeup-and today’s offerings, such as Dermablend Leg & Body Cover, can easily withstand a night on the town and even a day at the beach. The key to flawless coverage is finding the right shade for your skin and blending well, so make sure you check out how the color in a light similar to where you’ll be when wearing the body makeup. For extra durability, top it off with setting powder. $25, dermablend.com
Some doctor’s may be skeptical of a cream or lotion that claims to target leg veins, but if you’re reluctant to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon, you might be willing to give it a try. Formulated with vitamin K, Auriderm Clearing Gel is designed to gradually improve the appearance of spider veins on the face, but you just may find it helps those small veins on your legs as well. $40, recoveryelements.com
Laser treatments are a fast, easy way to eliminate unsightly spider veins, usually in one or two treatments. In most cases, your dermatologist or plastic surgeon will use a pulsed dye laser that zeros in on the red or bluish color of the vein. Though you may be black-and-blue in the treated areas after each session, if you start now, you can be vein-free by Labor Day.
For pesky varicose veins, sclerotherapy just may be the answer. This procedure involves injecting the vein with a solution that in turn causes the vein to swell, stick together and ultimately seal shut. This stops the blood flow so the vein turns into scar tissue and fades in a few weeks. Expect to see about a 50 to 90 percent improvement after one treatment, but stubborn veins may require a second injection. You may be asked to take it easy for the rest of the day after treatment, and told to wear compression stockings for the first few days to aid healing.