Well the sun is out and it looks like summer is here at last. And a question I get asked a lot is now I’ve had my veins treated when can I get them out and get the sun on them?
Well let’s face it is one of the commonest reasons people have their veins treated in the 1st place. To make their legs look better and to show their legs off. Well there are 3 things you might want to consider.
The 1st is that after any vein treatment your legs will be a little sensitive to the sun. There is a healing process is going on underneath the skin. Although these treatments are minimally invasive there is a healing process which needs to be completed and it takes several weeks and months. And during that time certainly prolonged or intense exposure to sun can cause redness and itching and discomfort. And you might want to protect your legs from the sun during this time.
The 2nd reason you might wish to delay sun exposure is that your legs are not going to look their best for a few weeks. Now there’s a lot of hype. Some clinics regard these treatments as a lunchtime procedure – instant results. Well in my experience it’s just not true. Sure your legs will look a lot better very quickly but there will be some bruising there may be some discolouration and your legs probably won’t look their best for about 6 weeks. If you’ve had sclerotherapy particularly for thread veins the healing process can take a long time and it may be several months if not a year or so before you see the final improvement of your treatment.
The 3rd thing you may wish to consider is that after vein treatments there will be some degree of brown discolouration of the skin. Now some of this is true pigmentation. It occurs whenever there is an inflammation or healing process either in the skin or nearby. This inflammation or healing process stimulates melanocytes that produce melanin and they become active and you may get some pigmentation along the course of treated veins. A particular issue after sclerotherapy. Some of it is due to bruising or little collections of blood under the skin. And the haemoglobin does cause discolouration of the skin. The technical term is haemosiderin. And it is sometimes described as staining. I don’t like this term it implies there’s been an accident and something has been spilt. And that’s not true. It’s all part of the process and some degree of brown discolouration is inevitable. So your legs won’t look their best. Now this brown discolouration always goes – it is never permanent. It is largely gone by 6 months but it can in some cases it can take up to 2 years to go completely. I’ve never seen any brown discolouration persist beyond 2 years. But we do know that sunshine and intense UV exposure darkens this discolouration and it takes longer to go. So there you are. Those are the things you may wish to consider about exposing your legs to sunshine after vein treatment. If you have any comments or questions I would really like to hear from you.
If you’re worried about your veins and would like a confidential chat please do get in touch. I am happy to offer simple advice by telephone or email for free and without obligation.
The VeinCare Centre also offers a screening assessment with our vascular technologist. For £25 you can have a scan with Wendy Parsons. She is not a doctor and so she could not give you medical advice but she can check your deep veins and your varicose veins and give you an idea of how bad they are and what treatment options might be available. If you would like to have an appointment with Wendy please call 0800 698 3467.
Disclaimer: Watching this video does not constitute a medical consultation. Individual advice may vary. Please see your own GP or vein specialist for specific advice.