A Closer Look at Sclerotherapy in the Setting of a Beauty Salon – The Potential Risks Involved
As you grow older, you develop a higher risk for developing certain conditions. Not all of these conditions are life-threatening, but they can have a visible impact on you in other ways.
Varicose veins are among those conditions. They are also divided into three types, with those being reticular varicose veins, trunk varicose veins, and the telangiectasia varicose veins that are also commonly known as spider veins.
In this article, we will focus mainly on spider veins and one of the ways in which they are treated. Specifically, we’re going to discuss the matter of having your spider veins treated through sclerotherapy at a beauty salon.
By the end, you should be able to tell for yourself if that kind of treatment is for you.
What Are Spider Veins?
Let’s start out by identifying spider veins. As noted above, a spider vein is just one of three types of varicose veins.
According to the National Health Service, spider veins appear in clusters on either your face or your legs. These veins can appear blue or red in colour. Their unusual colours are among the leading reasons why they draw so much attention.
Spider veins can show up on your body for reasons that are out of your control.
Women are more at risk for spider veins and the NHS notes that could be due to certain female hormones that are causing the walls of veins to be more relaxed. You may also develop spider veins because of your genetics and they also become more common as people get older.
Other notable causes of spider veins include being overweight, becoming pregnant, and regularly standing for extended periods of time.
One important thing to note about spider veins is that they do not pose any real danger to you. However, some people want to have them treated because of the impact they can have on their appearance.
How Are Spider Veins Treated?
Assuming that you have opted to treat your spider veins, there are now multiple options for you to consider.
One form of treatment involves wearing compression stockings. The NHS points out that compression stockings can only be worn by individuals who have passed a special test that gauges how the blood is circulating throughout the body.
Wearing compression stockings is a relatively affordable way to address spider veins, but they have a tendency to be uncomfortable, which is why many people frown upon the idea of using them.
If you experienced excessive amounts of discomfort while using compression stockings or your spider veins have not gone away, you can opt for endothermal ablation. This procedure involves using either lasers or high-frequency radio waves to effectively seal up your spider veins.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended for spider veins, but before you get to that point, you will likely be presented with the option of undergoing sclerotherapy.
What You Need to Know about Sclerotherapy
What’s interesting about sclerotherapy is that it’s a procedure intended to destroy those problematic veins in your body. The targeted spider veins will be injected with a substance known as a sclerosant. That substance will damage the internal linings of the spider veins, eventually leading to blood clotting inside of them.
According to The Circulation Foundation, the vein involved in the procedure will be destroyed by the body after some time has passed.
In recent years, a new variation of sclerotherapy has emerged and has become more widely used. This variation is known as foam sclerotherapy. Foam sclerotherapy still involves the injection of sclerosant, but this time around, the substance has been turned into a foam through the addition of a small amount of air.
The idea behind foam sclerotherapy is that it allows more of the sclerosant to be conserved, but at the same time, it can be used to treat the larger spider veins in your body.
Foam sclerotherapy provides an appealing alternative to people who want to have their problematic spider veins treated without having to go under the knife. Another reason why more people are opting for foam sclerotherapy is because of how accessible it has become, though whether or not that is a good thing is a matter up for debate.
Why Foam Sclerotherapy Has Become More Accessible Than Ever
Given the usage of special solutions and injections, one would be forgiven for assuming that foam sclerotherapy is the kind of procedure that takes place inside clinics and/or hospitals. To be clear, this form of spider vein treatment is indeed offered within those settings, but you may be surprised to learn that they can also be offered in beauty salons across the United Kingdom.
As pointed out by The Vein Care Centre, there is no law barring beauty salons from offering the aforementioned treatment.
In a way, it does make some sense that beauty salons are offering this procedure to their patrons. Many beauty salons cater to women and some of their clients may be dealing with that exact condition. For women who may be busy at work or at home, waiting in a queue at a clinic or hospital probably does not sound like the most appealing proposition.
The Cleveland Clinic notes that a sclerotherapy procedure can take somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You can expect a foam sclerotherapy session to last for that same amount of time.
Spending 45 minutes to have your spider veins treated may not seem like a significant commitment, but when you factor in the potential waiting time at clinics and/or hospitals, you can at least understand why some individuals may opt to have the procedure done at a beauty salon.
From the standpoint of convenience, you can make a case for getting foam sclerotherapy done at a beauty salon, but that obviously should not be your main concern here. As with any form of treatment that involves the injection of a foreign substance into your body, it is more important to be certain that it can be carried out safely.
What Happens During a Foam Sclerotherapy Procedure?
To get a better understanding of why it may not be the best move on your part to have your foam sclerotherapy procedure completed in a beauty salon, it helps to understand what it actually involves.
It starts with you lying down on your back with your legs perched a bit higher and the area that will be injected with the sclerosant will have to be cleaned. This is usually done with the help of alcohol.
Up to this point, it does seem like foam sclerotherapy is a procedure that can be carried out with no issue within the walls of a beauty salon, but from here on, things become more complicated.
First off, the person who will be administering the injection must check to see that the right amount of sclerosant is being used. Use too much or too little of the solution and the procedure could turn out unsuccessfully.
It is now time to find the spider vein that will be treated. To do this, the person performing the procedure will have to use an ultrasound. The target surface on your body will then be marked.
The local anaesthetic will now be injected into your body. Once that’s done, a needle will be placed into the vein. This vein will be located using the ultrasound.
The steps only get more complicated from here.
The vein will now be flushed with a solution that features a blood thinning agent known as heparin. Smaller needles are also going to be placed inside the spider veins in your leg and they too will be flushed.
Injecting the anaesthetic and inserting the needles into your veins are not things that should be performed by inexperienced individuals. Even if the procedure and substances used are safe, problems may emerge if they are not administered using the correct techniques.
There may also be times when it will help to bend the needle at a 30-degree angle, something that inexperienced individuals may not pick up on.
Keep in mind that the foam solution hasn’t even been injected at this point yet.
For the next step in the procedure, you will be asked to place your leg on an elevated surface. This is the part where the foam solution will be injected into the needles that are already inserted into your veins.
The procedure does not end with a single injection of the foam sclerosant. Its movement inside of the vein will still have to be monitored using the ultrasound and it may have to be injected an additional two or three times.
The person in charge of the procedure must then determine if enough of the foam solution has been injected. Upon deciding that the amount of sclerosant present in the veins is sufficient, the needles will then be removed carefully. Pieces of gauze will then be used on the openings previously occupied by the needles and they will then be covered with bandages.
As you can see, there are many ways in which someone without extensive experience performing foam sclerotherapy can make mistakes that will lead to the procedure becoming unsuccessful.
Even if the person in the beauty salon who is performing the procedure does have plenty of experience, there are still things that can go wrong.
A bleb could form while the solution is being injected and that must be addressed properly. Cramping may also occur while the needle is being inserted into the vein. On rare occasions, the sclerosant may also trigger an allergic reaction.
The person handling the procedure must be ready to nip those issues in the bud right away to ensure that the foam sclerotherapy session turns out successfully.
The Reasons Why It’s Better to Have the Procedure Performed at a Clinic or Hospital
The number one reason why foam sclerotherapy should be conducted at either a clinic or a hospital is simply because risk is minimised that way. Yes, the procedure itself is very safe, but if something does go wrong, wouldn’t you want there to be all kinds of equipment situated nearby that will help in addressing any issues as soon as possible?
Beauty salons may stock up on the bare essentials when it comes to safety equipment, but they may not have everything given that they also have to spend on other items.
You can also save more time if you decide to have the procedure done at a hospital or clinic instead of at a beauty salon. Let’s say that the procedure did go according to plan, but afterwards, you noticed that there are brown lines, bruises, and perhaps even some red spots have shown up on your skin.
Those are all common side effects of undergoing sclerotherapy, but do you really want them checked out at a beauty salon? In all likelihood, you will want to schedule a trip to a clinic or hospital anyway if you experience those side effects. It would be better to just head to the doctor for the procedure as well.
It is also worth noting that you will likely have to pay a visit to the doctor even if you didn’t experience any side effects. A check-up is necessary to see if the procedure has produced the intended results. That check-up is important as it will determine if you require additional foam sclerotherapy sessions in the future.
Admittedly, the convenience that comes with having your foam sclerotherapy session completed at a beauty salon is appealing. Not everyone is a fan of a trip to the doctor and that can seem like a reasonable alternative.
However, foam sclerotherapy is still a procedure that must be done with the utmost care and expertise within the safest possible environment. You are only getting that if you choose to have the procedure done at either a hospital or clinic.
If you opt to have it a beauty salon, know that you are taking on unnecessary risk.
It’s simply better to err on the side of caution and have your foam sclerotherapy procedure conducted at a clinic or hospital.
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