If veins are large enough to be threaded with a tiny needle, sclerotherapy—the injection of various solutions into the blood vessels—is the best option for removing them, says Tina Alster, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. This nearly painless solution irritates the vein's lining, and the resulting tissue inflammation causes the blood vessel to collapse and fade. Most people experience mild redness and swelling along the course of the treated veins. The procedure takes 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of veins, and often both legs can be done in a single session. If you hate needles, try vascular laser treatments, which are a little more uncomfortable because they zap the veins with heat, says Alster.
Book your treatment during the winter when your legs are protected from the sun, and avoid sclerotherapy immediately before or during menstruation because of heightened sensitivity. Expect to pay $350 to $1,000 for either option.
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