Society puts a lot of time and effort on smooth, healthy skin to give them a more youthful appearance. It is no surprise that people are looking more and more to cosmetic treatments to enhance their physical features. Two areas of greatest concern for women are their face and legs. Dr. Shaw Tang, cosmetic and general surgeon at St. Francis Family Health Care, now offers two injectable cosmetic treatments for the worrisome areas of spider veins and facial wrinkles.
The current treatment for removing unwanted spider veins is an injection method known as sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy can be used to remove unwanted spider veins (up to 5 millimeters in diameter) in the ankles, calves and thighs. The first sclerotherapy procedures were performed in the 1930s.
“The new sclerotherapy is better than previous treatment methods,” Tang explains. “There is less bruising, less pain and better results.”
Some women are affected by spider veins in their early 20s. For others, the veins may not be noticeable until they reach their 40s. Men get spider veins; however, usually they are concealed by hair growth on the leg.
A number of factors may contribute to the development of spider veins in the legs, including: heredity, pregnancy, hormonal shifts, weight gain, or occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing. Spider veins are broken blood vessels or capillaries that appear on the skin’s surface as fine red lines.
The treatment process begins with an initial visit to evaluate the veins and the vein paths, address the injection sites, measure each individual vein, and discuss the actual procedure and follow-up care. Shortly before the patient arrives for the treatment, she or he is asked to take a pen and mark the locations of the veins that will be injected. Once the patient is in the office for the procedure, a test is done to check for a reaction to the pharmaceutical. The patient is then required to wear stockings for two to three days following the procedure.
“The goal of the treatment is to permanently remove the veins and ease any symptoms they may be causing,” advises Tang.
Widely used for more than 10 years, BOTOX® or botulinum toxin is a muscle relaxant used for a variety of medical purposes. As a cosmetic treatment, small doses of BOTOX® are effective for eliminating deep grooves, furrows and wrinkles and helps restore a soft, natural and relaxed appearance. The treatment consists of a few tiny needle injections.
Tang visits with potential patients at an initial visit where he often asks them to bring photos of themselves at an earlier age. “This helps define the rhytides or facial creases (wrinkles),” says Tang. “We also perform a trial injection of the BOTOX® to see if there is a reaction.”
The procedure is quick and simple, and usually takes less than 30 minutes. Follow-up care includes application of EMLA cream and facial muscle exercises, such as frowning and smiling. Most patients go back to work the next day.
According to Tang, results are apparent after 48 hours and usually last from 4 to 6 months but he has had some last up to a year. As the wrinkles reappear, the BOTOX treatments can be repeated. He also noted that he has helped one patient with eyelid spasms using BOTOX® with very good results.
“Cosmetic results need to be individualized,” Tang concludes. “I take time to get to know every patient so we can both be happy about the desired results.”
For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Tang, call St. Francis Family Health Care at (660) 562-2525.