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How does tanning effect legs treated with sclerotherapy?

This question was asked in Dayton, Tennessee and has 8 answer(s) as of 08/30/2013.
I had sclerotherapy done on my legs a couple of months ago and they told me to stay out of jacuzzis and not to tan. I have been sticking to their advice and I've had good results but I'm going on vacation next week and I will be in the sun on the beach. Will tanning damage the treated veins or ruin the results I'm seeing from the procedure


Doctors Answers (8)

It is the heat from the sauna or tanning (as well as with baths and jacuzzi's) that are the problem. I totally agree with avoiding heat for about 4 weeks following sclerotherapy. The beach is very hot, but at 1 month after the procedure, there is much less of a problem with the treated veins dilating and reopening. Once the veins have been closed for an adequate amount of time, usually 4-6 weeks depending on the size and severity of the vein problem, then they should be permanently closed and slowly reabsorbed by the body over time. I would still suggest spending more time in the water or under an umbrella and don't forget the sunscreen. Remember, there is nothing like a sunburn to ruin a vacation.

Great that you followed the advice post treatment. At this stage there should be no harm in going to the beach. However, we always recommend a good 30+ SPF with a high zinc content before exposing your skin to the sun. Every burn increases skin cancer risk and does permanent skin damage which contributes to early skin aging. Frequent applications of sunscreen are recommended despite the SPF numbers on the bottle. Higher zinc is more protective and "reflective" of damaging sun rays. Sun damage can also increase spider veins although the main cause is heredity, hormones etc.

I believe that 1 to 2 weeks after sclerotherapy you should not have any problems with the sun or hot tubes. Enjoy your vacation, it will not affect the results that you have obtained from your treatments.

One of the risks of sclerotherapy is brown staining. This is more common in people with tan skin or darker skin tones. If you expose the legs to the sun following sclerotherapy it increases your risks of hyperpigmentation/ staining of the skin.

There is no documentation that sun exposure affects healing after sclerotherapy. Once stockings are removed I allow my patients unlimited sun exposure. Sun makes skin tan by stimulating melanin, whereas sclerotherapy causes temporary skin discoloration due to hemosiderin (iron deposits) - they are completely separate issues. Sun does not affect hemosiderin.

Sun exposure is not recommended after sclerotherapy because of possible further darkening of the treated veins. I recommend to my patients not to tan for one season.

Sunlight may potentiate the discoloration associated with sclerotherapy but after several weeks it should not make a difference.

My policies for the patients I treat do not require these restrictions. I am not sure why your treating physician gave you these directions.

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