When we heard the most requested legs that patients want their own gams to look like were actress Jennifer Lawrence's, we weren't surprised. She's pretty much all legs. If you don't have mile high limbs though, you definitely want legs that are flawless and toned. But is it really possible to recreate the picture of Hollywood perfection? More than half of us suffer from unsightly veins and other less than desirable blemishes on their legs. So with the warm months just around the corner, we sat with skincare expert, Dr. Navarro, to learn what kind of skincare treatments are available to get legs in tip top shape for spring and summer. Read below to learn how to combat both spider and varicose veins, and click through our celebrity legs gallery for some of the sexiest stems in the business.
So Dr. Navarro, how common are varicose or spider veins? What causes them?
About 55% of women suffer, or have suffered from varicose veins. Genetics are sometimes to blame, as some inherit the weak vein walls that result in visible veins. For others, pregnancy, birth control pills, lack of exercise, prolonged sitting or standing, and aging can accelerate the development of varicose and spider veins.
Wow, that's more than half of women. What can women do to prevent unsightly veins?
If a woman knows that varicose and spider veins run in her family, it helps to start wearing compressive stockings, to keep the blood vessels from dilating. Frequent exercise helps circulation and prevents blood from pooling in the legs, and it's important to maintain a healthy weight. If you spend most of the day standing or sitting, relax your legs at the end of the day by lying down, and elevating your feet slightly higher than your head.
How do skincare treatments for unsightly veins work? Which treatments work best for each type of problem?
The most common treatments I perform are painless Sclerotherapy and Endovenous Laser Ablation. Painless Sclerotherapy works best for spider veins, where a minor chemical solution is injected into the problem area, collapsing the vein. The body then reabsorbs the vein and blood, and it is rerouted into a healthy vein. For large varicose veins, I perform Endovenous Laser Ablation, a minimally invasive laser treatment that seals the problematic main vein closed.
Are any of the treatments painful? Is there a recovery time?
The latest development, sclerotherapy, developed in our office is "painless;" a spray of cold air to the area temporarily numbs the skin. Cryotherapy helps soothe the skin making treatment comfortable. There is little recovery time, with normal daily activities able to resume after treatment. For larger veins, compressive stockings may need to be worn for 1-3 days. Endovenous Laser Ablation is performed with local anesthetic, so the patient may feel a small nick at the most. Legs will be slightly bruised for 1-3 weeks after treatment, and only about 15% of patients are prescribed an over the counter prescription, like Advil. Patients may resume normal daily activities the same day.
How do we prevent the return of unsightly veins once they have been treated?
Specific veins that have been treated will not come back, but other veins can still form. You can prevent more unsightly veins by staying in shape, which keeps leg circulation healthy.
What products do you recommend that can help keep legs looking great? Any over the counter of products we wouldn't expect to use?
See a phlebologist as soon as you notice and spider or varicose veins.
And the award for best legs / skin in Hollywood goes to...
Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer's legs are popular among patients because they are long and nicely toned. She works out and stays lean, so her legs are not too skinny, like some Hollywood stars.
Check out this fun workout video that promises to get your legs toned like Jennifer Lawrence's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN1ulv0YZ-s
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