Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure that has been safely used since the 1930s to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. A chemical effectively eliminates the vein by creating scar tissue that blocks the vein, causing it to close and wither.
Sclerotherapy is a short procedure in which a fine needle is inserted into the target veins and a salt solution is injected. The chemical injection, which contains sclerosant, is administered into the vein, damaging and scarring it. The damaged vein then closes, causing it to fade away.
Varicose veins often appear on older individuals of both genders. This procedure helps to reinvigorate confidence and self-esteem by eliminating unsightly veins that can cause embarrassment, particularly when wearing shorts, skirts, bathing suits and dresses. Sclerotherapy also brings a more youthful appearance back to the legs and feet.
While most patients will get sclerotherapy for cosmetic purposes – to eliminate the appearance of varicose and spider veins. The procedure also can improve related symptoms such as aching, swelling, burning and night cramps.
Your dermatologist will perform a physical exam to diagnose spider veins, carefully examining the patterns of veins on your legs, feet, or other areas. The doctor will also check for any signs of swelling or changes in skin color. The dermatologist may also perform an ultrasound or venogram to see how blood is flowing through your veins.
Based on the information from the physical exam and testing, your Forefront dermatologist will recommend the best treatment for spider veins. To provide you with the most effective results, your dermatologist may recommend more than one treatment option. Treatments range from self-care at home, spider vein treatment injection, and laser therapy.
Injection treatment: Sclerotherapy is a treatment that uses a series of injections to cause spider veins to collapse. The procedure doesn’t require anesthesia and is performed by a board-certified dermatologist at Forefront Dermatology.
Self-care: If you have small spider veins that aren’t causing your legs to ache or swell, following these self-care tips at home can improve circulation:
During your sclerotherapy injection treatment session, your dermatologist will inject a solution directly into the affected veins. The chemical solution affects the walls of the vein, causing them to swell shut. Once the vein collapses, blood is prevented from flowing into the area. If you have several spider veins, the treatment may require multiple injections to target the wall of each vein. Depending on the number of veins requiring treatment, the procedure can last between fifteen minutes to one hour.
After injecting the affected veins, your dermatologist will massage the treatment area and place a compression stocking on each leg. To help with healing and to maintain pressure on the treated veins, your dermatologist will recommend wearing compression stockings for two to three weeks. It’s also important to take daily walks and move around as much as possible after the procedure to prevent blood clots from forming and ensure the best possible results. You can usually return to work and most everyday activities following your procedure. We also recommend avoiding direct sun exposure for at least two weeks.
Over three to six weeks, your spider veins will gradually fade. Most patients require two or three treatments for full result