Tiny clusters of purple, red, and blue veins are not a medical problem, but they can be quite concerning. These clusters are called spider veins because they resemble webs. They are considered a byproduct of aging but, if you have these unattractive veins and try to hide them with clothing, you don’t have to live with them. We can help you remove spider veins with a simple and proven treatment, sclerotherapy.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a common vein treatment that has been performed since the 1930s. The technique involves injections of a small amount of saline solution into the visible veins. These veins are located just beneath the surface of the skin, where they are easily reached using a tiny needle. The insertion of saline solution in the veins causes their walls to become irritated and swollen. This leads to the closure of the veins. Once closed, the veins are eliminated by the body.
Benefits of Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is advantageous for several reasons. This technique has been proven through the test of time and has demonstrated consistency over millions of treatments. The results of sclerotherapy appear relatively quickly and with very little side effects if any. Within a few weeks after vein removal treatment, patients may be wearing the shorts or other more revealing clothing they’ve always wanted to but didn’t feel comfortable due to unattractive webbed veins.
Is Sclerotherapy Right for Me?
Many people are good candidates for sclerotherapy. This treatment is sufficient for the small spider veins that appear in groups on the legs, ankles, and other areas of the body. Larger varicose veins that bulge beneath the skin may not respond well to sclerotherapy. Patients who have uncontrolled diabetes, skin infection, are running a fever, or who have a history of deep vein thrombosis may not be good candidates for this treatment. We conduct a thorough consultation and examination of the problematic veins to ensure that patients can undergo sclerotherapy without complications. During this visit, it is important to discuss any medications you may be taking, especially blood-thinning drugs or corticosteroids.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of treatments that are needed to fully resolve spider veins may vary from one person to another. People with only a few small veins may achieve full resolution with only 1 or 2 sessions. Extensive webbing or numerous areas of spider veins may need up to 4 sessions for all veins to completely close and fade away.
“My wife and I have been patients of Dr. Musick for many years. the office staff is welcoming and friendly. They are also organized and professional! Dr. Musick is very knowledgeable-and he explains treatment options.i would recommend this Doctor and office staff to anyone. our teenage daughter was also treated at this office. FABULOUS CARE!”
Does Sclerotherapy Hurt?
We understand that many patients may feel concerned about comfort during sclerotherapy vein treatment. The procedure is performed using a very small needle so patients typically feel either a slight sting or nothing at all. The skin has nerve endings that signal the minor pinch, but there are no nerves in the veins so the sensation is limited to the skin. Generally, patients say that the procedure is much more comfortable than they had imagined.
The results of sclerotherapy develop gradually over a few weeks. First, the veins have to close. Then, the body processes them through the metabolic system. The speed of these events can vary from one person to another depending on the extent of the vein problem, the amount of sclerotherapy administered during each session, the patient’s natural metabolism, and other influencing factors. Generally, patients who undergo sclerotherapy notice appreciable improvement within 3 to 6 weeks after their treatment begins.
Sclerotherapy Recovery Time
Most people who undergo sclerotherapy can expect few if any, restrictions to activity after their procedure. Patients can stand and walk right after receiving sclerotherapy and can resume their normal routine upon leaving the office. It is beneficial to stay physically active after sclerotherapy to support good blood flow while treated veins are closing and dismantling. Doing so minimizes the risk of blood clots.
While the physical movement is important, patients may be advised to avoid strenuous physical activity for up to 5 days after sclerotherapy. This allows the legs adequate time to heal and for the minor discomfort and bruising that occurs to resolve.
Compression socks are often recommended for people who have undergone sclerotherapy. The gentle pressure that these garments place on the legs assists with good blood flow upward and out of the veins. This may end after approximately one week. However, some people continue to wear compression socks in certain situations, such as when standing for long periods or running.
Side Effects of Sclerotherapy
For a short time after sclerotherapy, patients may notice side effects such as:
- Areas of red raised skin in the treatment area.
- Hardness or lumps in larger spider veins or groups.
- Brown spots or lines at points where injections were given. This could be due to the mild release of iron from the blood vessels.
- Bruising around the treated veins.
- New blood vessels in the treatment area. These are referred to as “flares” or “blushing” and are a natural side effect of revascularization. These new blood vessels should go away on their own.
- Itching and swelling may occur as an allergic reaction to the sclerosing aging. This is rarely serious.