Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic procedure employed to deter the appearance of spider veins. Spider veins are groups of thin, purple, red or blue-colored veins that resemble the legs of a spider that appear on the ankles, calves, and thighs and sometimes on the face.
It is estimated that nearly half of all adult American women suffer from spider veins. Spider veins are aesthetically unpleasant, and they can also cause physical discomforts such as night cramps, swelling, pain, and burning. Sclerotherapy can be an excellent way of eliminating spider veins for affected patients.
How Spider Veins Occur
Spider veins are medically referred to as sunburst varicosities, and they can vary in size and depth. There are several causes for spider veins including:
- Hormone changes
- Extended periods of standing or sitting
- Certain medications
Sclerotherapy can treat most spider veins effectively. Though, it may not successfully treat larger troublesome veins.
Good Candidates for Sclerotherapy
The most suitable candidates for Sclerotherapy are those women above the age of 18 who are neither pregnant nor breastfeeding. Men can also benefit from this treatment though they don’t develop spider veins as often as women. But, patients with certain medical conditions are not encouraged to undergo Sclerotherapy. These conditions include:
- Heart conditions
- Circulation problems
If you are considering a Sclerotherapy treatment, schedule a consultation with our clinicians at Dermatology Associates to learn more about this form of treatment including the recovery, benefits and risks of Sclerotherapy.
The Sclerotherapy Procedure
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a sclerosant agent into the spider veins in the lower extremities. Once this solution is injected into the veins, the veins collapse and fade from view. While planning for the procedure, your treatment provider maps out the condition of the vein using a hand-held ultrasound machine. This instrument helps the treatment provider to discover any backflow in the venous system.
The Sclerotherapy procedure itself takes from 15 to 45 minutes during which the affected areas are administered between 5 and 40 injections. You can be fully awake during the treatment due to the small discomfort level associated to with this treatment.
Once treatment is complete, your legs will be wrapped in compression garments to enhance proper healing and to optimize the effectiveness of the procedure.
You are encouraged to walk about after Sclerotherapy, and you should expect your legs to cramp in the first few days. The spider veins may temporarily seem worse after treatment but after a few treatments, you will achieve the desired results.
Every medical procedure has its risks factors, including Sclerotherapy. These risk factors increase for patients who are:
- Pregnant or nursing
- Have a history of blood borne conditions
- Suffer from hepatitis or AIDS
- Have circulatory problems, diabetes or heart conditions
The risks associated with Sclerotherapy include:
- Blood clots
- Allergic reactions to the injected fluids
- Pigmentation irregularities
- Development of fine red veins
- Minor skin injury that may lead to scarring
Spider veins may make you uncomfortable, especially when they cause you pain and cramps. If you are suffering from these unsightly spider veins, book your appointment at Dermatology Associates as soon as possible to commence your treatment.