Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology procedure used to treat and improve the appearance of spider veins and small varicose veins (reticular veins). During sclerotherapy, a special solution is injected into the affected veins which causes them to scar and seal shut. The blood which originally flowed through the treated veins is forced to reroute through other healthier veins. Over the following few weeks, the treated veins are reabsorbed into the body and become less and less visible through the skin.
Sclerotherapy Removes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Sclerotherapy removes spider veins and varicose veins injecting a safe solution into the vein causing it to collapse and fade away.
What Veins Can Be Treated with Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is extremely effective in treating:
- Spider veins: These fine, blue or red veins lie close to the skin’s surface and are smaller than 1mm in diameter. They are commonly seen on the legs and sometimes the face, appearing as a thin line, branch, or spidery pattern.
- Reticular varicose veins: These small varicose veins are blood vessels between 1-3mm in diameter. Also called feeder veins, they can grow larger from pressure in the veins or weak vein valves.
What Causes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
Spider veins and reticular veins are caused by problems in the valves of the veins which prevent the blood from flowing through them normally. When the valve flap does not close properly, the blood can leak back into the vein and settle rather than flow to the heart as it should.
Spider veins and reticular veins can occur due to genetics or be a result of age, pregnancy, prolonged standing, and/or carrying extra weight. They are more common in women. Experts also believe hormones and other medical conditions can play a contributing factor.
Why Have Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is often done for aesthetic purposes – to improve the appearance of the area affected by the veins. Some individuals with spider and varicose veins also experience:
- Night Cramping
Sclerotherapy can alleviate discomfort caused by veins, as well as restore the skin’s appearance. The dermatologists at Colleyville Dermatology utilize the injectable solution Asclera™ for sclerotherapy procedures. Asclera™ contains anesthetic properties, making the treatment more comfortable for patients. Asclera™ has been FDA-approved for ten years and used in Europe for over 40 years.
Before, During, and After Sclerotherapy
Before you have sclerotherapy, your dermatologist will do a thorough examination of the affected areas, including checking for blood vessel disease. Your medical history will be evaluated, and your doctor will give you a short list of pre-op instructions. In some cases, an ultrasound may be performed to better visualize the veins.
Sclerotherapy does not require anesthesia, and the procedure can be performed in-office. The area to be treated is cleansed, and the solution is slowly injected into the affected veins.
The injection site may experience some minor stinging. Once the syringe is withdrawn, the area is massaged to disperse the solution and keep blood out of the vein. A compression pad may be used to keep pressure on the site while other veins are treated. Several veins can be injected in one session, which typically takes less than an hour depending on the number of veins being treated.
After the procedure, you will be able to move and walk, which is recommended to prevent blood clots. Your dermatologist may have you wear compression stockings or bandages for a couple of weeks and advise you to avoid sun exposure on the treated areas.
Some temporary side effects that may occur include:
- Redness or darkened skin
- Small sores
- Tiny red blood vessels
If you are experiencing problems with spider or varicose veins, contact our dermatologists for an evaluation.
If you have other cosmetic or scarring issues that you would like to correct, the board-certified dermatologists at Colleyville Dermatology are here to create a personalized plan for you to help you achieve the results that you desire.