What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to eliminate the appearance of small veins close to the surface of the skin. During the process of sclerotherapy, a sclerosing agent, like saline solution, is injected into the vein.The sclerosing agent shrinks the vein. Generally, sclerotherapy treats superficial veins that are between the skin and the fascia. The superficial veins can be treated because they are not essential for the greater vascular system to function.
Sclerotherapy at a Board Certified Dermatologist
Sclerotherapy started back in the 1930s with saline solutions. With advances in modern medicine, sclerotherapy is now much easier, safer and more comfortable to erase unwanted spider veins. When sclerotherapy is done by a board certified dermatologist, you can rest assured that the doctor has the proper knowledge and training to administer sclerotherapy properly.
Sclerotherapy is not the only treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. It is important to make an appointment with your board certified dermatologist to find out what is best for your condition.
Sclerotherapy is generally a good option for people who have unwanted small, visible veins on their legs. Sclerotherapy is generally best for veins that have appeared within the last 5-10 years. Veins that appeared 10-20 years ago can still obtain good treatment results. If veins have been present for over 20 years, our dermatologist will consult with you to observe, and discuss treatment options.
In some cases spider veins may cause pain, such as aching, burning throbbing or itching. If you have pain around your veins, consult a dermatologist.
Risk Factors for Spider Veins
While the exact cause of spider veins is not completely understood, there are a number of risk factors associated with visible veins:
- Gender: Females are more likely than males to develop spider veins.
Genetics: Spider veins are more likely if close family members also have them.
Weight Gain: Increases in weight can contribute to the appearance of spider veins.
Hormone Changes: Pregnancy and birth control pills may contribute to spider veins.
Prolonged Standing or Sitting: Long periods of time without movement (sitting or standing) may contribute to the development of spider veins.
Injury:Impact injuries and cuts may lead to spider veins at the injured site
In some cases, spider veins and varicose veins will require vascular laser treatments. It is important to consult your board certified dermatologist to schedule a consultation.
Sclerotherapy: Treatment Process
It is always necessary to have a consultation with a board certified dermatologist to determine if sclerotherapy is the right treatment for you. In some cases, laser vascular treatment or another treatment may be more appropriate. Once it is determined sclerotherapy is the right procedure, a date will be set for treatment. In preparation for sclerotherapy, compression hose will be ordered. Post procedure, avoid any intense physical activity for at least 3-4 days.
The procedure generally takes about a half hour. The dermatologist will inject the sclerosing agents in different areas of the vein to help cause the body to shrink the vein.
After treatment, it is recommended to walk for 20 minutes. This will help the medication circulate through the veins. If you plan on traveling in a car for a long period of time, it is recommended that you stop every hour to walk for 10-15 minutes in order to avoid a blood clot.
Post procedure, patients will wear compression hose for a week in order to achieve ideal results. The compression hose help to keep the veins collapsed and prevent possible blood clots.
A follow up visit will be scheduled 3 months after the sclerotherapy treatment. The dermatologist will then determine if another treatment is necessary.
Common Concerns and Questions about Sclerotherapy
How many treatments are necessary for sclerotherapy?
In general, 1-3 treatments are required to get rid of the targeted veins. During your 3 month post visit with the doctor, it will be determined if another treatment will be necessary.
How long in between appointments if multiple appointments are needed?
We recommend 3 months between treatments.
How long does it take to see results?
Final results will be noticeable in approximately 3 months.
Are the results from sclerotherapy permanent?
Yes, the veins that are targeted with the sclerosing agent will be closed up and healed.
Is Sclerotherapy Uncomfortable?
The sclerosing agent is injected into the spider veins. Patients describe only a mild temporary discomfort, and a slight tingling in their veins.
How long are compression hose worn?
You will get best results if you wear them all week except for when you shower.
Is sclerotherapy for me?
Only a board certified dermatologist can determine if sclerotherapy is right for you.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!