Visible leg veins, or “spider veins,” are a common problem for many people. Many factors can increase your risk of developing spider veins, including the following: heredity, age, gender, pregnancy, and obesity. Spider veins are such a common concern that it’s estimated about half of the population over the age of 50 have spider veins.
Spider veins are very small, fine, red or blue veins that are less than 1mm in diameter. They lie closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins and may resemble a thin red line, tree branches, or spider patterns. Spider veins can be found on the legs and may cover a small or large area.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical, minimally-invasive treatment for spider veins. This treatment addresses visible veins with a unique injection process. The substance injected during sclerotherapy is a hardening solution called “Asclera.” Asclera solution shrinks the targeted veins, which then fade over the following weeks until they disappear.
Sclerotherapy is a simple, relatively painless treatment that only takes about one hour. Because spider veins carry very little blood, sealing them off with Asclera and disabling them is a safe treatment that doesn’t pose a health risk. In fact, the blood that earlier was pooled in these veins now flows into healthier, deeper veins, with helps to improve circulation.
What causes spider veins?
Veins have valves that allow the blood flow to travel toward the heart. If these valves in the veins near the surface of the skin weaken due to pressure, hormones, sun damage, or other factors, some of the blood flows backward. Some blood accumulates and pools in the veins, and this is what causes the veins to become visible.
What are the benefits of sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy treatments include a number of benefits for patients dealing with spider veins, including the following:
- Relatively painless
- Short treatment
- No downtime
- Eliminates visible spider veins
- Helps improve confidence
What happens during a spider vein treatment?
The sclerotherapy technique is a short treatment that injects a solution (Asclera) into the spider vein to safely disable it. The solution destroys the inner lining of the vein, disabling it. From this point forward, the vein can no longer carry blood. The vein is replaced with harmless scar tissue that is not visible.
Your treatment experience depends on how many veins you’re having addressed and where the veins are located. Because the procedure is not particularly uncomfortable, Sclerotherapy treatment requires no local or general anesthesia. However, if you prefer, a numbing cream can be applied to ensure total comfort.
To begin your treatment, the area is cleaned with alcohol. The injections are administered into your veins with a small needle. During this time, you may feel some mild cramping or mild pain.
Once the injections are complete, we will perform a gentle massage to help stop the blood from flowing into the vein. This massage also helps dispense the solution more thoroughly into the vein.
Sclerotherapy treatment aftercare
Once the treatment is complete, there is not a significant recovery period, and there is no downtime. The treated veins may initially feel hard or lumpy. However, this feeling will slowly dissolve during the following weeks.
Most people can return to their usual activities on the same day as their treatment. There may be some mild swelling and bruising, which will fade completely in one to two weeks. During this time, wait to exercise vigorously, but we recommend light walking or moderate motion to help increase blood circulation.
It will take between three to six weeks for spider veins to disappear completely after sclerotherapy treatment. Multiple treatments may be needed to achieve your ideal results. Most patients have an average of 3-4 treatments. Treatments are performed in 4-6 week intervals.
Sclerotherapy results ensure there is no recurrence of the treated spider vein, as the feeder veins that provide the blood flow to the spider veins are also addressed.
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Who is a candidate for sclerotherapy?
Anyone who has spider veins may be a candidate for sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for all skin types. Ideal candidates should meet the following requirements:
- Are in good health
- Have irregular spider veins
- Do not have a bleeding disorder or a history of blood clots
- Are not pregnant or nursing
Does sclerotherapy have any risks or side effects?
Sclerotherapy is a safe treatment that is considered low-risk. Sclerotherapy may include some mild side effects, including the following:
- An itchy sensation at the injection site
- Slight bruising
- A tender sensation in the treatment area
- Tiny veins that develop around the injection site, which slowly disappear
Why choose AG Aesthetics Center?
Our practice is committed to your aesthetic goals, led by board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Allen Gabriel.
At AG Aesthetics, we make our patients feel comfortable and dedicate ourselves to ensuring your experience is satisfying and your results are what you planned for. Our patient-centered approach ensures your service is always personalized. Please call today to find out more about what sclerotherapy can achieve for you.