The appearance of veins poses both medical and cosmetic concerns, which is why many individuals choose to seek treatment once veins become visible or uncomfortable. When it comes to treating your leg, facial or chest veins, there are options available that can alleviate any pain you may be experiencing while also promoting smoother skin. Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to treat spider veins as well as smaller varicose veins and is performed in a minimally invasive manner at Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery. If you are ready to diminish the veins on your legs, face or chest, one of our physicians will be able to determine whether sclerotherapy is right for you.
The Appearance of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Our veins are a vital part of our circulatory system and work tirelessly to move blood back through the body to the heart. The veins in our legs are particularly impressive due to their ability to work against gravity and pump blood upwards toward the heart. However, due to unrelenting factors like our occupations, obesity or hormonal changes, the blood that is supposed to move throughout our bodies can become stuck within our veins, causing it to pool in the vein’s valve and swell. The result is what we officially refer to as spider veins and varicose veins, which look like bulging and twisting blue and purple abnormalities on the surface of our skin.
Although they remain harmless for some time, leaving spider veins or varicose veins untreated can lead to significant discomfort and become a cause for medical concern. It’s advisable to get your veins examined by a dermatologist or vascular specialist regardless of whether they are causing you physical discomfort. Leg, face and chest veins can be treated for medical and cosmetic purposes, which has the dual benefit of ensuring your vascular health and your physical aesthetic.
How is Sclerotherapy Performed?
Sclerotherapy is designed to eliminate the appearance and health risks associated with leg, chest and face veins in a less invasive fashion than most other vascular procedures. The treatment involves the use of a salt solution that is administered directly into the affected vein. The solution essentially irritates the walls of the vein, which causes the blood to clot and the vein itself to collapse. Over time, the vein is absorbed into the surrounding tissues, and the blood that originally moved through the problematic vein is redirected to other healthier veins.
Receiving Sclerotherapy Treatment
The time it takes to receive sclerotherapy treatment will depend on the number of veins that are affected. Additionally, some veins may not respond to sclerotherapy and require additional treatment – like laser therapy – to properly eliminate them. During the procedure, you may experience some mild cramping and discomfort as the salt solution is being injected into the vein, which could last for the duration of the treatment (no more than 15 to 30 minutes). Multiple treatment sessions may be needed to ensure that the veins in question are dissolved, and although sclerotherapy is proven to completely eliminate spider and varicose veins, new blood vessels may appear over time that require additional treatment.
Although side effects are generally mild, you may experience some itching and slight bruising after treatment, which should last no more than one or two days. The size of the treated vein will determine how long it takes for it to dissolve, with spider veins taking up to six weeks and varicose veins requiring as long as four months to respond to treatment. The best way to predict your recovery time as well as the risks involved will be to consult with a physician at Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery.
Once your procedure is complete, you will be given compression stockings to wear on a daily basis for the duration of your recovery, if you have had your legs treated. Walking is also recommended to help improve blood circulation throughout the body as well as refraining from anti-inflammatory medications. To keep any swelling as minimal as possible, we recommend avoiding hot baths or showers, hot compresses or prolonged exposure to sunlight. Overall, you should be able to resume daily activities almost immediately after treatment.
Is Sclerotherapy Right for You?
Sclerotherapy is an ideal treatment option for those who have spider veins and smaller varicose veins that don’t yet require more invasive procedures. However, sclerotherapy is gentle enough to be performed in combination with other treatments to make the elimination of veins more effective. To determine whether sclerotherapy is a viable option for you, your physician will examine your veins to view their severity. Your medical history will also be reviewed, which will allow us to create an individualized treatment plan that benefits your overall health. Unless you are pregnant, have a history of blood clotting or plan to receive heart bypass surgery in the future, sclerotherapy may be the right treatment for you.
To learn more about sclerotherapy as well as the other treatment options available to treat spider veins and varicose veins, contact Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery at 631-979-0909 and schedule a consultation.