Spider veins can occur at almost any age. Some patients see them cropping up in their teens. Other patients won’t notice them until middle age or later. Whatever age they appear, they can cause patients to shy away from wearing shorts and swimwear because of the web-like appearance of these veins. While these small blood vessels that lie close to the surface of the skin can create an unsightly appearance, they are medically harmless and can easily be treated with a minimally-invasive, cosmetic treatment known as Sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment that offers dramatic clearing of spider veins. A specialized solution is injected into the spider veins, causing a “scarring down” of the vessel so it can no longer be seen. Sclerotherapy is more effective, less painful and less expensive than laser treatment of spider veins on legs. Laser therapy for spider vessels is available from other providers but often comes at a much higher cost to the patient, may require an extensive series of treatments and actually is less effective and more painful than injections. Sclerotherapy treatment is considered the gold standard for spider vein treatment.
Sclerotherapy is a quick, in-office, 30-minute appointment. The vessels are injected with a solution that causes the veins to scar down and be absorbed by the body. After the procedure, patients are able to resume normal activities, minus strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following the procedure.
The most common side effect from sclerotherapy is mild pain with the injections. Sclerosing solution causes injury to the inner lining of the vessels, which in turn causes minor pain. Bruising, redness, and swelling at the injection sites are also very common.
While most patients benefit substantially from sclerotherapy, the rate at which new spider veins form will most likely not be affected by injections. Prolonged standing, future pregnancies, and hereditary tendencies all contribute to the further development of spider veins.
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