WHAT ARE SPIDER VEINS?
Spider veins (telangiectasias) are similar to varicose veins, but smaller and found closer to the skin’s surface. They take their name from their appearance, which resembles a spider’s web. Usually red or blue in color, they vary in size and can be found in other areas of the body besides the legs, including the face. Caused by weak vascular walls and inefficient circulation, spider veins cause no major health problems but many people feel they look unappealing. Spider veins can sometimes resemble a spider: a large dark spot with thin veins radiating out of it, or they may appear in other patterns and variations in different places in the body. Frequently occurring in the legs, spider veins can be dark or lighter shades of blue, purple, or red.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for the removal of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Veins are injected with a sterile chemical sclerant, which irritates the vessel’s lining, making it become inflamed, harden, and eventually fade away completely. Blood circulation is carried out through healthy veins located deeper within the body, so the outward appearance and sometimes pain associated with the problem veins is significantly reduced or eliminated altogether.
The treatment area will be sterilized, then the doctor will begin injecting the sclerosant into first the larger veins, then smaller ones, monitoring the progress of the chemical throughout the process. For every inch of vein treated, one injection will likely be administered. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not need any anesthesia. The injection process typically is complete in just 15 to 30 minutes. A minor stinging or burning sensation is common during and right after the injections are made, but is short lived. After the treatment is finished, a bandage will be applied and most physicians recommend the use of compression or support hose for at least a few days
Since sclerotherapy is minimally-invasive and almost pain-free, it can be performed at in our clinic. Anesthesia is not needed and complications are infrequent. Although sclerotherapy is very safe, it is considered to be so only when administered by a professional.
The number of sessions required depends on the depth, number, and size of the veins being treated. While some patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, others may desire further injections for the optimal effect. These follow up treatments should be spaced at least four weeks apart so that the affects of the previous treatment can be accurately evaluated before injecting more. Patients can determine the amount of treatments they may need and the cost associated with them by discussing their situation with their specialist.
It is currently considered safe to perform sclerotherapy on the hands, arms, face and other areas previously avoided in this treatment. Talk with your doctor about the options available for treating blemishes and vein problems in these delicate areas.
Nearly everyone with unsightly spider veins is eligible for treatment, unless they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, individuals with skin infections, uncontrolled diabetes, a history of deep vein thrombosis, and those who are taking anticoagulants or corticosteroids should not have sclerotherapy.
Before and After