Introduction to Sclerotherapy
If you are frustrated by the appearance of varicose or spider veins on your thighs, legs or ankles, you may consider a cosmetic procedure that reduces their appearance. If your veins are causing discomfort that interferes with your daily life, then seeking cosmetic treatment may be essential to your quality of life. Keep reading to learn about one cosmetic treatment that is now offered for both spider veins and varicose veins: sclerotherapy.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Some of the most popular spider and varicose vein treatments are performed from outside the body with lasers. Sclerotherapy uses an internal approach by injecting medication into the veins in question. A trained, experienced medical professional will insert the medication into each vein using a needle. This is completed in your provider’s office with no anesthesia required, and you will notice your veins becoming less prominent in the weeks following treatment.
What actually causes your veins to lighten and disappear? The medication causes the walls inside the veins to expand and then collapse, and that closes the vein so that blood can no longer pass through. Within three weeks, the vein will lighten with the absence of blood. Eventually, the empty veins become scar tissue no longer utilised for blood transportation.
What to Expect
Even though sclerotherapy is a painless cosmetic procedure, you can expect some swelling after treatment. Your provider may recommend you wear compression socks to help relieve the swelling. These sleeves can also help your veins heal from the procedure correctly.
You may also notice that your veins look a bit worse before they start to look better. You may have bruising around the injection points. Temporary skin irritation such as skin with raised red patches is common, and these patches of skin may itch. Small red blood vessels and/or brown lines may also appear around the treated veins, but you can expect those side effects to go away as your veins heal.
If you do not achieve the results you desire the first time around, your provider may recommend that you treat veins multiple times. You can expect these appointments to be at least a month apart, giving your veins time to heal between treatments. Your medical provider will determine whether you need additional treatments and will schedule the appointments at the optimal time for treatment.
In some cases, small amounts of blood can get trapped inside a vein after treatment. Heat and compression can help with this complication, but it is important to see your medical provider so that they have the chance to drain the blood if necessary.
Modern technology is changing the way cosmetic procedures are performed, and this is true for this treatment as well. Trained practitioners can now use ultrasound technology to perform sclerotherapy.
This option is typically used for patients in need of sclerotherapy after having surgery, but it is also an option when the veins giving you problems are located deeper in your body. Ultrasound images ensure that the veins are targeted accurately even when they cannot be seen from the surface of the body.
Alternatives to Sclerotherapy
While sclerotherapy is not offered by the medical professionals at Advanced Dermatology at this time, we do have alternative treatment options which are just as quick, painless and effective. If you suffer from spider veins or mild to moderate varicose veins, you may consider laser vein removal treatments. These treatments are safe and effective, allowing you to get treated quickly inside the doctor’s office and return to your daily life right away.