Twisting veins that web in every direction are a sure sign that you’re dealing with “spider veins.” They often appear as purple or red lines that show through the skin.

These veins aren’t veins at all, but capillaries that have become large and swollen.

Varicose veins are similar to “spider veins,” but actually originate in veins, the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart. These are often much larger, and can appear rope like, bulging or bunched up. While neither condition is necessarily dangerous (in fact, most people will deal with them as they age), they can be unsightly. Enlarged blood vessels can make you feel self-conscious about your legs. Sclerotherapy is a treatment offered by Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Institute.

What is Sclerotherapy?

This non-invasive procedure involves the injection of a saline solution into visible spider veins. This causes the vein to collapse and clot.

Once the vein is no longer being used, it will be broken down by the body and reabsorbed, leaving no hint that it had even been swollen and unsightly.

In 3-4 weeks for smaller veins and 3-4 months for larger veins, you will notice a significant difference in the appearance of spider veins.

What is the Recovery Time?

Sclerotherapy requires very little down time. You will be asked to wear compression socks for 2-4 weeks following the procedure, to continually compress and distribute the solution throughout the vein, and to avoid strenuous activity for the same amount of time.

Most people, though, are back to their normal activities, minus strenuous exercise, on the same day.

Are There Any Risks?

Sclerotherapy is a safe procedure when done correctly. Commonly reported side effects include pain, bruising, and redness at the injection site. If you are experiencing an abnormal amount of pain during the procedure or following, alert your doctor immediately. It could be a sign that the solution is leaking out of the vein into the surrounding area.

Those who are having larger veins treated with sclerotherapy may notice that their veins have become “lumpy” and hard to the touch following treatment. This is normal, as larger veins take longer to dissolve and fade.