Varicose veins, and their smaller cousin “spider” veins, are a common ailment that tends to occur in our legs. They appear as swollen, twisted blood vessels directly under the surface of our skin. While they are not a severe medical condition, they can make patients feel self-conscious. 

What are Varicose Veins?

There are several causes for varicose veins, but they are most common in people who place a lot of pressure on their legs. 

For example, many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy because the weight of their growing baby puts downward force on the blood vessels in their legs. 

Sitting for long periods can lead to poor circulation in the legs, contributing to enlarged blood vessels. 

Age and heredity are also factors. Over time, the valves in our veins have a harder time working against gravity to send blood up from our legs to our heart. Because of that, blood pools in the blood vessels, causing them to bulge and enlarge, eventually showing through our skin. 

Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins

If you’re searching for relief from varicosities, your dermatologist might recommend or suggest a referral to a vascular specialist for further examination of the legs. One highly effective treatment is called sclerotherapy, which has been shown to work in up to 90% of cases. It’s non-invasive, allows you to resume normal activities the same day, and is done as a 15-30 minute outpatient procedure.

During Sclerotherapy Treatment

Your dermatologist will ask you to lie on your back with your legs elevated to reduce blood flow to the affected veins. After cleansing the injection site, they will use a needle to inject a salt-solution medication directly into the spider vein. Apart from the needle prick, most people don’t feel this process, but some may experience slight tingling or burning. 

Once the medicine is in the vessel, it will shut, forming a clot, cutting off blood flow. This causes the vein to collapse and be reabsorbed by your body.

After an appropriate number of treatments, typically 2-5, your spider veins will fade away. Additional treatments may be necessary, depending on the size and severity of the condition. 

After Sclerotherapy Treatment

Immediately after treatment, you should begin wearing compression hosiery. Your dermatologist will recommend a particular strength (measured in mmHg) of compression hosiery to aid in the vein reabsorption process. Compression hosiery helps prevent blood from pooling up again as the vein undergoes treatment. 

At Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Institute, we provide sclerotherapy for varicose veins, as well as the compression hosiery you’ll need after your treatment. We make things easier by offering high-quality Carolon Health Support Compression Hosiery for purchase in a variety of styles, including:

We trust Carolon Health Support because they are constructed with advanced yarn technology that ensures graduated compression for maximum compliance, which means better results from your sclerotherapy treatment.

Ready to get rid of unsightly varicose veins? Set up an appointment to learn more about costs, treatment plans, and other therapies for varicose veins from our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Briden, Melissa Waterman, PA-C or Denise Barnhardt, PA-C.