Ask any woman about spider veins or varicose veins, and she’ll tell you that they’re cause for great distress or annoyance. If you have spider veins or varicose veins, rest assured that you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, close to 55 percent of women have some type of vein problem.
With spring kicking into high gear and summer not far behind, most women can’t wait to enjoy the weather and want to have picture-perfect legs to flaunt in shorts and skirts. But if you’re dealing with vein issues, it’s hard to feel like a sun-kissed summer goddess when you’re sporting deeply colored and noticeable veins. The good news is that those unsightly veins can be treated. Sclerotherapy is a proven procedure that has been used to eliminate spider veins and varicose veins since the 1930s.
If you want to get rid of those unsightly veins and reclaim your beauty, continue reading to find out how Vein Clinics of America can help bring out your inner goddess with sclerotherapy.
What Are Spider and Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged veins that frequently appear on the lower legs. They are typically blue, purple or flesh-colored and they appear as dilated, bulging vessels that may protrude above the surface of the skin. In addition to their appearance, varicose veins may be accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms like aching and swelling.
Spider veins, also called telangiectasia, are tiny blood vessels that develop close to the skin’s surface. They are often red, blue or purple and may form a network that resembles a spider’s web. Spider veins frequently appear on the legs, and can also be found on the face, where their higher visibility can cause even more embarrassment.
Causes of Spider and Varicose Veins
Spider veins and varicose veins are caused by structural abnormalities of blood vessels. Veins are responsible for carrying blood back to the heart from other areas of the body. They utilize a series of one-way valves to avoid backflow of blood. For a variety of reasons, these valves can become defective, allowing blood to flow back into the vein.
When the blood refluxes back in the vein, it increases the pressure inside the vessel. The added pressure weakens the vessel wall, leading to swelling and varicosity. Spider veins and varicose veins form from the engorgement and dilation of the affected blood vessels.
Some factors predispose a person to varicose and spider veins, including:
- Hormonal influences of pregnancy, puberty, and menopause
- Postmenopausal hormone replacement
- A history of blood clots
- Increased pressure in the abdomen, caused by tumors, constipation and externally worn garments like girdles
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is often the treatment of choice for small varicose veins and spider veins, eliminating the visible vessels for good. It involves injecting a sterile solution, called a sclerosant, directly into the vein. The sclerosant causes the vein to close, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.
Sclerotherapy is often performed for cosmetic purposes—to improve the appearance of varicose and spider veins. However, the procedure can also be effective in relieving symptoms related to varicose and spider veins, such as:
- Leg heaviness
- Night cramps
Candidates for Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is a good option if you are bothered by varicose or spider veins anywhere on your body. You must follow your physician’s prescribed course of treatment, which may include compression stockings for a number of days after your sclerotherapy procedure to encourage healthy blood flow in the treatment area.
During your consultation with a vein specialist, be prepared to discuss any or all of the following:
- Problems you may have had in the area to be treated, such as pain or previous injuries
- Surgical procedures that have been performed near the area to be treated, including any previous vein treatments
- Current medications you are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements
- Your history of alcohol, tobacco and drug use
- Medical conditions, family history, drug allergies and medical treatments you have had in the past
Your physician will also evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors that may impact the safety and effectiveness of your procedure. He or she will also examine your veins in greater detail to determine whether sclerotherapy will offer you the best possible results. You will discuss the likely outcomes of your spider vein or varicose vein treatment, as well as any risks or potential complications.
How is Sclerotherapy Performed?
Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting the saline solution through a very fine needle directly into the affected vein. Some patients experience mild discomfort and cramping for a minute or two as the solution goes into the vessel, particularly when larger veins are treated.
The number of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as your general medical condition. A sclerotherapy treatment session is performed in the doctor’s office and takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete.
Following sclerotherapy, patients can generally return to their usual daily activities quickly. Aerobic exercise and hot tubs or saunas should be avoided for a few days after the procedure.
You may be instructed to wear compression stockings or support hose to help your legs heal. The treated sites will appear bruised, and you may feel some cramping in your legs for the first day or two after treatment. This discomfort is temporary and usually doesn’t require prescription medication.
After each sclerotherapy treatment session, you will notice improvement in your skin’s appearance. Some patients will require more than one treatment session to achieve full results. Once those results are evident, they are permanent since the vessel is completely eliminated. However, it is important to realize that sclerotherapy does not prevent new spider veins from surfacing in the future. If that occurs, you may need additional treatments to maintain your positive results.
Vein Clinics of America is the largest network in the country specializing exclusively in vein disease treatment. Our physicians specialize in phlebology, the medical specialty of treating vein disease. They are highly recognized for their published research and many work as lecturers and trainers in the field of vein treatment around the world.
Are you ready to feel like a goddess this summer? If the answer is yes, book your free consultation online today or call Vein Clinics of America at 844-423-8346.