Sclerotherapy, or ‘injection therapy’, is the most common vein treatment for spider and varicose veins on the legs. The treatment is performed by injecting a mild chemical solution directly into the spider veins on the legs or other area. The solution irritates the vessel walls, causing them to collapse. Over time, natural processes in the skin absorb the vein and blood is diverted to a healthy vein, maintaining proper circulation through the healthy blood vessel network in the area.
Typically, a touch up sclerotherapy session is necessary to retreat some vessels and to ensure that none were missed the first time. The touch up session usually takes place a few weeks after the first treatment. Some patients may require additional treatments, depending upon the number of veins treated, healing time and level of cosmetic improvement desired. During a sclerotherapy treatment session, multiple injections are necessary to perform the procedure. Patients describe the injections as feeling like bee stings, mosquito bites or pinpricks.
Prior to a treatment session, it is important to follow our instructions to ensure a successful treatment. Any medications or foods that may cause easy bleeding should be avoided. After a treatment, patients are asked to begin wearing compression stockings immediately and to continue to do so for one week. Prescriptions for compression stockings are typically written during the consultation visit. Normal daily activities can begin immediately after the treatment, although some restrictions will be in place to ensure the best cosmetic result.
Side effects of the treatment include: swelling, bruising, itching and occasionally hyperpigmentation. All of these are temporary and will resolve with time. The discomfort associated with the procedure lasts only as long as the procedure takes to perform, usually 20-30 minutes.
While there is a laser at Skin Wellness to treat veins, it is better used as an adjuvant treatment. Sclerotherapy remains the gold standard. Age revealing veins on the back of the hands can also be reduced with sclerotherapy.