Spider veins are small, damaged blue, purple or red veins that appear in webs or branches anywhere on the body but most commonly on the face or legs. While spider veins are usually not painful, many people want to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons. Read on to learn more about spider veins and an effective, popular treatment called sclerotherapy.
What is sclerotherapy?
There are a couple different treatment options for spider veins. Sclerotherapy is a popular medical procedure that involves injecting a salt solution into the spider vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to collapse. The spider vein eventually turns into scar tissue, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into nearby tissue and fades from sight.
Does it hurt?
Sclerotherapy requires injections through the skin using very fine needles. You may experience mild discomfort and cramping initially. Once the needle is taken out, the doctor will apply compression and massage the area.
How long is the procedure?
Sclerotherapy treatment takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the area treated. The number of veins injected during one session depends on the size and location of spider veins.
What is recovery like?
After your sclerotherapy procedure, you can resume daily activities. If you had the procedure done on spider veins in your legs, walking is encouraged as moving your legs will help prevent the formation of blood clots. You’ll be advised to wear support hosiery on your legs, which will help compress the treated vessels to encourage and support recovery. You’ll want to use Tylenol instead of aspirin or ibuprofen for the first couple days after the treatment. Also avoid hot baths and direct exposure to sunlight during this time as well.