Spider veins are small swollen blood vessels that appear red, blue or purple in color and are easily visible through the skin. Appearing more frequently in women than men, spider veins are caused by a number of factors, including heredity, obesity, occupation (that involves a lot of standing) and hormonal influences during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause. Similar to varicose veins (large, raised, swollen blood vessels), spider veins commonly appear on the thighs, calves, ankles and face.
Spider veins can be a source of great humiliation and discomfort and may be a hindrance to a person’s lifestyle. Spider veins on the leg can prevent some people from wearing clothing and participating in activities that display their legs. Facial spider veins, which cannot be covered by clothing, often cause great embarrassment and have a severe impact on a person’s wellbeing.
The dermatology providers at Island Dermatology understand how the presence of spider veins on your body can impact your ability to live the life that you want and will help you get rid of your spider veins once and for all!
Get Rid of Spider Veins with Sclerotherapy
The most effective way to get rid of unwanted spider veins is through the use of Sclerotherapy. Used since the 1930’s to treat varicose and spider veins, Sclerotherapy involves injecting a sodium chloride solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. It is common to feel mild discomfort or cramping for a couple of minutes immediately after the solution is injected. Spider vein therapy procedures are typically performed in 30 minutes. Side effects of Sclerotherapy include temporary bruising and itching and the appearance of raised red areas or brown lines/spots at the injection area that generally disappear within a few months.
Prior to treatment, patients should not take certain medications (e.g. Tetracycline, Minocin) and avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Normal activities can be resumed immediately after the Sclerotherapy procedure; patients are especially encouraged to walk. Patients should not apply any form of heat to the treated area (hot baths, sauna, compress, etc.) for 48 hours after treatment. Direct exposure to sunlight, jogging, high-impact aerobics and swimming should be avoided for 7-10 days.
Complete results from Sclerotherapy are generally seen in three to six weeks. If the spider veins respond completely to the treatment, they will not reappear. However, new veins may appear over time and may require additional injections.