What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure for treating spider veins. During sclerotherapy, the patient receives one or more injections of a sclerosing solution into the spider veins. This causes them to swell and close, reducing or even eliminating their appearance. At Goodman Dermatology we use hypertonic saline 23.4% concentration. Hypertonic saline has been shown to be superior to many other agents used on the market today. Hypertonic saline is safer, more effective, and virtually painless.
How Do I Prepare for the Treatments?
Before your treatment, observe a couple simple guidelines:
- Avoid taking NSAID medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), in the week before your treatment.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your treatment, such as shorts or a long skirt.
What Should I Expect During Sclerotherapy?
At Goodman Dermatology we use hypertonic saline 23.4% concentration. Sclerotherapy with hypertonic saline is virtually painless.
How long Before the Veins Disappear?
After an initial disappearance at the injection site, the veins reappear and then slowly fade over six to eight weeks after treatment. Small vessels may disappear altogether, while larger ones will decrease in size.
Are There Any Side Effects from Sclerotherapy?
Side effects are generally mild and include:
- Swelling, tenderness and bruising around the injection site
- Discoloration around the injection site, usually disappearing within three months
- A hive-like rash that usually lasts no longer than a half hour
- Minor muscle cramping near the injection site (such as at the ankle or calf)
What are Post-Treatment Instructions?
After the procedure pressure gauze bandages are applied and are kept on for 24 hours.. Do not engage in contact sports, weight-bearing exercises involving the legs, or aerobics until your doctor says it is okay to resume these activities.
Who Should Not Have Sclerotherapy?
Those who should probably avoid sclerotherapy include:
- Pregnant women (although treatment is usually fine six months after delivery)
- People with a history of vein inflammation, blood clots in the legs, diabetes, leg ulcers, and arterial or other vascular problems
Other Treatment Options for Spider Veins
Some people are not good candidates for sclerotherapy, for the reasons listed above, or because their veins don’t respond to the treatment. A popular alternative for such people are lasers and other light-based treatments, which are especially effective for tiny veins and bigger, deeper blue veins. While we have three different lasers that can be used for leg veins – we have found that the most effective treatment is sclerotherapy.