Spider veins can be quite annoying to those who experience them. These thin veins are often red or purple on the skin’s surface and can be a source of distress. They are caused by a variety of factors, including excess standing, genetics, or hormones, and can appear in a number of locations on the body, but they most often occur on the legs.
Many of our patients with spider veins seek treatment to remove them. The most common treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for spider veins and small varicose veins. Undergoing a sclerotherapy procedure involves targeting the veins with a substance called sclerosant.
A few different types of sclerosant can be used during the treatment, but the end result of each is that the vein becomes deprived of normal blood flow and collapses back into the body, resulting in the disappearance of the unsightly spider or varicose vein.
Usually, spider veins can be treated in a single session of sclerotherapy, but varicose veins may require a few treatments. Sclerotherapy procedures are considered to be the standard treatment for spider veins and varicose veins, especially if they haven’t responded to traditional treatments such as wearing compression stockings.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins can appear in the legs or face for a number of different reasons, not all of which are controllable.
Those who have jobs requiring them to stand for a large portion of the day may find that they develop spider veins. This is common for positions in the retail, education, manufacturing, and medical fields.
You can reduce the potential for spider veins caused by standing by taking short breaks that allow you to sit down, but this may not be possible for everyone.
Many people struggle with their weight and with the health issues that being overweight can cause. Unfortunately, spider veins can form on the legs of overweight people because of excess pressure. Losing weight may help to prevent the appearance of spider veins, but it won’t remove veins that have already appeared.
Women commonly experience changes to their hormones due to factors like puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or birth control medication. Hormone changes can lead to the development of spider veins.
Many factors that cause spider veins are natural occurrences that can’t be prevented. Instead, sclerotherapy or an alternative treatment will need to be considered.
Another uncontrollable factor is genetics. If your relatives have spider veins, you may be more likely to develop them as well. Keeping a healthy weight and reducing the time that you spend standing each day can help, but you may not be able to prevent them from appearing completely.
What Should I Expect During a Sclerotherapy Treatment?
At Beach Cities Vein and Laser Center, we start with an initial consultation to discuss the problem areas. We’ll perform a full examination of the area to determine whether sclerotherapy treatment is a good option for you.
Our team will also ask for your full medical history and any current prescriptions you are taking to make sure you’re a good candidate.
Before the treatment, we’ll take you to a comfortable room to lay down, and a member of our trained staff will answer any questions that you have.
Once we’re ready to start, a very thin needle will be used to inject the sclerosant into the veins that you want to get rid of. We’ll massage the area to ensure that the solution is properly dispersed amongst the veins that we’re seeking to treat.
Sclerotherapy procedures are short, lasting between 15 and 45 minutes. For sclerotherapy on your legs, we’ll ask you to wear compression stockings for a certain period of time after your session.
Our experienced team will provide you with customized aftercare instructions depending on your personal circumstances. We’ll likely want to meet with you a few weeks following the sclerotherapy to check your results.
When Will I See Results from Sclerotherapy?
It’s common to begin to see veins beginning to fade from the skin’s surface within two to three weeks, while final results may be visible in two to six months. The time it takes for results to appear will vary depending on the veins and the size of the area treated. Each patient’s personal experience will be different.
Veins that are effectively treated using sclerotherapy won’t reappear. However, it’s not uncommon for new spider or varicose veins to pop up in the future. If you see new spider or varicose veins, you may need to have additional sclerotherapy treatments to eliminate them.
What Are the Alternatives to Sclerotherapy?
For spider veins and varicose veins in the legs, sclerotherapy is the number one treatment. However, those who have spider veins that appear on the face may consider other options.
Laser treatments are an alternative to sclerotherapy for the facial area. Common types of laser treatments include IPL and VeinGogh, both of which we offer at Beach Cities Vein and Laser Center. We will work with you to determine which treatment will provide you with the optimal results.
Are You Seeking Treatment for Spider or Varicose Veins?
At Beach Cities Vein and Laser Center in El Segundo, CA, you can work with our experienced and knowledgeable staff to see if sclerotherapy is appropriate for you.
We offer a number of different treatment options to get rid of the appearance of spider and varicose veins. Reach out to schedule an appointment with one of our trained team members today.