Veiny legs are often associated with aging. However, spider and varicose veins are fairly common. While they occur more often in women than men, around 30-60 percent of the adult population has one or both of these conditions.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are small, red, purple and blue blood vessels that twist and turn. They are easily visible through the skin and typically appear on the face and legs. Varicose veins are similar, but large and raised in appearance and usually limited to the legs.
Both varicose veins and spider veins can be genetic, but also might occur from standing regularly throughout the day. Unsightly veins can also come from factors such as:
- Birth control
- Hormonoal replacement therapy
- Blood clots
Varicose veins are not just unattractive, but painful as well. Individuals with varicose veins often complain of aching, cramping, burning, throbbing or tingling. By elevating the legs increases blood flow, which typically helps the pain subside. Varicose veins can form thrombophlebitis, or painful blood clots with inflammation of veins. Spider veins, on the other hand, are typically symptom-free and only aesthetic.
Sclerotherapy for Varicose and Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy, developed in the 1930s, is one of the most popular and widely used treatments for varicose and spider veins. Dermatologists inject a concentrated saline solution or specially made detergent directly into the problematic vein. The process takes less than an hour, and the number of injections depends on the severity of the vein damage. Patients do not need anesthesia for this procedure, but a mild burning sensation could occur at the injection site. The vein gradually disappears over the course of three to six weeks
You can return to work and daily activities immediately, but strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least one week following the procedure. You may need compression bandages to assist with post-procedure healing and results. Some patients might see mild bruising or pigmentation after sclerotherapy. Side effects usually vanish in just a few days.
To talk with Dr. Busso about sclerotherapy for varicose and spider veins, book an appointment online or call us directly.