How Sclerotherapy Helps with Spider Veins

Spider veins — also called telangiectasias — are small, weblike clusters of visible veins that may appear around your nose and on your legs, particularly as you get older. More than 40% of women in the United States have spider veins or varicose veins, but men can get them, too.

Both spider veins and varicose veins are blood vessels that don’t allow blood to flow properly to the organs that need it. In some cases, spider veins may even be a sign of an underlying disease or condition that your doctor needs to treat. 

At North Atlanta Vascular Clinic (NAVC) our vein experts and vascular surgeons at all four convenient locations — Johns Creek, Cumming, Roswell, and Lawrenceville, Georgia — evaluate, diagnose, and treat your visible vein problems, often with sclerotherapy. Here’s why that treatment is one of the most popular and effective ways to resolve and remove spider veins.

Spider veins are damaged veins

If you can see threads of red, blue, or purple veins on your face or legs, it’s a sign that those veins have been damaged. Sometimes the damage comes from trauma, such as a blow or handling your skin too roughly (another reason why you shouldn’t pop pimples!).

Most often, spider veins appear on areas of your skin that are exposed to the sun, which suggests that damage from UVA and UVB rays may increase your risk for spider veins. You’re also more likely to develop spider veins if you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, both of which can damage your blood vessels. People who stand a lot or are overweight are at increased risk for spider veins on their legs, as are pregnant women because of the extra weight they’re carrying.

As with varicose veins, spider veins expand to the point where you can actually see them because their valves have weakened. A healthy blood-vessel valve pushes the blood forward, toward the heart, but when the vessel deteriorates due to age, pressure, or trauma, the blood starts to pool behind the broken valve. Eventually, that part of the blood vessel swells, and you now have a visible vein. 

Even though they’re damaged blood vessels, most spider veins don’t carry any kind of health risk. Your NAVC expert always evaluates your overall health to be sure that your spider veins aren’t a sign of an underlying condition. 

Sclerotherapy “zaps” spider veins

Sclerotherapy has been the gold standard treatment for removing  spider veins since the 1930s. To collapse the unwanted vein, your doctor injects it with a concentrated saline solution or a detergent-based foam. You may feel a little pinch or stinging when he administers your treatment.

The injected saline or foam irritates the walls of the dysfunctional blood vessels so that they collapse. The collapsed veins block the flow of blood, so your body reroutes it through healthy vessels. Over time, the spider veins wither away until your body reabsorbs them.

Sclerotherapy is easy

Sclerotherapy is a fast procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia or downtime. Depending on how many spider veins you have, treatment could take anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. 

You’ll notice that you have fewer to no spider veins in just weeks after your sclerotherapy treatment. You may need more than one treatment to completely clear your spider veins. 

To be spider-vein-free again, contact our vein experts at NAVC today to find out more about sclerotherapy. Call the location nearest you, or use the online booking form

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