Sclerotherapy is a treatment to eliminate spider veins and varicose veins. It is a relatively simple procedure that is usually quite effective and generally causes little discomfort.
Spider veins are small red, purple or blue veins that generally are easily seen through the skin. They are most often found on the legs and face and may appear as fine lines or webbed and starburst patterns on the skin. Usually spider veins, while visible through the skin, cannot be felt when pressed.
Varicose veins are similar to spider veins but they are larger, often swollen, easily visible and usually palpable (that is they can be felt if pressed). Varicose veins bulge with pools of blood when the blood does not circulate properly. Varicose veins appear most often on the legs, although they can develop anywhere on the body.
Treatments for the symptoms of run-of-the mill spider veins and varicose veins include non-invasive measures such as wearing compression socks, elevating the legs while sitting or lying down, and avoiding standing for prolonged periods.
Spider vein treatments and varicose vein treatments for those who don’t get sufficient relief from these measures or who want to more aggressively address the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins include sclerotherapy, laser therapy and surgery to remove or “strip” the veins. These treatments are meant to eliminate the spider veins and varicose veins rather than just addressing the symptoms.
Sclerotherapy is a long-standing treatment for spider veins and varicose veins, which has been in use since the 1930s. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution (usually a saline solution such as sodium chloride) into the vein. This solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to swell and stick together and causing the blood to clot. In time, the vessel turns into scar tissue and is eliminated.
This spider vein and varicose vein treatment is relatively quick and simple and usually can be done in a doctor’s office. Typically it is painless, although injections into larger veins may cause a brief period of a cramping sensation.
In the majority of cases, sclerotherapy is effective in eliminating spider veins and varicose veins. When it isn’t successful, a different solution may be tried or an alternative spider vein and varicose vein treatment may be used (such as laser therapy). Sclerotherapy usually eliminates spider veins in about three to six weeks and larger varicose veins within three to four months.
While sclerotherapy usually eliminates the veins treated, new spider veins or varicose veins may develop in the future, especially because individuals seeking treatment for spider veins and varicose veins may have a propensity to develop these conditions.
www.webmd.com, Sclerotherapy for Varicose and Spider Veins
www.medicinenet.com, Varicose Veins and Spider Veins, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment