How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
Sclerotherapy solution is injected directly into the spider veins. It immediately irritates the vein walls, causing them to adhere to each other, closing off the vein. The body’s natural filtration system will remove the remnants of the vein and associated pigmentation. Most spider veins require a series of three to five treatments to see full clearance. The tiniest spider veins make sclerotherapy difficult, so Dr. Craig Schwartz may use topical laser treatments to get rid of them. And facial/nose spider veins can even be even trickier to treat, as they are too tiny for needles and the laser energy is too powerful for facial skin, which is why we offer the VeinGogh treatment, which can go where sclerotherapy sometimes can’t by using thermocoagulation heat. Dr. Schwartz uses super-fine insulated needles to deliver just enough heat to force the vein walls to collapse. Because the needles are insulated, the surrounding skin is not affected.
How Long Does Sclerotherapy Last?
Most patches of spider veins require a series of three to five treatments spaced several weeks apart for optimal clearance. Once blood flow through the vein has stopped, the treated vein will not grow back. While you will never see that particular spider vein again, new ones can still form, especially if you have a genetic predisposition toward them. You can take some steps to avoid seeing new spider veins, such as:
- Avoiding sun exposure
- Staying active
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Not remaining in the same position for a prolonged time
If you have a strong family history of spider veins, chances are reasonably good that you will see a few more in the future. Fortunately, your sclerotherapy treatment should be simple and easy enough that you have no concerns about having these new arrivals eliminated with additional treatment.
What is Getting Sclerotherapy Like?
Sclerotherapy is performed as an outpatient procedure. It requires no numbing, and the procedure takes less than 40 minutes. Most people barely feel the tiny needle. You may notice a mild burning or tingling as the solution enters the vein. Several spider veins may be injected during your treatment session. Some veins do not respond the first time and require a second injection to close them off entirely.
Is There Any Downtime With Sclerotherapy?
You can resume your usual activities after sclerotherapy. However, you will have a few instructions for your recovery:
- Wear compression stockings
- Avoid too much sun exposure
- Take warm, not hot, showers and avoid hot tubs or saunas
- Do not take anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin
- Take regular walks, but avoid heavy lifting or jogging
You should be able to resume your routine without limitations within about a week. Daily walking will promote healthy circulation during the post-injection process. Most people see bruising around the injected area that can last several weeks. This bruising is harmless and will fade on its own. Soreness and redness may also occur and will go away without treatment.