Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure for treating spider and varicose veins.
At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, our board-certified dermatologists are experts in the procedure, as well as other vein treatments. Dr. Goldman is even known as the “Godfather of Sclerotherapy,” due to his experience and expertise.
What are Spider and Varicose Veins, and Why Do They Occur?
Spider veins are small, superficial veins that appear close to the skin. Varicose veins are larger, twisted, and dilated. Although spider and varicose veins are different vein conditions, they share certain similarities.
Both conditions are more common in women than men. The following may be factors in the development of spider and varicose veins:
- Injury or trauma
- Genetic factors
- Hormonal changes
- Taking oral estrogen or birth control
- Prolonged standing or sitting
- Wearing high heels
- Wearing tight, restrictive clothing
- Sun overexposure
Another underlying cause of spider and varicose veins is venous reflux, which occurs when weakened valves in the veins of the calf muscles cannot function properly.
Your veins and arteries work together to maintain vascular system function. Arteries deliver oxygenated blood from the heart through the body, and veins return the deoxygenated blood back to the heart for re-oxygenation. Venous reflux occurs when the veins cannot function properly in this process.
Venous blood circulates against gravity by an action in the calf muscles. Valves open to allow the blood to return to the heart, while preventing the flow of blood in the opposite direction. Unhealthy veins have weakened valves that allow blood to flow backward (venous reflux) and pool inside the veins, resulting in a build-up of pressure.
This is why venous reflux affects the ankles and legs, contributing to swelling, achiness, varicose veins, and spider veins.
What Happens If You Leave Spider and Varicose Veins Untreated?
Sometimes varicose and spider veins are just cosmetic concerns. However, they may cause discomfort and sensations of aching, itching, throbbing, and heaviness. These sensations will be more noticeable after sitting or standing for prolonged periods.
Advanced venous reflux may cause the following symptoms:
- Edema, or swelling of the ankles or legs
- Sensations of tightness in the calves
- Painful sores or skin ulcers that are slow to heal
- Bleeding from damage to the vein
- Leg cramps or a weak feeling in the legs
- Pain that eases when the legs are elevated but worsens upon standing
- Throbbing, itching, aching, or a heavy sensation in your legs
- Restless leg syndrome
- Changes in skin color or thickened skin, especially near the ankles
Varicose veins have been linked to an increased risk of developing blood clots. In severe cases, this can lead to serious issues such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.
If your spider or varicose veins are bothersome— because of their appearance or any of the above symptoms—call Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego to schedule a consultation.
How Does Sclerotherapy Treat Spider and Varicose Veins?
Sclerotherapy is an ideal treatment for busy patients seeking a successful, minimally invasive, safe treatment without surgery.
An overview of the sclerotherapy procedure:
- Treatment is performed in-office and lasts between 15-30 minutes.
- No pain medication is required.
- An FDA-approved solution is injected into the problem veins causing them to dissolve.
- After treatment, the leg is placed in a graduated compression stocking, 24 hours a day for 7 days.
- Two or three sclerotherapy sessions may be required for complete elimination of the unwanted leg veins .
- Patients are encouraged to take frequent walks following treatment.
- For smaller spider veins, results can generally be seen within two months.
- Larger varicose veins typically respond within 3-4 months.
- Results vary from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the condition, the number of injections required, and overall patient health.
After sclerotherapy, you can expect a positive effect on your quality of life — improved activity and appearance, as well as reduced pain and inflammation. To find out more about sclerotherapy, please visit mayoclinic.org.
What Are the Risks Associated with Sclerotherapy?
The chances of serious side effects with sclerotherapy are extremely rare, especially when the procedure is performed by experts like the board-certified dermatologists at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego.
The most common side effects are mild redness, itching, and bruising, which disappear within one week.
Patients can immediately resume normal activity following the procedure..
Who Should Perform My Sclerotherapy Treatment?
CLDerm’s own Dr. Mitchel Goldman teaches his advanced vein treatment techniques to physicians around the world. He has lectured extensively and authored multiple medical textbooks on vascular topics, including sclerotherapy. You couldn’t be in better hands for your procedure.
While Dr. Goldman is known as the “godfather of sclerotherapy,” all doctors at our medical clinic are experts in the procedure.
In addition to sclerotherapy, Cosmetic Laser Dermatology offers phlebectomy, laser, and radiofrequency for treatment of spider and varicose veins.
Schedule Your Sclerotherapy Treatment at Our Medical Clinic Today
Cosmetic Laser Dermatology can safely and effectively remove your spider and varicose veins. To schedule a consultation to discuss sclerotherapy and other leg vein removal options, contact our San Diego medical clinic today.