Do you have unsightly red and purple veins on your thighs, legs or ankles? Millions are bothered by these veins. In fact, up to half of the adult female population may be affected with this cosmetic concern. Many dermatologists are now treating spider veins with sclerotherapy using a sclerosing solution. When the solution is injected into the veins, it causes them to collapse and face from view. Additionally, symptoms such as burning, tenderness, night cramps, swelling and achy legs may be remedied by this treatment.
Small leg veins come in three basic sizes.
- Telangectasias are small, red veins that appear very near the skin surface. They may radiate out from a central point, be shaped like a tree or be in separate lines.
- Venulectasias are somewhat larger and appear as slightly deeper veins that are purple in color.
- Varicose Veins are the larger, more convoluted veins that can appear anywhere on the legs or ankles. Varicose veins are usually more than a quarter inch in diameter and may bulge above the skin surface. These veins tend to be more painful and may be associated with more serious underlying vein disease.
Sometimes sclerotherapy can be used to treat these veins, but often more invasive procedures using hooks to remove veins or devices that thread inside the veins and close them from the inside. Often, if you have these larger veins, an ultrasound may be ordered to better understand where the problem lies.
People of any age may be candidates for sclerotherapy.
Most are women between the ages of 30 and 60. In some people, spider veins may become noticable in the early teen years, others may not see them until their 40’s. Often, a close relative is affected as well and that history can be a good predictor of whether or not you may get spider veins yourself. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be advised to postpone sclerotherapy until after delivery or after you have stopped breastfeeding. Often, the red spots and veins that surface during pregnancy will fade once the baby is born. While many men do not consider spider veins to be a cosmetic concern, sclerotherapy can be just as effective as it is in women.
While the treatment of leg veins with sclerotherapy can be a highly effective treatment with satisfying results, it is often unrealistic to expect complete clearance with one session. On average, between 2 and 6 sessions are needed. It is also unrealistic to expect the veins never to return. Sclerotherapy only treats the veins that are visble and does nothing to alter the underlying venous system to prevent recurrence. With time, additional veins commonly appear and may require treatment. Excercise and the use of quality support wear can reduce the onset of new veins.