What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for the removal of spider veins. Veins are injected with a sterile chemical sclerant, which irritates the vessel's lining, making it become inflamed, harden, and eventually fade away completely. Blood circulation is carried out through healthy veins located deeper within the body, so the outward appearance and sometimes pain associated with the problem veins is significantly reduced.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are tiny veins that constantly look dilated. Caused by weak vascular walls and inefficient circulation, spider veins cause no health problems but many people feel they look unappealing.
What happens after sclerotherapy treatment?
Any discomfort can be easily managed with over the counter pain medications, and is alleviated by the use of compression bandages or hose. Some mild bruising, itching, and swelling at the injection site is normal, but otherwise side effects are uncommon and short in duration.
What are side effects of sclerotherapy?
Because the procedure is minimally-invasive, very few side effects are associated with it. Some minor itching and burning immediately after the treatment is normal and quickly fades. In rare cases, allergic reactions, infection, and ulcerations at the injection site are possible. The potential for side effects can be reduced by choosing an experienced, reputable specialist to administer the procedure.
How many sclerotherapy treatments are required?
The number of sessions required depends on the depth, number, and size of the veins being treated. While some patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, others may desire further injections for the optimal effect.
Do I have to limit any activity after the treatment?
It is important to walk regularly to encourage good circulation after you have had sclerotherapy. You should not participate in any strenuous activity for the initial days after your treatment.
Can anyone undergo sclerotherapy?
Nearly everyone with unsightly spider veins is eligible for treatment, unless they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, individuals with skin infections, uncontrolled diabetes, a history of deep vein thrombosis, and those who are taking anticoagulants or corticosteroids should not have sclerotherapy. If you are unsure of your candidacy, consult a specialist for a personal evaluation.
Is there any preparation required before sclerotherapy?
There is no formal regimen for the preparation of sclerotherapy, although we recommend that patients stop taking aspirin and smoking during the few days before the treatment.
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Who should be providing your cosmetic treatment?
From the American Academy of Dermatology . . .
Patient safety is dermatologists’ No. 1 priority. Dermatologists have the education, expertise and experience to safely and effectively reduce the signs of aging. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, consumers should ask the following questions:
Q: What are the doctor's credentials and is he or she board-certified?
A: Remember, dermatologists are physicians with extensive education, training and experience in keeping the skin, hair and nails healthy.