This non–surgical procedure uses an injected medicine–or sclerosing solution–to shrink small visible blood vessels on the legs, leaving the skin looking clearer.
What It Treats
Sclerotherapy is primarily used to treat spider veins (telangectasias), which are tiny blood vessels that lie close to the skin’s surface. They are connected to the body’s larger vascular system, but are not an essential part of it. Spider veins can also appear on the face, but those are usually treated with laser therapy.
How It Works
The sclerosing solution irritates the lining of the targeted vein, causing the vein to collapse and shrink. Over the next few weeks the vein is absorbed by the body and slowly dissolves. The solution also closes “feeder veins” under the skin, thus making it less likely that any spider veins will return to the treated area.
What the Treatment Involves
Sclerotherapy treatments typically last 15 to 45 minutes. After the skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, the sclerosing solution is injected into the target veins with a very fine needle. The type of solution that’s used depends on several factors, including the size of the veins. Your physician will discuss with you which solution is most appropriate for your skin.
After the procedure, you may experience some temporary itching and swelling at the injection site. You can return to your normal activities immediately. Daily walks of at least 30 minutes are recommended for the first few days after treatment, but you should avoid vigorous physical activities, such as weight lifting, jogging and aerobics classes. You may be prescribed support stockings and/or bandages to wear for a few days to help keep the treated vein collapsed.
Spider veins generally respond to treatment within three to six weeks. Several treatments may be needed, however, for optimal results.
Visible Blood Vessels