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How Sclerotherapy Can Make Spider Veins Disappear

You don’t have to be caught in this web any longer — sclerotherapy can help.

As we age, we might develop aches, pains — and often, spider veins. Luckily, spider veins are not as sinister as they sound; so named because they resemble a spider web, they are common in people over the age of 50, and consist of a group of dilated veins close to the surface of the skin. Although they can sometimes trigger swelling or throbbing, spider veins are generally harmless, and their removal is often more of a cosmetic choice than a medical one.

Sclerotherapy is one of the most common treatments to reduce the appearance of these unsightly veins.

How Sclerotherapy Works

Sclerotherapy has been used as a treatment for spider veins since the 1930s. It is a non-permanent solution that typically consists of a saline solution being injected into the veins. The procedure is performed by a surgeon or dermatologist, and only lasts for 15-30 minutes.

When the saline solution is injected into the vein, it damages the inside lining, causing the vein to close. The procedure is performed with the affected leg raised to drain blood. After the saline solution has been injected, the doctor will apply pressure to the veins to prevent the blood from returning when the patient stands up.

A recently developed sclerotherapy treatment enables doctors to inject the solution into the veins using a catheter, which is guided to the correct vein via an ultrasound. This treatment is minimally invasive and is a safer alternative to stripping (a procedure that patients with larger veins often undergo).

Potential Side Effects Of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a safe procedure, but it can be mildly painful — especially if your doctor accidentally injects the solution outside of a vein. Sclerotherapy can also cause temporary swelling or dark patches.

You will be able to walk immediately after the treatment, but are advised not to engage in exercise for at least a few days following the procedure. Some doctors advise patients to wear pressure pads for anywhere from a day to a week after the procedure.

Is Sclerotherapy Right For You?

Before deciding on a treatment for your spider veins, talk to a licensed dermatologist. In the meantime, wear sunscreen, exercise regularly, and eat healthily to prevent their spread.

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