Spider veins are smaller varicose veins that have the look of a red or blue spider’s web. Varicose veins are veins whose valves have failed and allow blood to flow backwards and pool. This distends the veins and makes them visible just beneath the skin. Spider veins appear on the legs, ankles, and sometimes on the face. Though most spider veins are harmless, they can be unattractive. One option to remove them is sclerotherapy.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a technique where a sclerosing agent is introduced into the veins. The agent is often a drug or chemical such as sodium tetradecyl sulfate, polidocanol, or ethanolamine oleate, which are much gentler than the acids that used to be employed to treat varicose veins. When the agent enters a vein, it damages it. This causes the vein to scar and collapse. Over time, it is absorbed by the body, and other veins take on its job of pumping blood toward the heart.
Following treatment the patient can go home immediately, but they should avoid exercising for a time. The doctor will in fact encourage the patient to get up and walk around, though they’ll warn them against engaging in strenuous activity for about a week. The patient wears compression stockings day and night for two or three days then wears them only during the day for two or three weeks thereafter.
The patient should recuperate from the session in places that are cool and dry and take only cool showers. Spider veins will disappear after four to six weeks. Some patients need to be treated more than once for the best results.
Are You a Candidate for Sclerotherapy?
A good candidate for sclerotherapy is an adult in early to late middle age. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing and is not recommended for women who have just given birth. Other people who are not good candidates for sclerotherapy are those with blood clotting disorders and who are bedridden. The patient should have realistic expectations and should be able to follow their doctor’s instructions when it comes to what to do before, during and after their sclerotherapy sessions.
During a consultation, the doctor will tell the patient to stop taking anticoagulants and other medications or supplements that can make the therapy less effective. They’ll also tell the patient to stop taking antibiotics, which can discolor the skin around the varicose vein when it is treated.
Call Us for More Information about Spider Veins and Sclerotherapy
If you have unsightly spider veins on your legs or even on your face, don’t hesitate to reach out to the educated staff at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!