Although our veins normally do a good job of transporting blood throughout our body, they can occasionally become damaged, which can lead to pain or visible changes just beneath the surface of the skin. Varicose and spider veins can both lead to these types of symptoms, and sclerotherapy can be a highly effective treatment to correct these types of issues. Here at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA, we offer this therapy to treat a wide variety of vein issues.
How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment to eliminate the appearance of both spider and varicose veins. A solution is injected into a vein, which causes scarring in the lining that supports it. This causes the vein to collapse, at which point the body eventually reabsorbs the vein, making it no longer visible.
Blood that previously traveled through the vein then reroutes through other healthier veins, so this treatment doesn’t lead to any blood flow issues. It’s become the most popular therapy for unsightly and painful veins because of its effectiveness and overall safety profile.
How Long Does It Take To See Results?
In most cases, it can take a few weeks for noticeable results to occur, though this can depend on different factors. Sometimes, it may take a few months for the veins to completely disappear, and while this treatment is often effective after just a single session, some patients may need multiple treatments before the full results are seen.
What Are the Symptoms of Vein Issues?
Varicose and spider veins share similar symptoms, as both are normally visible beneath the skin once they develop. Where they differ is in their size, their sensations, and sometimes their colors. Varicose veins are typically much larger than spider veins; they have a twisting shape to them and are more confined to a small area, whereas spider veins tend to branch out in all directions.
Varicose veins can be quite painful, and this can be so severe that it can interrupt your sleep or make it difficult to function during the day. Spider veins, on the other hand, are rarely painful, and when they are, it’s normally a more minor level of discomfort that sufferers experience. Both varicose and spider veins can be blue or purple, but spider veins can also be red.
What Are Some Common Causes of Vein Issues?
The following factors can all play a role in the development of spider and varicose veins:
As we get older, our veins can weaken and the valves that control blood flow throughout them can eventually fail, which can lead to visible veins beneath the skin. Also, the loss of collagen that occurs with older age can cause thinning skin, which can make vein issues more pronounced and visible.
Direct trauma or a blow to any part of the body can affect vascular structures nearby, and this can result in unsightly veins if their valves become affected, as it can cause either too little or too much blood flow through these veins.
When you have more body mass, your veins must work harder to deliver nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, and this can eventually cause damage. So obesity can have a negative effect on the health of your veins, which can change their appearance or cause pain over time.
When you’re immobile or inactive, such as by living a sedentary lifestyle and always sitting, this can cause blood to pool in some veins, which can also dilate them and lead to damage. All of this can overwhelm veins and cause both spider and varicose veins.
Sometimes, vein issues are completely beyond your control, as many are hereditary and genetics can play a major role in some cases. If your parents or close relatives have a history of cardiovascular or vein issues, you may be more likely to develop these as well because of your shared genes.
Changes in hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone, can contribute to vein issues as well. Hormonal changes, whether due to stress, menopause, andropause, or a pregnancy, can cause blood pressure changes, which can damage the lining inside veins.
What Should I Expect During Treatment?
Before we start your therapy session, we’ll want to know about your medical history and any medications or supplements you’re currently taking. We’ll examine your veins to make sure that this is the right treatment for you and that you don’t have more serious venous issues.
This treatment is performed on an outpatient basis and typically only takes about 15 to 30 minutes, though this can depend on how many veins we’ll be treating. We’ll first clean the area where the injections will be made using a mild cleanser, and we’ll then follow this with the injections. You may feel a slight stinging sensation when we inject the needles into the veins, but this is otherwise a relatively painless process and we’ll ensure that you’re comfortable the entire time.
After your therapy, we may recommend that you wear compression stockings over the treated areas for a few weeks, and you should avoid excessive sun exposure for about two weeks as well. While you should avoid strenuous activity for a few days after your injections, it’s important to stay active and mobile to encourage healthy circulation, so light exercise or daily walks are recommended.
Is This Treatment Permanent?
The results of this treatment are permanent, so you won’t have to worry about treated veins returning after they’ve disappeared. However, this treatment can’t prevent new spider or varicose veins from forming near a vein that was treated, but this treatment doesn’t lead to more veins forming, and once a vein is scarred and collapsed, it cannot come back.
Am I a Good Candidate for Sclerotherapy?
There are many reasons why someone may want this treatment, so you may be a good candidate for it if any of these reasons apply to you. The main reason most patients opt for sclerotherapy is for cosmetic reasons, as both spider and varicose veins can affect a person’s self-confidence. Veins can also be painful and can affect a person’s sleep when this is the case, so many of our patients come in for treatment for this reason as well.
If you’re currently pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s recommended that you wait before having this treatment performed. Those who have deep vein thrombosis, arterial disease, or allergies to the sclerosing agents used should also avoid this treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Sclerotherapy?
Of the many benefits that this therapy offers, its cosmetic benefits are why most patients seek treatment. This therapy can eliminate the appearance of blue, purple, and red veins that might otherwise be very obvious to others.
Elimination of Pain
Vein issues can cause many different types of pain, from stinging to aching, and this can affect your mood, sleep, and overall outlook on life. Painful veins can be eliminated with this therapy, leading to significant pain relief in most cases.
The treatment session for this therapy is so quick that many patients schedule it during their lunch break from work. In just 15 to 30 minutes, most patients can be treated and can then resume their everyday activities immediately afterward.
With a short recovery period of only a few days and no downtime, this treatment doesn’t affect most patients’ daily routines. Unlike surgical procedures, you won’t have to rest afterward, and in fact, we encourage you to stay active for the best results.
Strong Safety Profile
This treatment has been FDA-approved for adults because it’s safe and minimally invasive. There are no lasers used or surgical changes made, and it only involves a strategically placed needle and a mild sclerosing solution.
This treatment can increase your self-confidence when you feel better about your appearance, and this can have a profound effect on many facets of life. It can improve everything from relationships with others to your professional career if you work in a position where having confidence matters.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you’ve been suffering from visible or painful veins, Sclerotherapy may be just the right treatment for you. To see how this therapy can help you, contact us today at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA to schedule an initial consultation and get ready for the relief and improved appearance that you deserve.