COSMETIC SKIN INSTITUTE MONTHLY BLOG | JANUARY 2014: SCLEROTHERAPY
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure done to treat uncomplicated spider and reticular (varicose) veins. The treatment involves the injection of a solution into the affected veins.
What causes spider and reticular (varicose) veins?
Spider and reticular veins can be caused by many factors including:
Heredity. Having a family member with prominent veins may increase the risk of you developing them. Approximately half of the people who get varicose veins have a family history of them.
Age. The normal wear and tear of aging may cause valves in the veins to weaken and not work as well.
Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Up to half of American women have varicose veins. Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or taking birth control pills may increase a woman’s risk of developing varicose veins.
Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the growth of the fetus increases the pressure on the veins in the legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually improve within 3 to 12 months following delivery.
Overweight and Obesity. Having extra weight on the body can put additional pressure on the veins.
Prolonged standing or sitting. This is particularly true with legs bent or crossed. When standing or sitting with legs bent or crossed, the veins have to work harder to pump the blood up to the heart.
How do you treat spider and reticular veins?
Veins are usually treated with an FDA-approved solution called glycerol or polidocanol (Asclera). Asclera and glycerol are solutions that are injected into the vein with a micro-needle.
The solutions cause the vein to blanch and then gradually disappear.
A typical treatment lasts 30 minutes to an hour. Depending on severity, most people will typically need 1-3 treatments.
Common Side Effects?
Pain at the site of injection, itching at the site of injection, bruising are common side effects which typically last for hours to days. Discoloration can sometimes occur as well.
It is best to get treatment done in the fall or winter so your vein-free legs are ready to be exposed in the spring and summertime!
Schedule An Appointment
To schedule an appointment in our Washington, DC office, call 202-965-7546.
To schedule an appointment in our Olney, MD office, call 301-570-0030.