Spider Veins & Sclerotherapy
Spider veins or telangiectasia are the tiny dilated veins that appear near the surface of the skin. they are typically red or blue and often resemble a spider web (hence the name) or small tree branches. Many patients notice them on the leg and ankle as well as the face.
What causes spider veins?
While anyone may get spider veins, they are more common in women. A variety of conditions may increase your chances of developing spider veins or may worsen existing spider veins:
- Excessive sun exposure
- Birth control pills
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Occupations requiring prolonged standing
- Genetic predisposition
How are spider veins treated?
Drs. Anderson and Rahman consider sclerotherapy the best treatment for spider veins. In fact, a recent article in the New York Times stated that sclerotherapy is the “gold standard” of treatment for spider veins. During the sclerotherapy procedure, a tiny needle is used to inject a saline solution into the vein, causing it to shrink. Laser treatment is generally felt to be less effective than sclerotherapy. Topical treatments have never been shown to be of benefit.
What is the treatment like?
The treatment typically takes less than 30 minutes, depending on how many veins are being treated. You may feel a slight “pinch or “sting” as the saline is injected, but no anesthesia is needed.
Is there any downtime?
You may resume your normal activities or work immediately after the treatment. Compression stockings are required for the first 48 hours after treatment and then during the day only for two weeks. You may notice some pigmentary changes for several weeks after treatment. It is best to minimize sun exposure during that time.
How many treatments are required?
For best results, two treatments are typically performed. Because an individualized treatment plan is developed for each patient, more or fewer