Sclerotherapy is the method we use to improve the appearance as well as relieve aching and swelling of spider and varicose veins in the legs. While being minimally invasive, Sclerotherapy is used to relieve cramps and burning in small varicose veins. Using a very thin needle, a salt solution is injected directly into the affected veins. Eventually the vein will become scar tissue, causing it to shrink and, in time, disappear. Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective treatment that has been used to treat varicose and spider veins since the 19030s.
Varicose veins are caused by damaged or weak valves that keep the blood flowing against gravity from your legs up to your heart. This is why they usually appear in the legs. When these valves do not work properly, the blood pools in the veins and cause them to become bigger. Spider veins may also be caused by the backup of blood, but they are usually caused by hormonal changes, sun exposure and injuries.
It is common for varicose veins and spider veins to show up as you age or, for women, after pregnancy. They may also be hereditary if weak vein valves run in your family. Some of the hormonal changes that may cause them are puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Birth control pills and other hormonal medicines such as progesterone and estrogen may contribute to the causes.
Spider veins usually respond to the Sclerotherapy in about three to six weeks and larger varicose veins respond in about three to four months. Veins that respond to the treatment will not reappear; however, new veins may appear.
There are a few side effects after the treatment, but these resolve with time for 95 percent of patients. Some of the things you may experience are:
- Hard or lumpy veins in large varicose veins that will resolve in two to three months.
- Raised red area where the vein was injected. This will disappear in a few days.
- Brown spots on the skin at the injection site that will disappear in three to six months.
- Bruising around the injection site that will disappear in several days.
Before the procedure, you may be asked to stop taking certain anti-inflammatory medications such as blood thinners including aspirin and ibuprofen. You should avoid applying lotion to your legs before and after treatment. You also may be asked to wear compression stockings after the procedure to compress the veins.
Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. At Guelph Laser Skin Care Centre, we can help you improve the appearance of your legs by treating these conditions. Our medical team will work with you to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan for your needs. Contact Guelph Laser Skin Centre today to schedule your consultation.