Spider veins are enlarged veins but smaller than varicose. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin. The medical term for spider veins is telangiectasis.
Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injuries. Spider veins rarely are a serious health problem, but they can cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs and primarily causing cosmetic problems. In general, sclerotherapy and laser therapy are helpful in treating spider veins.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins. We use sterile solution which is injected into the varicose veins to close the affected vein and to shrink the vessel. The chemical causes the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. This stops the flow of blood, and the vein turns into scar tissue. In a few weeks, the vein should fade.
Is there any side effect?
Possible side effects include:
- Stinging, red and raised patches of skin, or bruises where the injection was made. These usually go away shortly after treatment.
- Spots, brown lines, or groups of fine red blood vessels around the treated vein. These also usually go away shortly after treatment.
- Lumps of blood that get trapped in vein and cause inflammation. This is not dangerous. You can relieve swelling by applying heat and taking aspirin.
Your doctor can drain the trapped blood with a small pinprick at a follow-up visit.
Women should avoid this treatment if they are taking oral contraceptive pills. It's also not recommended during pregnancy and nursing.
What happens during the treatment?
The procedure takes about 20-40 minutes, depending on how large the area. The doctor uses a very fine needle to inject a liquid chemical into the vein. This treatment does not require anesthesia. You can return to normal activity right after treatment. The same vein may need to be treated more than once. Treatments are usually done every 4 to 6 weeks. This treatment is very effective when done correctly.
How long it will last?
This treatment has a very high success rate,and the treated veins most likely won't comeback again. Over a period of years, however, more abnormal veins can develop because there is no cure for weak vein valves.
What should I be aware of after treatment?
Keep a record of your injections. It is important to have your follow-up injections at the appropriate times to make sure the treatment is successful.
Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
To slow down the development of new varicose veins,it is recommended to wear gradient compression support stockings as much as possible during the day.