Unsightly spider veins and varicose veins can lower a person’s confidence in her appearance. Sclerotherapy can help minimize the appearance of these veins.

In sclerotherapy treatment, a solution is injected into the affected veins. The solution displaces the blood which has settled in the vein, causing the vein to blanch or turn white. The vessel then swells shut, prohibiting blood from reentering the vein and discoloring it again.

Sclerotherapy is performed at Family Dermatology’s Atlanta, Cartersville, Lilburn and Marietta locations.

What to expect

Your Family Dermatology doctor will first thoroughly cleanse the area to be treated. Then the doctor will insert a tiny needle into one of the problematic veins, usually starting with larger veins. You may feel a slight burning sensation immediately after the injection, but this only lasts a few seconds. Your skin may be kneaded to disperse the solution and reduce bruising. You also may be given an ointment to soothe the skin and a pressure bandage to prevent bleeding.

Before the treatment

  • Do not take any aspirin for two weeks prior to your appointment.
  • Bring two Ace bandages per leg.
  • Take a walk about 45 minutes before the procedure.
  • Wear shorts when you come for your appointment.

After the treatment

  • You can resume normal activity immediately, although you should avoid vigorous activity for the first 24 hours.
  • Walking is a good way to increase the blood flow in non-treated veins.
  • You should not need to elevate your legs, unless large veins were treated.
  • You may have some bruising in the areas surrounding the treated vein. The use of vitamin-K cream can help minimize bruising. Bruises will go away on their own in time, or they can be treated with bleaching agents.
  • Clots can develop at the site of the injection. This is not a cause for major concern, but it may be necessary to remove the clots within two weeks to allow the healing process to progress normally.
  • A small number of patients will develop a network of tiny, pink vessels that turn white when pressure is applied. This condition usually disappears on its own, but some cases may require treatment.
  • Occasionally, a patient will have an allergic reaction to the injected solution. This is treated immediately with antihistamines or other medications.

Long-term results

Each vein may require several injections to clear up completely. Most will disappear in 2-8 weeks.

In some cases, spider veins can recur and new veins may appear. Wearing support hose can help prevent recurrence in large veins.

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