Cosmetic Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
The preferred cosmetic treatment for beautiful results. Spider veins can negatively affect your life.
Throughout your body is a vast network of veins, arteries and capillaries that deliver blood and nutrients to cells while removing carbon dioxide and waste products. Blood circulates outward from the heart through the arteries, which branch out into capillaries, to bring oxygen and other important nutrients to tissues and organs. Veins then transport deoxygenated blood back to the heart. In order to do this, veins often have to work against gravity and contain valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. If these valves fail, blood cannot flow in the right direction and begins to pool, causing the veins to weaken, twist and darken. Depending on the size of the affected blood vessels, the result is either spider veins or varicose veins.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins occur when smaller veins near the surface of the skin are affected by malfunctioning valves and are a symptom of venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency is a condition that occurs when valves in the veins no longer function properly and may be caused by aging, genetics and high blood pressure. When blood has difficulty returning to the heart, it accumulates in the damaged blood vessels. The pooling blood causes a visible web-like pattern of veins to develop and can be problematic and unsightly for many patients. Although venous insufficiency can affect anyone, women experience the problem more than men. According to a study published in 2015 in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, spider veins occur in 41 percent of women over the age of 50. A number of factors can predispose someone to spider veins, including:
- Venous insufficiency
- Prolonged sitting or standing
- Sedentary lifestyle and obesity
- Hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, birth control)
- High blood pressure
- Poor circulation or inflammation
A history of blood clots and smoking are also risk factors for spider veins. These fine red, blue or purple lines can cause uncomfortable symptoms for some patients and are cosmetically unappealing. While pain associated with spider veins is often uncommon, a bothersome sensation can develop over time. A vein care specialist can help with these symptoms and at the same time improve the appearance of areas affected by spider veins. Dr. Jimenez of The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin performs sclerotherapy injections to treat unsightly spider veins, blue “feeder” reticular veins and some smaller varicose veins. During your consultation, Dr. Jimenez will offer an assessment of your veins and recommend an appropriate sclerotherapy treatment as needed.
Sclerotherapy Vein Treatments
Dr. Jimenez has helped numerous patients in the Florida Panhandle and along the Emerald Coast achieve excellent cosmetic results with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a fast, effective way to treat spider veins that involves injecting a specially formulated sclerosing solution into the affected veins. This procedure closes off and collapses them so blood can reroute through healthier blood vessels. Treated veins are absorbed by the body and fade so they are no longer visible. Since the 1930s, this procedure has been the preferred nonsurgical treatment for spider veins.
At The Vein Center of Florida, Dr. Jimenez performs all sclerotherapy injections himself. The treatment is a simple, comfortable and minimalistic approach to vein care, working from the surface of the skin without disrupting the tissues and supporting a natural healing process. Sclerotherapy provides many benefits over other procedures, including:
- No anesthesia
- Comfortable, convenient treatments
- Minimally invasive with no downtime
- Performed in-office with Dr. Jimenez
Injections are performed in-office and appointments generally take less than 30 minutes. The fast-acting medication is delivered directly into the veins and takes effect immediately, making sclerotherapy preferred over laser procedures for the cosmetic improvement of spider veins (telangiectasias) or burst capillaries in the legs. Spider veins also appear on the face, but thinner facial skin increases the risk of scarring and requires a skilled practitioner such as Dr. Jimenez for optimal results. Before your treatment, you will be thoroughly evaluated to determine the best course of action depending on your unique needs.
Is Sclerotherapy Safe?
Spider veins affect superficial veins, which means they are not paired with an artery. When spider veins are treated with sclerotherapy, circulation is not negatively affected and blood is simply rerouted through healthy veins. Sclerotherapy is a safe, minimally invasive and effective treatment for spider veins and is an option for most patients. The procedure produces very little discomfort and side effects are minor with no downtime. Some patients may experience mild bruising, stinging, or swelling at the injection site, but these symptoms quickly fade. Adverse side effects are extremely rare and Dr. Jimenez will go over the benefits, risks and safety of the treatment in more detail during your consultation appointment.
When properly performed, sclerotherapy provides for long-lasting results with a high rate of patient satisfaction. Sclerotherapy treatments target not only one branch of spider veins, but multiple branches connected to one starting point simultaneously. Patients will see immediate results, but also notice improvements that continue over the next few months. As treated veins collapse and are reabsorbed by the body, blood is rerouted to healthy blood vessels in a process that may last between six and eight weeks.
For optimal results, many patients require a series of three to six treatment sessions. If multiple treatments are needed, sclerotherapy injections are typically performed in intervals at a frequency of four to six weeks. The number of appointments will depend on the needs of each individual patient and the quantity of spider veins requiring treatment. Sclerotherapy can eliminate existing spider veins, but cannot prevent new ones from forming due to venous insufficiency or other factors.
Sclerotherapy Recovery & Aftercare
Following the procedure, recovery is minimal and most patients are able to return to work or other regular activities shortly after their treatment. You may be asked to rest while keeping treated areas elevated for a few hours and the short term use of compression stockings may be recommended to help the body redirect blood flow. In general, there are very few restrictions after sclerotherapy, but there are a few things patients should avoid for the first 48 hours after their treatment, such as:
- Sun exposure on treated areas
- Hot saunas or baths
- Aerobic exercise
- Lifting weights and other strenuous activity
- Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Hot compresses
Dr. Jimenez will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions and advise you on what to avoid after your sclerotherapy treatment to ensure optimal results.
While spider veins are not normally a medical condition that requires immediate care, the cosmetic appearance can be troubling for many. If you have spider veins that are unsightly or uncomfortable, take the next step with cosmetic sclerotherapy with Dr. Jimenez at the Vein Care Center of Florida. Whether you’re in Pensacola, Destin, Foley, or anywhere along the Emerald Coast, The Vein Center is here to help you. Call 1-800-910-VEIN to request your complimentary vein screening today.