When it comes to our skin, our face is where we put most of our focus. Many people, however, have aesthetic concerns about their skin that extend below the neck… including unwanted, visible blood vessels that may be found around the legs. If you have concerns about spider veins and want to learn more about treatment, keep reading, this one’s for you! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive about sclerotherapy vein treatment.

An example of the fine blood vessels that are visible near the surface of the skin, commonly referred to as spider veins.

What are spider veins?

Telangiectasias, the fine red blood vessels visible at the surface of the skin, are commonly referred to as spider veins. These are most frequently found on the legs (primarily thighs and calves) but can also occur on the arms and chest. 

How does sclerotherapy for spider veins work?

For your treatment, I will perform a series of minimally invasive injections that lead to the affected veins shrinking, and ultimately fading or vanishing for aesthetic benefit. The substance that is injected is called a sclerosing agent, and is essentially a solution of saline and dextrose (sugar). This solution irritates the lining of the vein, leading to localized inflammation which causes the vein to swell, blocking blood flow to that vessel. This vessel then forms a fibrotic tissue which will be absorbed by the body, allowing for fading and vanishing of the vessel. 

But don’t I need those veins?

Yes, a healthy vein is an important part of your cardiovascular system, containing functional valves that allow them to return blood upwards to the heart. However, a malfunctioning valve leads to backflow of blood, causing it to pool and result in the non-functional spider veins seen at the skin’s surface. The sclerotherapy treatment targets these “dead-end” veins, clearing them away, and allowing for the body to naturally regenerate other pathways of blood flow.

Can sclerotherapy treat my larger, varicose veins?

In some cases, sclerotherapy can be used to treat the larger varicose veins that are visible. However, depending on their size, an alternative treatment for those veins is the better option. You can meet with me for a complimentary consult to determine whether or not you are good candidate for treatment.⁠

What is the downtime?

The sclerotherapy procedure essentially has no downtime. Following treatment, you can immediately return to your regular routine. You may experience some minor bruising at the treatment site.⁠

When will I see results?

While some results can be seen immediately, full results may not be seen for 3-6 weeks. Larger veins can take several months before results are seen, and may require additional treatments.⁠ The number of treatments will vary from person to person.

Who should not have sclerotherapy treatment?

This procedure is not recommended for people with certain health conditions, including those with cardiovascular disease or those who have had a heart bypass surgery. In a consultation appointment with me, I will assess your medical history and determine whether you are an ideal candidate for this treatment.⁠

I would be happy to discuss more details about sclerotherapy treatment for veins with you in a consultation appointment! You can use our contact form to schedule a time to meet with me.

Nicole Rice, NP