Sclerotherapy is a treatment designed to eliminate uncomplicated spider and reticular veins.
How It Works
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the injection of a solution called a chemical sclerosing agent into the affected veins. The sclerosing agent damages the veins’ inner lining, which eventually closes off the vein. The vein then becomes less visible or disappears over time.
Learn more about sclerotherapy by visiting these pages:
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are large blue or dark purple veins that protrude from the skin. Often, they have a cord-like appearance and may twist or bulge. Varicose veins are found most frequently on the legs.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are very small and fine red or blue veins that sit closer to the surface of the skin compared to varicose veins. They can look like thin red lines, tree branches, or spider webs. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face and may cover a small or large area.
What are reticular veins?
Reticular veins, also called feeder veins, are the blue and green veins that sit just beneath the surface of the skin. Reticular veins sometimes enlarge because of increased pressure in the vein. This is often a hereditary condition.
What causes spider and reticular veins?
A number of factors may contribute to the development of spider, reticular, and varicose veins.
- Heredity. Approximately half of the people who develop varicose, spider, or reticular veins have a family history of the condition.
- Age. The normal aging process may cause valves in some blood vessels to weaken, resulting in prominent veins.
- Gender. Women are two to three times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Up to half of American women have varicose veins. Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or birth control may increase a woman’s risk of developing varicose veins.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the growth of the fetus increases the pressure on the veins in the legs. Varicose veins that occur during pregnancy usually improve within three to 12 months following delivery.
- Obesity or excess weight. Excess weight on the body can put additional pressure on the veins, especially in the legs.
- Prolonged standing or sitting. This is particularly true in people who spend a lot of time with their legs bent or crossed. These positions make the veins work harder in order to pump the blood up to the heart.
Other possible causes for varicose veins are race, posture, occupation, hormones (such as estrogen and progesterone), primary valvular incompetence, and incompetent perforating veins.
Is Sclerotherapy for Me?
Complications may result if a patient is allergic to the sclerosing agent or if the sclerosing agent is improperly injected. For these reasons, sclerotherapy is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women, patients with acute vein or blood clotting conditions, or patients with known allergies to the sclerosing agent.
Your DermaTouch RN practitioner will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your individual needs.