California Skin Institute providers offer a wide range of leg vein treatments, including sclerotherapy. This treatment option is often a good choice for spider veins and small varicose veins that are blue in color. The treatment is minimally-invasive and most sclerotherapy procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, on location at one of our practices.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is an injectable treatment for leg veins, which works to seal off the visible veins under the skin. Whereas laser treatments are commonly performed for leg veins that are brown or red in color, sclerotherapy is typically used for veins that are blue.
How Sclerotherapy Works
At the heart of the sclerotherapy procedure is polidocanol, a special injectable solution that is designed to seal off small blood vessels. When injected into a vessel, polidocanol interacts with the vein’s inner lining, which leads to irritation and causes the vein to seal off. Your body’s vascular system then re-routes the blood that would normally travel through the affected blood vessel to other veins.
Over time, the body breaks down the blood vessel sealed with sclerotherapy and replaces it with other tissue.
For best results, your California Skin Institute provider will make many small injections into the veins across the treatment area, to treat even very small blood vessels. Patients are typically surprised at the fact that many of these veins disappear almost immediately after the injection.
After the procedure is complete, you will be asked to wear compression stockings to increase the effectiveness of the injection. However, the exact time frame for how long you will need to wear these may vary depending on the extent of your treatment. Therefore, it’s vital to follow all after care instructions of your California Skin Institute provider.
Does Sclerotherapy Hurt?
Generally, the procedure is handled very well by the vast majority of patients, and the use of topical or local anesthetics is not needed. Further, the expert providers at California Skin Institute go to great lengths to make the procedure as comfortable as possible for every patient.
One of the ways we increase patient comfort is through the use of very thin needles. Additionally, the injection is very superficial, as the needle penetrates the skin by only a few millimeters – just enough to reach the veins near the surface.
Typical Sclerotherapy Results
Most patients see the full results of treatment several months after the procedure, and this will depend on every patient’s unique situation (which includes the severity of the original issue and how quickly their body heals). The initial part of the healing process involves the full closure of the treated blood vessels, which are then broken down by the body and replaced with scar tissue. At this stage, the veins should be significantly less visible, but you may feel small bumps under the skin, where the original blood vessel was.
How Many Sclerotherapy Treatments Will I Need?
The number of sclerotherapy treatments will largely depend on your unique situation and the severity of the problem. While some patients may need just one treatment, the majority of patients require several procedures.
In addition to wearing compression dressings after your treatment, it’s important to avoid sun exposure for several weeks after treatment. This is a vital step in preventing the formation of hyperpigmented spots at the treatment site.
Additionally, patients are encouraged to walk often, to prevent the formation of blood clots that can form due to inactivity.
Your Sclerotherapy Appointment
To schedule your sclerotherapy consultation, please call a California Skin Institute practice near you, or schedule online now!
Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.