Your Guide To Sclerotherapy


Spider veins often make patients insecure about their legs or reluctant to show their legs in public. If you suffer from these insecurities, you may be a great candidate for sclerotherapy, an easy in-office procedure to treat small leg veins.

What Is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a safe, non-surgical treatment for spider veins. A chemical agent, called a sclerosant, is injected into unwanted visible small veins. By damaging the inside lining of these veins, sclerotherapy treatment causes the body to break down these visible veins and reroute blood-flow through the other remaining untreated veins.

What Types Of Veins Are The Best To Treat?

There are three main types of leg veins:

  • Spider Veins are tiny, red or purple veins that develop in clusters close to the surface of the skin.
  • Reticular Veins are larger, blue veins that usually feed into spider veins.
  • Varicose Veins are large, blue veins which are often tortuous and bulge.

Sclerotherapy is a safe treatment for people suffering from spider veins or small, uncomplicated reticular veins on the thighs and lower extremities. They contribute to a cosmetically unattractive appearance of the legs. They are more common in women, and caused by a number of factors, including aging, obesity, crossing the legs and prolonged standing. The larger, bulging reticular and varicose veins often require other types of intervention, such as lasers or surgery. Sclerotherapy is not for patients with a history of clotting disorders and women who are pregnant.

How Should I Prepare For Sclerotherapy Treatment?

Before sclerotherapy treatment, your doctor will do an examination to check for the type and extent of the veins involved. The day before the procedure, it is better not to shave your legs or apply any type of tanning cream to the legs. Avoid prolonged sun exposure to the legs prior to therapy.

How Is Sclerotherapy Performed?

There are two sclerosing agents approved by the FDA for use in sclerotherapy: Sodium tetradecyl sulfate and polidocanol (Asclera). The treatment takes about 5-45 minutes depending upon the amount of veins treated. Your medical provider will use a small needle to inject the sclerosing agent into the vein. Most people experience a mild stinging or cramping in the area where the needle has been inserted. Once the treatment is completed, a compression bandage or compression stockings will be applied to aid in diverting blood away from the treated vein and is recommended for about a week. Multiple treatments are often required to achieve optimal results, usually about 4-6 weeks apart. Avoid exercising, strenuous activity and sun exposure for at least 2 weeks after the treatment.

Contact us at Siperstein Dermatology Group for a consultation appointment about sclerotherapy today!