Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins & More
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for varicose veins and broken capillaries.
Although sclerotherapy is non-surgical, it is not non-invasive. The treatment consists of multiple injections of a solution into the vein. The solution causes the vein to swell, which leads to a loss of blood flow, making the vein shrink. When the vein shrinks, it is either less noticeable or invisible on the surface of the skin.
Sclerotherapy is nearly painless, aside from a slight pinch when the needle is injected. Most patients report discomfort rather than pain. Sometimes one session of sclerotherapy is enough to see desired results. Other times, multiple sessions are needed.
What is Sclerotherapy Used For?
Sclerotherapy is used by dermatologists to treat:
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Broken capillaries
Each of these conditions responds favorably to sclerotherapy. The best results occur when the patient makes lifestyle changes that support healthy veins, such as:
- Staying out of the sun
- Using sunblock
- Avoiding excess alcohol
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals
- Getting sufficient exercise
Long-lasting results depend on not engaging in behavior that is likely to cause vein damage. Otherwise, other veins may be damaged, and more sessions of sclerotherapy treatment may be needed.
Types of Sclerotherapy
There are different types of sclerotherapy available for the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins. These include:
- Ultrasound sclerotherapy. This type of sclerotherapy is done using ultrasound technology. The ultrasound detects the location of the damaged veins more readily. This is useful when the varicose vein is deeper than the surface.
- Liquid sclerotherapy. This type of sclerotherapy is used for smaller varicose veins and spider veins. The liquid is injected into the vein, which causes it to inflame, scar, and then shrink and die. The vein is then absorbed into the body as waste. Healthy blood vessels in the area then take up the slack where the damaged vein was.
- Foam sclerotherapy. In this type of sclerotherapy, a specific chemical is injected into the large varicose vein. The chemical is mixed with CO2 and air. It treats the varicose vein using displacement. The vein then becomes inflamed, shrinks, and dies, as with the other types of sclerotherapy.
The type of sclerotherapy that your dermatologist recommends for you will depend on the type of vein issues you have.
Am I a Candidate for Sclerotherapy?
Anyone who suffers from varicose veins and spider veins is a potential candidate for sclerotherapy. Results from sclerotherapy will vary according to the individual and the extent of the vein issue. To find out if you are a good candidate for this treatment, talk to your dermatologist at Camelback Dermatology & Skin Surgery.
Varicose veins and spider veins can cause pain and low self-esteem. But you don’t have to suffer from these conditions. Treatment is available.