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Woman with varicose veins applying compression bandage

What to Expect from Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a commonly used treatment by dermatologists for patients that suffer from a condition known as spider veins. The treatment utilizes sclerosant, a chemical that is injected into the spider veins. The chemical causes the vein to become irritated to the point where the walls collapse, not allowing blood to flow through them any longer. The vein then becomes hardened and eventually disintegrates. When the vein disappears, so does the appearance of spider veins.

Length of the Treatment

Sclerotherapy is a relatively quick procedure, and it is almost always performed in your dermatologist’s office. You should arrive about 20 minutes prior to your schedule appointment in order to check in and ensure that the doctor is ready for you. The procedure takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Most patients will require just one session to get rid of spider veins, but some do require multiple sessions to see a change.

Immediately After the Treatment

Once the treatment is complete, your doctor and nursing staff will wrap your leg in a support sock or compression bandage. This item must remain on your leg anywhere from 24-48 hours after the treatment was performed. You can resume normal activity within this same timeframe, but expect to see some bruising and tenderness in the area. Give it roughly one month before you begin to see a change and be ready to possibly need subsequent treatments.

Avoid Exercise

Most doctors ask their patients to avoid strenuous exercise for at least two weeks following the sclerotherapy treatment. This includes running, biking, hiking, yoga, lifting weights and more. The strenuous exercise can aggravate the area that was treated. Your doctor will likely tell you to begin a walking routine a couple of days after the treatment to help increase circulation and speed up the recovery process.

Avoid Exposure to the Sun

If you love to sit in the sun during the summer, it’s best not to have sclerotherapy performed right before you hit the beach or the pool. Exposure to the sun can combine with the inflammation to the area caused by the treatment, which can in turn leave dark spots on the area. If you already have a dark tone to your skin, the likelihood that this occurs is even higher.

How You Will Feel

It’s highly likely that you will experience some form of itching or cramping following sclerotherapy. This will subside within a day or two. Also expect to see discoloration of the treated area. This is also normal and will begin to fade after a couple of weeks.

Permanent or Temporary Results?

Many patients tend to ask if the results of sclerotherapy are temporary or permanent. The answer all depends on the individual patient. Patients who have a predisposition to spider veins could see the development of news ones long after the treatment. For the most part, this treatment is highly effective.

Contact the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Windsor Dermatology to discuss your spider veins and to schedule a consultation.

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