Spider veins are one of the most common cosmetic skin complaints that people often deal with when they are older or overweight, although the condition can occur in other cases. This type of vein is normally treated with sclerotherapy for purely cosmetic reasons and does not cause any severe symptoms.
A spider vein is a visible vein, a blood vessel responsible for transporting deoxygenated blood back to your heart. A vein that is functioning correctly will have one-way valves that prevent backflow of blood into it. For reasons that are not always known, varicose veins like spider veins have valves that do not function properly. Instead of blood flowing in only one direction, the blood can pool in the problem vein, leading to its unusual appearance.
Spider veins are much smaller than varicose veins, and they typically do not pose a medical concern. A spider vein may be only the width of a single blood cell. This type of vein also appears differently through your skin. It will have the characteristic spider web appearance and tend to be blue or red in color, in contrast to varicose veins that are more ropey and larger in appearance.
Sclerotherapy is one of the most well-established treatment options for spider veins. We inject the problem vein with a solution that causes its walls to collapse. This results in the destruction of the dysfunctional vein. The blood that once flowed through the spider vein will now be absorbed and rerouted into neighboring blood vessels that are healthy and functioning normally.
Before your sclerotherapy treatment, there are certain medications that you should avoid taking because they could interfere with the treatment or your recovery. This includes certain over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, and herbal supplements. The main types to avoid are those that could thin your blood.
After your procedure, you should be able to drive yourself home and take part in your normal daily activities. You will be encouraged to walk some, but you should avoid excessive aerobic activity. You may also need to wear some type of support garment to compress the spider veins that were treated. If you have been wearing compression garments from previous treatments, it is a good idea to bring them along so that we can make sure that they still have proper compression.