With age comes an unwelcome addition to our legs — squiggly red, blue, and purple clusters of thin lines, spider veins. These veins, while not usually painful, are annoying when we’re trying to put on shorts or a swimsuit. Dr. Saltz removes spider veins with sclerotherapy.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins shouldn’t be confused with varicose veins. Spider veins are just under the skin’s surface. Varicose veins are larger and deeper. They are large enough to actually push the skin outward above them.
The job of the veins is to return de-oxygenated blood back to the heart. But, especially in the legs, their job is all uphill. As we age, the muscles and tissues that usually help push the blood upward become weaker. And the vein walls become weaker. This allows the blood to pool. This forms varicose veins and some larger spider veins. Occupations where the person has to stand or sit all day also contribute to the formation of spider veins.
What is sclerotherapy?
Originally developed in the 1930s, sclerotherapy is still the best method for removing spider veins. A saline-based solution is injected directly into the spider vein. The saline irritates the wall of the vein, causing it to close off, clotting the blood in the vein. The vein is now inactive and the body begins the process of absorbing it. Sclerotherapy makes some veins virtually disappear instantly when injected. Others lessen in appearance but take a few weeks to fully disappear.
Will I need more than one treatment?
Spider veins often respond to just a single injection, but others can be more stubborn. If another session is needed to fully remove the vein, we recommend an interval from two to four weeks for the next session.
If we’ve treated a number of spider veins, we’ll recommend wearing compression hose for a week or so. There isn’t any real recovery, but you should avoid prolonged sitting or standing for a week or so.
Tired of those squiggly red and blue lines on your legs and ankles? Call Dr. Saltz at either our Salt Lake City or Park City offices and ask about our spider vein treatment.