Did you know the average person takes between 6,000 and 9,000 steps every day? Setting a goal of taking approximately 10,000 steps per day is considered good for your health. But helping you step isn’t all your legs do. They support your weight and keep you moving. They help you swim in the ocean and enjoy the thrill of a mountain hike. They take you everywhere. Your legs are amazing, but sometimes you don’t want to show them off thanks to the appearance of short and jagged blue or red lines. Visible leg veins can cause cosmetic embarrassment and symptomatic discomfort. Luckily, there’s sclerotherapy for varicose veins.
Common Types of Leg Veins
The unwanted appearance of leg veins is common, and the exact cause varies from person to person. For some, heredity, hormonal changes, and postmenopausal hormonal replacement are to blame. For others, excessive weight, a history of blood clots, or the use of birth control is a factor. But for many, occupations that keep them on their feet and normal sun exposure are responsible for the three most common types of visible leg veins.
#1: Spider Veins – Telangiectasias
Spider veins are a type of vessel found close to the skin’s surface. They are branch-like fine lines that are red or blue and can look like small spider webs. While usually non-symptomatic, they are commonly visible on the legs and sometimes face. They can cover small or large areas.
#2: Reticular Veins
Reticular veins are slightly bigger vessels that are sometimes referred to as feeder veins. They are blue and green and enlarge due to increased vein pressure. They can co-occur with spider veins.
#3: Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are the largest and most visible veins. They are large blue and purple and can protrude from the skin and twist or bulge. They commonly occur on the legs and can be both embarrassing and painful.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is an injectable vein treatment for uncomplicated spider and reticular veins. The treatment works by injecting a “sclerosing” solution into the affected veins. The solution causes the veins to close, allowing them to be absorbed by the body over time. It’s one of the treatments of choice for small to medium varicose veins.
At Dermacare of Hampton Roads, we use Asclera® during our sclerotherapy procedure. Asclera® is a prescription strength injection designed to perform sclerotherapy for reticular and telangiectasias veins. It can treat two types of veins:
- Spider veins, which are very small varicose veins that measure less than 1mm in diameter.
- Reticular veins, which are small varicose veins that measure 1-3mm in diameter.
What to Expect
Sclerotherapy is performed in our office and doesn’t require anesthesia. You can expect to lie on your back during the procedure with your legs slightly elevated. After cleaning the target area, one of our highly trained staff will carefully perform the treatment. Some patients experience mild stinging or cramps at the injection site.
After the procedure, you’ll be able to walk and move normally. Activity after treatment is important to prevent the formation of a blood clot. You’ll be asked to wear compression bandages or stockings full-time for approximately two weeks after the procedure, then half-time for an additional two weeks. Compression is important to successful treatment.
It’s also important to avoid sun exposure after treatment, making the fall and winter months the perfect time to undertake sclerotherapy for varicose veins. If you spend your summers hiding spider and reticular veins, contact us today to find out if our sclerotherapy treatment can help!