Category Archives: Sclerotherapy

Fall’s Good for Spider Vein Removal

Around Portland, there’s no shortage of water, whether it’s the Willamette River to the south, the Columbia to the north, or the coast to the west. That means swimsuits and shorts are part of our summer wardrobe. So, when you donned your favorite suit or shorts this summer, were you distressed to see those little clusters of purple or blue lines on your legs? Ugh. Spider veins.

Now that we’re entering the fall and our weather is about to take its usual turn for the wetter and greyer, this is a great time to come see the skin care specialists at Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery and let us get rid of those spider veins.

Why do I have spider veins?

Arteries take oxygenated blood from the heart and lungs and deliver it to the body. The veins are the roadways back home to the heart. And the legs veins don’t have an easy job — they’re fighting gravity the whole way. As we age, the strength of the support tissues and even of the veins themselves can diminish. This can cause the blood to back up and pool in spots. This shows itself in spider and varicose veins. Because spider veins are just below the surface of the skin, they are very visible.

How can I get rid of them?

Sclerotherapy is nothing new. It was first used in the 1930s to make unwanted veins close up and go away. At Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we’ve used both lasers and sclerotherapy on spider veins, but we feel that sclerotherapy is a better option on the legs.

In sclerotherapy, we inject a special sclerosant agent directly into the vein in question. Today, we use new solutions that have replaced saline as the sclerosant agent. These newer agents are much more effective in starving the vein of protein, collapsing them very quickly. Plus, these newer agents also have an anesthetic effect to help keep the patient comfortable. After the veins are injected and collapse, the body goes about absorbing them over the next couple of months, but they immediately become nearly invisible after they collapse. Any blood that ran through the vein is routed to an adjacent vein.

What happens afterward?

After your treatment, we put you in compression stockings that you’ll wear for two weeks during your waking hours. This compression improves your results, so most veins need only one injection to disappear.

Fall’s a great time to show those annoying spider veins who’s the boss. Call us at (503) 297-3440 and let’s get to work getting your legs ready for next summer!


Treating Spider Veins with Sclerotherapy

An unfortunate part of aging is the appearance of blue, purple, and red squiggly lines on our legs called spider veins. They are small, thin blood vessels visible just beneath the surface of the skin. These unattractive twisting and turning veins can be seen in shapes and forms that resemble a spider’s web.

At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we can effectively treat spider veins on the legs making them disappear with sclerotherapy.

What causes spider veins?

The veins are the body’s highway system to transport the blood back to the heart once its oxygen has been delivered throughout the body. The reason veins are blue in color is that the blood is deoxygenated. Veins have valves in them whose job is to prevent backflow. But as we get older those valves can fail, and the surrounding support tissues become somewhat weaker, so they don’t keep the same pressure on the veins. The result is a backup, or pooling, of blood in the vein. As the vein widens with the pooling blood, it becomes visible through the surface of the skin.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy was developed in the 1920s to treat spider veins, and it is still the most effective method for treating spider veins on the legs. During sclerotherapy, a sclerosing solution is injected into the targeted vein. The sclerosing solution causes the vein walls to become irritated and to close up. This makes the vein appearance vanish, or significantly diminish, and the body eventually absorbs the now-unused vein. Any blood that was running through the vein is simply re-routed to an adjacent vein.

While the procedure known as sclerotherapy hasn’t changed since its inception, the sclerosing solutions have. Newer options make the process far more comfortable for the patient. Three years ago, the FDA approved Polidocanol, also known as Asclera, which has made sclerotherapy virtually painless with minimal side effects.

Sclerotherapy is most useful for small, superficial red and blue veins. It isn’t recommended for larger, bulging varicose veins. Two to four sessions are typically required to fully eliminate the unsightly veins. We recommend that our patients wear compression stockings for the first few days following the procedure for the best results.

At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, our providers can easily treat spider veins with great success. If you’re dealing with spider veins, we encourage you to consult with our board-certified dermatologists to learn more about sclerotherapy.

Contact us at 503-297-3440 to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.


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