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Sclerotherapy — For those people dealing with the unwanted appearance of spider veins on their legs, confidence and self-esteem can be a daily struggle. Spider veins are enlarged blood vessels which appear red or blue through skin. Dr. Bernard Gasch explains how the cosmetic dermatology procedure known as sclerotherapy can effectively treat these unattractive veins on legs.

“Spider veins are an extremely common problem, and although they can develop anywhere on the body, they most commonly appear on the legs,” says Dr. Gasch, “There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of spider veins, including genetics, pregnancy, changes in hormones, and weight gain.”

“While spider veins are not normally known to cause significant physical health issues, some patients may experience leg pains as a result, especially whenever they have to stand for a prolonged period of time.”  Dr. Gasch continues, “spider veins are mainly a source of embarrassment.”

Dr. Gasch, who specializes in general and cosmetic dermatologic procedures, states that sclerotherapy is still the most effective treatment for spider veins. “Sclerotherapy has been used to treat the appearance of spider veins for many years. The actual procedure involves injecting a certain solution into the vein which causes the walls of the vein to become damaged, resulting in the closure of that vein over a short period of time.”  Dr. Gasch explains that although the actual procedure of sclerotherapy has remained similar for decades, the solutions used in sclerotherapy have greatly evolved over time, resulting in much less discomfort than previously.  “Gone are the days of using saline solution for sclerotherapy,” says Dr. Gasch.  “Three years ago, the FDA approved Polidocanol, also known as Asclera, which has resulted in virtually painless slerotherapy with minimal side effects.

In further explaining sclerotherapy, Dr. Gasch states that the procedure is most effective for small more superficial red or blue veins, not for larger bulging varicose veins.  Dr. Gasch reiterates that the treatment does not require any anesthesia and that patients can return to their normal activities within a few days. Dr. Gasch does recommend that his patients wear compression stockings for the first few days following the procedure, in order to improve the results. In addition, many patients will need 2 to 4 treatments to achieve their desired outcome.

Dr. Gasch concludes that “no one should feel like they have to live with or feel embarrassed about having spider veins. Spider veins are easily treatable with sclerotherapy and we have seen great success with it. My patients report a huge improvement in both their appearance and confidence level following their treatments. I encourage anyone dealing with spider veins to consult a board-certified dermatologist in their area who has experience in treating leg veins to learn more about sclerotherapy.”