Untangling the Web of Spider Veins
- Posted on: Nov 15 2018
Spider veins are a part of getting older, but they don’t have to be a permanent addition. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we get rid of those ugly spider veins with sclerotherapy. And winter is a good time to do it, so your legs will be ready for shorts and sundresses come next spring.
What causes spider veins?
Like many areas of our body, sagging comes with the passing years. In your legs, your support tissues and muscles aren’t as strong as they once were. This matters, not just for your appearance in the mirror, but more importantly for their role in supporting the veins. Your muscles and support tissues give your veins a helping hand of sorts. Your veins are responsible for returning deoxygenated blood to the heart and lungs. But in the legs, the veins have a completely uphill battle. Your muscles and support tissues help the veins push the blood upward, gently squeezing the veins. But as these tissues weaken with age, they don’t supply support they used to. Plus, the veins can be at fault. The veins have one-way valves in them that prevent blood from backflowing. These valves can begin to malfunction. Plus, the veins themselves can weaken. The combination allows blood to pool in spots or for the blood flow to slow and become inefficient. This is why varicose veins and spider veins form. Their curvy ways are signs that the blood is pooling and otherwise not flowing very well.
How does sclerotherapy remove spider veins?
The best way to remove spider veins is called sclerotherapy. Originally developing in the 1920s, sclerotherapy is a simple procedure. A sclerosing solution (formerly mostly saline) is injected with a very thin needle directly into the spider vein or adjacent to it. The sclerosing agent irritates the vein walls, causing them to collapse. This closes off the vein and immediately lessens its appearance. Then over the next few weeks, the body goes about the process of absorbing the now-unused vein, making it fully go away. Any blood that was routed through the spider vein is instantly re-routed to an adjacent, healthier vein.
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we now use a relatively new sclerosing agent called Asclera for our spider vein treatment. This has proven to be very comfortable for our patients.
Some spider veins disappear with just a single sclerotherapy treatment, while others need from 2-4 treatments to be fully eliminated. Following your sessions, we recommend wearing compression stockings for a few days to help your body start the process of removing the veins.
Winter is a great time to get rid of your spider veins at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery. Call us for an appointment, (503) 297-3440, to make an appointment.
Posted in: Spider Veins/Varicose Veins