What is sclerotherapy?
We all have miles and miles of blood vessels in our bodies. Fortunately, we don’t usually have to look at them. However, when veins are not functioning properly, they can swell and darken. When they are near the surface, they show through the skin, and the larger ones may even bulge above the surface of the skin. These visible vessels, known as spider and varicose veins, usually appear on the legs and ankles. Sclerotherapy is a safe, effective, and comfortable solution.
There is no surgery and little to no downtime. Sclerotherapy is an injectable treatment, which can be completed in about 20 minutes. The sclerosing formula is injected directly into the problematic vein. Because the formula contains lidocaine (a mild analgesic), treatment is especially comfortable.
You will be able to resume most regular activities immediately following treatment. Your doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings for a few days to a week after sclerotherapy, especially for larger veins. Don’t worry. They do not look like medical attire; compression stocking are available in a wide range of colors, fabrics, and trendy styles.
Sclerotherapy does not yield instant results, because the vein is not actually removed. The sclerosing formula works from the inside out. It triggers a reaction in the vascular walls, which causes the vein to close off gradually. The number of sessions needed will vary, usually from one to six. Smaller veins usually require fewer treatments.
Results develop gradually over the course of several weeks or months. You should see the treated vein slowly lighten and become progressively less visible until it fades away. Some people worry about the safety of eliminating a vein. This is not a concern for two reasons. First, your body has an abundance of veins – far more than it needs. When a vein is gone or closed off, the blood naturally reroutes to healthy veins. Additionally, spider and varicose veins are not functioning properly; they are accumulating blood rather than moving it, as they should. Therefore, removing the extra veins that form from standing all the time (think teaching positions or doctors) and pressure (think crossing your legs – grandmother was correct), can actually improve circulatory health.
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Dr. Downie has many delighted patients from Montclair, Glen Ridge, and other area communities who can now show off their legs with pride, thanks to sclerotherapy. In fact, the doctor herself is one of those patients! If you want to feel confident wearing shorts, call image Dermatology® at (973) 509-6900 and schedule a consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for sclerotherapy.