Debunking myths about sclerotherapy
You have miles and miles of blood vessels in your body, but you certainly don’t want to look at them. They are located far enough below the skin that you normally don’t have to. However, enlarged or broken vessels can become visible – and quite embarrassing. This occurs most often on the face, or on the legs, ankles, and feet. Facial veins, which may be spider veins or broken superficial vessels, are usually best treated with light therapy. Those appearing on the lower extremities tend to be larger spider veins or varicose veins. They are typically corrected with an injectable treatment called sclerotherapy. Unfortunately, some people avoid this gentle and effective treatment due to some common misconceptions.
Discomfort during and after the procedure
Historically, the sclerotherapy procedure was known as quite uncomfortable, often causing leg cramps and lingering uncomfortable symptoms. However, today’s sclerosant formulas are very effective but much gentler. The product that we use here at image Dermatology® contains a small amount of numbing lidocaine. Dr. Downie can personally testify to the efficacy and comfort of the procedure, as she uses sclerotherapy on her own legs.
The sclerotherapy process is fast, and efficient with minimal discomfort. Your practitioner determines the ideal location, and then injects the formula directly into the problematic vein using a very fine needle. You will be able to return to most normal activities right away, and the vein should gradually fade over several weeks.
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Longevity of results
You may have heard that sclerotherapy is a temporary solution, and your spider veins will return. In reality, this procedure has an excellent success rate, and it eliminates the treated vein. The sclerosant causes a reaction in the vascular wall that results in the vein sealing itself, and gradually being dissolved and dispersed by the body. However, it cannot stop new spider veins from forming. People often assume that a new vein is a recurrence of a previously treated one.
Most people who have spider veins are likely to develop new ones. Without treatment, the number of visible veins, and the embarrassment that they cause, will continue increasing. However, if you have sclerotherapy and then new spider veins appear in the future, those can be corrected with additional sessions, keeping your legs beautiful.
Don’t let myths, misconceptions, or uncertainties prevent you from seeking help. We are always happy to answer questions and discuss your concerns. Just call image dermatology® at (973) 509-6900 and schedule an appointment. Our state-of-the-art office is located in Montclair, proudly serving residents of Glen Ridge, Essex Fells, and other area communities.