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.

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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 ® P.C. 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 ® P.C. 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.

Dr. Jeanine Downie is an experienced and popular dermatologist in Montclair. She possesses extensive experience and training in all aspects of dermatology, including cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. Dr. Downie provides modern and cutting-edge dermatology treatments to everyone in your family in a professional, competent and compassionate manner while ensuring that your individual and unique needs are met. Having received rigorous academic training, she completed her residency in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and also served as Chief Resident. She continues to upgrade her skills set and share her knowledge through professional affiliations and lecturing assignments on behalf of several renowned medical societies such as The Skin Cancer Foundation and The American Academy of Dermatology, among others. She also frequently interacts with the public through popular television shows such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, and The Dr. Oz Show, to name a few.

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