Tiny red or purple vessels of the lower extremities are also known as varicose/spider veins, and these are best treated with sclerotherapy. During this in-office procedure, a sclerosant is injected, using a thin needle, into the target vessel causing it to become inflamed and eventually heal closed, preventing further engorgement with blood. Compression stockings are worn for 2 weeks afterwards to ensure success. We use a thigh-high, toeless variety, so that the treatment is comfortable for patients year-round. Depending on the extent of the varicosities, multiple treatments may be required.
Risk factors for the formation of varicose veins include genetics, female gender, pregnancy, age, obesity, and occupations that involve prolonged standing. Thicker, more “ropey” varicose veins may be the result of an underlying incompetent vessel. When valves within a vein cease to function properly, blood refluxes (flows) in the opposite direction, leading to pressure buildup within the vein, causing further distention. Associated symptoms; such as aching, burning, fatigue, itching, cramps, restless legs and swelling; may occur. If you have varicose veins or symptoms suggestive of underlying venous disease, a noninvasive imaging test (duplex ultrasound) can be performed to delineate the extent of your disease and help decide the most appropriate treatment.
At Perfect Skin Dermatology, we use various sclerosant solutions, depending upon the size of the vessels receiving treatment and individual patient preference. We find that the results from sclerotherapy are superior and long-lasting and continue to outperform results appreciated with external, non-invasive laser devices.