Spider veins might not cause any long-term health issues, but they can sure make you feel self-conscious. The blue or red veins appear just beneath the surface of the skin and often develop on the face or legs. Fortunately, spider veins can be relatively easy to treat, using a method called sclerotherapy. Understanding the benefits and potential disadvantages of the treatment can help you decide if it’s the best option for you.
One of the pros of the sclerotherapy treatment is that it isn’t surgery and doesn’t require a lot of preparation or a lengthy recovery. The treatment involves injecting a special solution into the veins, which causes them to collapse and fade from view. According to the Office on Women’s Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, the treatment can be performed at a doctor’s office and doesn’t require any type of anesthesia.
Another advantage of the therapy is that it has minimal impact on a patient’s life. A course of treatment can be over and done with in less than an hour. There’s no need to rest up or recuperate after the injections, and many patients find that they are able to return to their regular activities immediately.
Cons of Sclerotherapy
No treatment is perfect, and not every treatment is right for everyone. There are some disadvantages to sclerotherapy. One potential con of the treatment is that it doesn’t necessarily work on all patients or on all types of veins. Typically, it’s recommend for spider veins and for smaller varicose veins. People with very prominent or ropey veins often see better results from more invasive procedures such as laser treatments or surgery.
Side effects are also possible after treatment. It’s not uncommon for a person to have some swelling, bruising or redness at the site of the injection. Usually, those effects fade after a few days. According to a review of studies published in Informed Health Online in 2012, other side effects from the treatment can include scarring and discoloration of the skin. The stronger the concentration of the solution, or sclerosant, injected into the veins is, the greater the risk for discoloration or scarring.
For many people, the pros of the treatment outweigh the cons. Scheduling a consultation with a vascular surgeon can help you understand your treatment options and help you choose the one that will provide the best results for you.