Are you considering sclerotherapy for spider veins? Wondering how often you need to get treatment? In this post, we’ll look at the whole topic so you can be clear about the procedure – but we’ll also focus on the frequency of sclerotherapy treatments and the importance of completing the full course of treatment.
Let’s dive in!
1 Understanding Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Spider veins are small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of your skin – often found around your ankles, calf, and thigh area. They can be red, blue, or purple and resemble spider webs or tree branches. Although generally harmless, they can cause you discomfort and make you self-consciousness. They may also indicate underlying venous insufficiency.
However, sclerotherapy is a safe, non-surgical, and minimally invasive treatment option for your spider veins, so don’t worry about having it.
Simply put, a sclerosant is injected into your affected veins. This causes them to collapse, and, over time, the veins are gradually absorbed by your body and fade away.
Always have an open discussion with your healthcare provider regarding the potential risks (see below) and benefits of the treatment.
Before you undergo sclerotherapy, they will thoroughly evaluate your medical history and perform a physical examination. So, make sure to inform them about any
- previous surgeries, or
- medical conditions you have.
They may also advise you to avoid certain medications or supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding or interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment.
What to Expect During Sclerotherapy Treatment for Spider Veins
During each session, your healthcare provider will carefully evaluate your veins and inject the sclerosing solution into the targeted areas.
The number of injections and the amount of solution used will depend on the extent and location of your spider veins.
That means the duration of each treatment session can vary, ranging from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and number of veins your provider is treating.
When Will I See Results?
You may start to see results from sclerotherapy for spider veins within a few weeks to a month after the treatment. However, the full effects may take several months as the treated veins gradually fade. Keep in mind that your legs sometimes will look worse before they look better. This is due to the body’s response to healing.
Everyone is unique, so your results may vary depending on the severity of your spider veins and your body’s response to the treatment.
2 How Often Should I Get Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins?
The frequency of sclerotherapy treatments is also something that depends on the seriousness of your spider veins and the recommendation of your healthcare provider.
But the gold standard for sclerotherapy treatment for spider veins is typically 2-5 sessions spaced approximately 6-8 weeks apart.
This schedule allows for optimal results and ensures that all your affected veins are adequately addressed.
The Importance of Completing Treatment
You need to complete the full course of sclerotherapy treatment to achieve long-lasting results. Some patients may notice significant improvement after just one session, but spider veins can reappear if the entire treatment is not completed. Often times, once a vein is closed, another one close to it will pop up. It’s important to stay on top of treatments to get the best clearance of all veins.
This is a crucial point – please complete your treatment!
There’s a reason for our advice and the gold standard. During the initial treatment sessions, visible veins are targeted and eliminated. However, deeper or hidden veins may not be affected by the initial treatment. These untreated veins are what can serve as a source for the recurrence of spider veins in the future.
That’s why we always say to complete the recommended number of sessions. It ensures all your affected veins are thoroughly treated, which significantly reduces the risk of recurrence. Make sense?
Let’s look now at aftercare… And from one point of view, returning for the full course of treatment is aftercare! But let’s look at some other aspects.
3 Sclerotherapy Aftercare Tips
Proper aftercare following sclerotherapy for spider veins will contribute to the enhanced effectiveness of your treatment and minimize potential side effects (more on this in a moment).
After each session, your healthcare provider may recommend certain guidelines to promote healing and maximize the results. These include:
- Wearing compression stockings following sclerotherapy. This is a widespread aftercare practice. It helps promote blood flow, supports healing by maintaining pressure on the treated veins, reduces the likelihood of new spider veins forming, and helps reduce swelling and bruising. Medical grade compression stockings are typically worn for a few days.
- Avoiding strenuous activities for a certain time after the treatment. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it’s safe to resume normal activities.
- Avoiding exposure of treated areas to direct sunlight for a period after sclerotherapy. Sun exposure can increase the risk of hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration. If you need to be in the sun, apply sunscreen with a high SPF (e.g. 50) to the treated area and cover it with clothing.
- Not taking hot baths, saunas, or hot tubs for at least 48 hours after treatment. Heat can dilate blood vessels and potentially interfere with the healing process.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and engage in regular physical activity. A healthy lifestyle promotes good circulation and overall wellbeing, which contributes to the success of sclerotherapy.
4 The Role of Follow-Up Appointments
Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are crucial for monitoring progress and ensuring the success of your sclerotherapy treatment. During these appointments, your healthcare provider will:
- Evaluate the treated areas.
- Assess improvement in your spider veins.
- Determine if additional sessions or maintenance treatments are necessary to enhance and maintain results.
- Discuss any side effects you experienced first time, before proceeding.
Let’s briefly look at those potential side effects…
Potential Side Effects of Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
While sclerotherapy is generally safe and well-tolerated, there can be potential side effects, including
- temporary discomfort, bruising, and/or pain at the injection site,
- itching along the vein, or
- skin discoloration.
These side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own within a few days or weeks. In rare cases, more severe complications may occur, such as:
- blood clots,
- sloughing (small ulceration at the injection site), or
- allergic reactions to the sclerosing agent.
That’s another reason to return and discuss progress.
Want Expert Guidance on Sclerotherapy for Your Spider Veins?
At Denver Vein, not only do we have qualified, experienced staff and carry out safe in-office procedures – but we’ve also been specializing in vein treatments in the Denver area for over 15 years. We want you to step outside with confidence!
So if you have any questions or concerns about sclerotherapy for spider veins, take that first step and schedule a consultation today.