Spider veins can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that can improve appearances. Spider vein treatments are designed to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications or improve the appearance of spider veins. There are four popular treatment options available today. Compression socks are a good option for individuals that want to reduce leg pain, although they can’t improve appearance. Laser treatments, surgery and sclerotherapy all improve symptoms and appearance. Usually, sclerotherapy is the best option because it has the lowest risk and the least amount of pain.
Compression stockings are the most affordable spider vein treatment available. These stockings put pressure on the veins in the legs and can alleviate pain and discomfort. There are three types of stockings available. Support pantyhose offer little pressure and cannot apply pressure to a specific area.
A family physician may use surface laser treatments to treat spider veins. This procedure uses strong bursts of light that are sent throughout the skin. This causes veins to slowly fade, although the process can be very painful even though no needles or incisions are made. Laser treatments do not work for everyone because the laser only works with certain skin types and shades. It’s possible for a single spider vein to require up to five separate treatments and veins larger than 3mm cannot be treated with a laser. Potential side effects include swollen skin and discoloration that can last for months.
Surgery is the most invasive spider vein treatment available and is reserved for large veins. This procedure involves tying veins shut or removing them completely with small incisions. Although it doesn’t affect circulation, surgery can be hard to recover from and involves many risks. The recovery takes up to a month and pain can last for many weeks. Permanent scars, infection and nerve tissue damage are possible risks of the surgery.
Sclerotherapy as a Spider Vein Treatment
By far the most common spider vein treatment is a procedure called sclerotherapy. This treatment usually takes place in the office of a family physician. The doctor will inject a very small amount of liquid chemical into the spider vein, which causes it to swell and then stick together and seal. This stops the flow of blood through the vein and it turns to scar tissue. Within weeks the appearance usually fades completely. No anesthesia is required, although two or three treatments may be necessary for stubborn veins. Compression socks are usually worn afterwards to reduce swelling.
If you are interested in researching treatment options, please call us today and set up a consultation! (775) 329-3100.