Sclerotherapy – Lower limb spider veins

One of the most common problems facing aesthetic medicine is the lower limb spider veins.  An individual with spider veins has an aesthetic problem, not a medical condition or any functional difficulty.

These are very thin, usually invisible, blood vessels whose diameter expands for some reason and they become visible through the skin.

Of course, under dark skin, these veins are less apparent. Therefore, spider veins are an aesthetic problem mostly for people with lighter skin.

Lower limb spider veins are mainly associated with high blood pressure in the venous system of the lower limbs. It is the main reason why the cases of lower limb spider veins increase in pregnant women. The continually growing uterus puts pressure on the big veins of the abdomen and prevents the return of the blood from the leg veins.  Increased blood pressure in the venous system of the lower limbs is not the only cause. Heredity plays an important part. Almost all the individuals desiring to remove spider veins mention a blood relative with the same problem. Other conditions increasing the appearance of lower limb spider veins are: increased body weight and daily prolonged standing. One shouldn’t confuse spider veins with lower limb varicose veins.  A varicose vein is the enlargement of an already large vein of the lower limbs and, as a rule, it is treated surgically.

Everybody seeking treatment for lower limb spider veins, should know that there is no treatment offering permanent results. All treatments do not adress, and there is no way to adress, the causes producing the problem.  If, for example there are hereditary reasons, our DNA cannot be altered to make sure no spider veins appear again. This means that more spider veins will appear on the same spots or on other areas of the limbs.

Based on the afforementioned, everyone interested in understanding the lower limb spider vein treatment should realize that it is inevitably a long term procedure. We can treat the problem and improve the leg’s looks, but we shouldn’t stop here. The treated area needs close monitoring. We should check the legs once a year, and if there are annoying new spider veins, the treatment should be repeated.

For a few weeks after the treatment, you should avoid exposing your legs to the sun (or a solarium), because the treatment usually makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight. It usually takes more than one session to erase spider veins.  Given that the sessions should be 8 weeks apart, and that it usually takes 2-3 sessions to completion, the whole treatment could take several months. Therefore, it is strongly advised that treatments start in the fall.

During sclerotherapy (the safest and most popular treatment for the “mediterranean” skin), we inject a substance that destroys the walls of the spider veins. In the next few weeks, the body gradually absorbs the damaged vessel, clearing the area. Bruises and rash, lasting about a week, usually appear in the injection points.  What you need to do after the treatment, and for the next 5-6 days, is to avoid exercising and very hot baths (e.g. sauna, hamam). Daily, you should apply moisturuzers in the treated area and of course you should avoid sun exposure for a few weeks.