Sclerotherapy Vein Reduction
Let Your Beautiful Legs Reappear!
About Sclerotherapy Vein Reduction
Sclerotherapy was originally devised to treat the legs, but it can also be used on veins in the chest, arms, back and even on the face.
Sclerotherapy involves repeated injections of a proprietary solution into the veins. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. Over time, what remains of the vein is absorbed into the body.
Satisfactory results are seen with a few treatments in some cases, to several treatments in others. How many treatments you need depends on the severity of the condition. Within a few weeks after commencement of treatment, the veins begin to disappear. Full results may take up to several months, however.
During the transition time, there may be reddish blotches or patches of pigmentation or discoloration. Complications are rare. Most of the discoloration will disappear within 12 months following the procedure.
Before & After
*Individual Results May Vary*
Frequently Asked Questions
Laser Vein Therapy
- Don’t sunbathe
Excessive sun exposure reduces the collagen layer of the skin, which makes the skin lose its normal elasticity. Sunbathing also affects the treatment itself. Darkly pigmented skin absorbs a portion of the energy that should be striking the vein, which will lessen the desired results. Even so, our laser can address all skin types.
For best results with your laser vein treatment, please refrain completely from sunbathing for a minimum of two weeks before your treatment and one week afterward. If exposed to strong sunlight for any length of time during your treatment schedule, wear tightly woven fabrics that have ratings as a sunscreen. These types of fabrics will protect the treatment area from exposure to the sun.
After you have received your laser vein treatment, it’s a good idea to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on the treated area if the skin will be exposed to the sun.
You can ask for a topical anesthetic to be used during the procedure. If you choose this option, it will take some time for the anesthetic to penetrate the skin and become effective. Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled time if you wish to have an anesthetic.
- For facial spider vein treatment
For facial spider veins, there are a few special instructions. Women: DO NOT put on any make-up, lipstick, or moisturizers after cleansing your face. Men: Please shave.
- For leg vein treatment
If leg veins are being treated, there are two simple instructions:
- DO NOT apply any lotions or moisturizers on the day of treatment
- Shave the area the night before.
- For veins in the chest, arms or back
When treating veins in these areas, the area must be shaved prior to treatment.
- Moisturize your skin
Dry skin may diminish the efficiency of laser treatments. Please keep both the area to be treated and surrounding areas moisturized at all times. However, on the day of treatment, DO NOT use a moisturizer or apply oil of any kind to any area that will be treated.
- Cut down on smoking
Smoking impairs healing due to compromised circulation and low vitamin C levels in the body. We understand it’s difficult to give up smoking totally, but by reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke daily, you can improve your body’s ability to heal.
2 days before your scheduled treatment avoid any of the following:
- Aspirin or other blood thinning drugs, herbs and supplements including Vitamin E and gingko biloba.
- Arthritis medicine (e.g. Ibuprofen) or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications may increase bruising.
- Alcohol: Alcohol impairs circulation, which can affect healing.
- Smoking: Smoking depletes the body of vitamin C, which will impair healing.
Do not apply any creams, lotions, oils, or self-tanning lotions to your legs.
- One and a half (1½) hours before your appointment, eat a light meal or snack. This will prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping suddenly, making you hungry during the procedure.
- Bring loose-fitting shorts or a leotard to wear during the procedure. If your legs are being treated also bring a long skirt or long loose-fitting slacks to wear after the procedure and a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
- Please inform us if you are taking birth control pills or estrogen.
Laser Vein Therapy
With laser vein therapy, the treated areas may turn red to dark purple. This may last for several days. Here are some recommendations to speed up healing.
- For leg vein treatment
If your leg veins are being treated, you may need to wear compression hose; your nurse will instruct you accordingly. No other bandages or care is necessary.
- Take a break from exercise
Even if you are an athlete, it’s important to avoid strenuous exercising or heavy lifting after Laser Vein Therapy for a minimum of 24 to 48 hours.
- No heat please
Heat causes an expansion of the blood vessels, which brings in extra circulation to the area. After laser vein treatment, extreme heat should be avoided. Let the area heal on its own and do not indulge in any hot baths or showers for 24-48 hours afterward.
When to call the clinic
If a blister or crust develops, you should call the clinic. In these cases, an antibiotic ointment will be applied to the area.
Use a sunscreen
Sunscreens with at least an SPF 30 should be worn daily to protect the skin for the next two weeks. Direct sunlight on the skin should be avoided until the pink discoloration of the skin has completely healed and the skin has returned to its normal color.
- Immediately following your procedure, it’s important to wear support hose and walk for 10-30 minutes. This is why you need to have loose-fitting slacks/skirt and comfortable walking shoes with you.
- About 24 to 48 hours after the treatment, the compression pads/cotton balls that were placed over the veins are gently removed. Note: If you develop a tape allergy as seen by redness or a rash, simply remove the tape and put on support stockings.
- If you remove the tape prior to 24 hours, try to wear support hose. If sclerotherapy was not performed on your ankles, you may cut the feet off the support hose and wear them like this.
- Maintain normal activities as much as possible. Walk as often as you can and avoid standing in the same position for prolonged periods of time.
- Avoid strenuous physical activities, such as high-impact aerobics, running, and weightlifting for the first 48-72 hours following treatment.
- Avoid hot baths for 2 weeks. Cool your legs with cold water after each shower.
- Avoid sunbathing and ultraviolet exposure for at least one week following treatment.
- Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools for 48 hours following treatment.
- Avoid blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, etc.) for 24-48 hours following treatment.
- If you experience any redness or a small lump, use warm compresses over the area several times a day.
Apply Polysporin ointment (NOT Neosporin) along with warm compresses.
- Avoid flying for 48 hours after Sclerotherapy treatment.
Laser Vein Therapy
With today’s advancements in laser technology, there are very few side effects. Sometimes, redness or swelling can appear after treatment. A cool compress or gel pack may be applied and any redness or swelling should disappear within a few hours.
You may experience itching or raised, red areas or bruising at the injection site. This should disappear in a few days. Brown lines or spots may also appear at the injection site, which usually resolve after a few months. Larger injected veins may become lumpy or hard for several months before resolving.
You may want to take a day off from work on the day you have your sclerotherapy treatment so that you can keep your legs elevated. It’s okay to return to work the next day. Exercise should be limited for a week to 10 days due to the necessity of wearing the compression stockings.
Spider veins are a common development from sun damage and from aging – or some people are genetically disposed to them.
- Certain medical conditions can promote development of thread veins
- Habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol can also exacerbate the development of fine veins
- Sun and changing temperatures can make spider veins appear more prominent
If you are unhappy with the appearance of spider veins or varicose veins on your legs, you may be a suitable candidate for the laser treatment of veins procedure. Before you undergo any sort of cosmetic procedure you should:
- Be of good physical and emotional health
- Have realistic expectations of what laser treatment of veins can achieve for you
However, there are some people who are not suitable candidates for laser treatment of veins. This includes:
- People who are sensitive to light due to hereditary disease or medication
- Patients who have seizures triggered by light
- Very dark skinned individuals, who tend to develop hypopigmentation
- Patients who have tanned (including fake tan) within the previous four to six weeks – laser treatment for veins works best on pale skins
- Patients with large veins
- People with areas of broken skin in the area to be treated
- Patients with blood clotting disorders
- Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes
- Patients with a tendency towards keloid scarring
- Pregnant women
Ensure that before you undergo any laser treatment of veins procedure, you discuss your medical history, any medications you are taking and your expectations fully with your practitioner to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for laser treatment.
Complications arising from laser vein removal treatment are very rare if the treatment is performed by a skilled and experienced practitioner, however, as with any cosmetic treatment, there are risks and certain side effects and complications. Most of these are temporary, though some may turn out to be permanent.
The potential unwanted laser treatment for veins side effects include:
- Sunburn-like, burning sensation
- A ‘cat scratch’ reaction along the length of the vessel
Complications after laser vein removal are rare but may include:
- Thinning of the skin
- Hyperpigmentation (darkening)
- Hypopigmentation (whitening)
- Depression of the skin at the treatment site
These conditions should generally resolve themselves with no long-lasting side effects. Laser treatment of veins is normally safe when performed by a qualified, experienced physician. Ensure that you follow all the advice that your laser treatment of veins doctor gives you, to minimize the possibility of experiencing some of the more serious risks and complications.
There are several types of lasers that can be used to treat varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and face. Although your doctor will decide which type is best to treat your condition, some of the lasers used to treat veins include yellow light lasers, green light lasers, and other intense pulsed light systems.
Before your treatment proceeds you will be asked to put goggles on to protect our eyes from the powerful laser light.
No local anesthetic is normally needed, though you may opt to have a topical anesthetic cream applied prior to the treatment. A cooling gel may be applied to your skin. Some lasers however have a special chilled hand piece which acts to cool the surface of the skin while the beam from the laser penetrates the skin.
During the laser vein removal procedure, the laser, which emits light of a particular wavelength or color, is directed into the skin to target visible veins (blood vessels). It passes harmlessly through the top layer of epidermis of the skin. The blood vessels absorb the light, which results in heating and destruction of the vein by a process known as thermocoagulation.
The dispersed blood cells, in the form of a bruise, are then carried away by the body’s collecting cells, leaving behind normal skin.
As the laser energy is absorbed by the skin, it heats it up, and creates a sharp pinprick, burning sensation. The discomfort level is moderate, and no anesthesia is required.
There is little heating (and therefore minimal damage) to the surrounding skin. Following laser treatment, damaged vessels are absorbed into the body and little or no trace remains of the spider veins or varicose veins.
When the laser passes over the skin you should only feel a small pinch, or a sensation as if someone is snapping an elastic band against your skin. An anesthetic cream can be provided to ease the discomfort. The skin is soothed by cooling both before and after the laser is applied to protect the superficial layers of the skin from heat damage and reduce the discomfort.
There may be some redness or swelling of the skin right after the laser treatment for veins, but this disappears within a few days. The skin also may be discolored, but this will disappear within one to two weeks. Patients can return to normal activity immediately after treatment.
The laser treatment of veins can take anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour, and depending on the size and number of veins, one to five treatments may be needed to achieve the desired results. Treatments should take place approximately every four to six weeks.
Following your laser treatment of veins some redness, a slight burning sensation or bruising may occur. The skin will be cooled to ease these symptoms. Any swelling can be eased by the use of cold packs, and any pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication.
A burning sensation may be experienced for one or two hours after a laser treatment for veins session. Immediately following treatment, spider veins will be darker and more visible. Over two to six weeks, your spider veins usually fade. When larger veins are treated, a tan or brownish pigment may persist for a few weeks or months following treatment. You may notice a temporary ‘greyness’ in the veins, which will pass, and you might notice that some vessels have disappeared immediately.
Avoid alcohol for the first 24 hours after treatment. It’s also best to avoid hot showers and also spicy foods.
You may generally resume most normal activities immediately. However, it is recommended that you avoid strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours after treatment. The use of sunscreen is recommended on any treated areas exposed to the sun for at least two weeks.
After each treatment, you will see a 30-40% improvement in leg spider veins. An average of three treatments is normally needed at around three-month intervals to produce the desired results. Most people find that the majority of the treated veins have shown significant improvement within two to six weeks of treatment. However, your final results may not be apparent for several months.
The number of laser treatment for veins sessions and length of a session depends on the size, location and depth of the vein. Laser therapy is most effective for small and medium size spider veins. Combination therapy, where laser treatment is combined with sclerotherapy (where a solution is injected into the vein through a micro-needle and causes the vein to turn white, and then gradually disappear) can be considered if you have small, medium and large spider veins.