Treatment of Spider and Varicose Veins

Spider and varicose veins are an unfortunate part of many thousands of lives every day. These clusters of raised purple and blue veins can turn every which way down the legs and arms. At times they can be painful and exhausting, and they are always unsightly. Luckily they can be treated safely and effectively at Contour Dermatology. With sclerotherapy, a special sclerosing solution is injected into the unwanted veins; the solution irritates the lining of the tiny blood vessel, causing it to eventually collapse. Over several weeks, the body absorbs the vein and blood is redirected to a healthy vein, restoring proper circulation.

Dr. Jochen treats spider veins at Contour Dermatology

Sclerotherapy is a technique that uses safe medications to cause the vein to be reabsorbed by the body. This re-absorption causes the blood to be rerouted deeper below the tissue. Three types of sclerotherapy are used at Contour Dermatology; Sodium tetradecyl sulfate(STS), Glycerin and Asclera. The first known use of sclerotherapy was in the early 1850’s, however medicine had not become advanced enough to make the procedure safe and effective.

It wasn’t until the mid 1930’s when doctors discovered that the use of STS was a safe way to treat veins. STS is a concentrated saline solution that is a safe and affordable option. This detergent works by interacting with the lipids in the cells that compose the walls of the vein, which causes the vein lining to be destroyed. The vein then clots, and is replaced by healthy tissue.

The blood that once flowed through it, is rerouted deeper under the skin, where it should be. It’s always gratifying when clinical research affirms a direction I take in my own practice. Such is the case with a new solution used in sclerotherapy, or injection therapy, the most common and effective treatment for spider veins on the legs. The sclerosing solution used most often is a saline solution (known as sodium tetradecyl sulfate, or STS).

But a recent study comparing the safety and efficacy of using a glycerin solution versus STS showed that the glycerin solution was more effective. Patients in this study were treated with both solutions – one in each leg. In the legs treated with the glycerin solution, the spider veins cleared faster, and with less pain and fewer side effects. In fact, when the doctor conducting this study followed up with patients after two to six months, he found that the legs treated with the glycerin solution had a greater clearance of spider veins by a margin of 7 to 1 compared to the legs treated with STS.

In the desert, it’s practically shorts weather all year long. Don’t cringe at the thought of wearing shorts or short skirts because of spider or varicose veins; decide instead to do something about them. While a number of factors contribute to varicose veins, they are not only cosmetically unappealing, they also can be painful. And it’s not just women, nearly an equal number of men experience leg vein problems as they age. The Laser Center at Contour Dermatology expertly treats spider veins through laser therapy and larger clusters of spider veins and varicose veins via sclerotherapy or with the VNUS Closure® procedure.

We perform three types of sclerotherapy: foam, glycerin and hypertonic saline sclerotherapy. After an initial personalized cosmetic consultation, we’ll advise you of the best option for treating your leg veins. If you’re ready to eliminate unsightly veins and show off your beautiful legs with confidence, visit The Laser Center at Contour Dermatology. Glycerin is a great option for people with smaller veins.

Glycerin is a sugar based compound that interacts with the cells of the veins, and irritates them. the irritated veins die, and get absorbed by the body, which then reroutes the blood to deeper vessels. Glycerin is an affordable option that is know to have less side effects than traditional methods, such as a reduced risk of ulceration or discoloration. Asclera is is an excellent option for all sorts of veins, from spider veins to reticular veins.

Asclera(Polidocanol)has an anesthetic component, which makes it much more comfortable than other vein treatment solutions. Asclera also has the benefit of having a greatly reduced risk of side effects, such as post-procedure hyper-pigmentation, ulceration, and vein recurrence. With all the options, a very small needle is inserted into the veins and the solution is injected. The vein becomes irritated or damaged, and dies.

Then the body absorbs the vein and replaces it with healthy tissue. Finally, the blood is sent deeper into the tissue, where it should be. Spider and reticular veins do not have to be a permanent part of your life. With sclerotherapy, you don’t have to be afraid to wear your favorite dress, or put on that new bathing suit at the beach. Nearly everyone will see some sort of veins at some point in their lives. Aside from the cosmetic need to reduce the appearance of veins, it can also be medically necessary. Many people feel pain, or experience complications in life due to their leg veins. In cases such as these, it may be possible to have treatment covered by your insurance.

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Dr. Timothy Jochen Medical Director, Contour Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center
Dr. Jochen specializes in Mohs Surgery for skin cancer removal, facial rejuvenation including cosmetic laser technology, Botox® and facial fillers, soft tissue augmentation, leg and facial vein treatment, tumescent liposuction and hair restoration/transplants.
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