Telangiectasias (Leg Spider Veins)


What are spider veins?
Spider veins, known medically as telangiectasias, are dilated blood vessels near the skin surface, most commonly on legs. 


Why do spider veins appear?
Spider veins are related to varicose veins and venous disease in the leg. Both spider veins and varicose veins can be caused by familiar heritage, multiple pregnancies, hormone use, and weight gain.


How are spider veins treated?
Spider veins can be treated with a technique called sclerotherapy. A solution injected into spider veins irritates their inner lining so these vessels stop carrying blood. The body slowly replaces them with scar tissue without harming the circulation.


Who performs sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is performed by vascular surgeons. They can detect circulatory problems that manifest themselves as spider veins and also know better the available techniques. They also can treat side effects caused by scherotherapy.


What solution is used for scherotherapy?
Most commonly, hypertonic glucose is used. In appropriate cases, the use of Aethoxysklerol® makes the treatment more effective.


Does it hurt?
As the needle used is very thin, minimal discomfort is felt during each application. Most people guarantee that sclerotherapy is less painfull than depilation.


How many times does it have to be done?
Everyone responds to sclerotherapy differently. Several injections may be needed for a specific area of telangiectasias. In most people, 50 to 80% of veins are eliminated after a few treatments.


What is the time interval recommended between two sessions?
The same area can be treated again by sclerotherapy in one week.


How many veins can be treated during each visit?
Generally, many veins can be injected in a single session. It is safe to avoid too many injections in order to avoid side effects. People with large number of spider veins may require multiple visits to treat different areas.


How soon will the vessels disappear?
The vessels usually disappear over a period of two weeks to two months. This treatment does not prevent development of new telangiectasias.


Are there certain kinds of spider veins that cannot be treated?
Generally speaking, large and more distant from the surface vessels are more difficult to treat. For these vessels, there are other techniques such as surgery, laser and foam sclerotherapy.


Is there surgery for telangiectasias?
Blue-colored and larger vessels are best treated by surgery. In many cases, telangectasias are fed by larger and deeper veins. These veins need to be removed by small surgery prior to sclerotherapy. Vascular surgeons can tell if a surgery is needed.


What is foam sclerotherapy?
Foam sclerotherapy is very similar to conventional sclerotherapy. It is used to treat larger and deeper veins. In this technique, a more concentrated solution  that resembles a mousse or foam is injected in the vessels. Foam sclerotherapy requires additional care, such as compression bandages. Ask your vascular surgeon about that.


What about laser treatment?
Telangiectasias can be also treated by laser. However, in some cases, laser may be cause pain and spots. Nowadays, laser is reserved for appropriate indications. Ask your vascular surgeon about that.


Do I need to rest after sclerotherapy?
It is not necessary to rest after sclerotherapy. Normal activities can be done after treatment. The only recommendation is to avoid physical exercise in the day of the session.


Can I sunbathe after sclerotherapy?
Sunbathe after sclerotherapy may cause spots. Thus, it is recommended to avoid sunbathe in the legs for at least 20 days after the treatment.

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