Spider veins, also referred to as telangiectasia, are networks of red, blue or purple lines that resemble a spider’s web in some cases. The veins frequently appear on the lower legs, but can also be seen on the thighs, abdomen and face. Causes of spider veins vary and include sun damage, venous insufficiency, skin trauma and hormonal fluctuation. Heredity is also thought to play a role in the development of spider veins.
Sclerotherapy administers injections of a sclerosing agent directly into the spider vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing vein walls to seal closed. The treated vein is eventually reabsorbed by the body and blood is rerouted through healthy veins nearby.
Results of sclerotherapy for spider veins may be seen right away, but typically continue to improve in the days following the procedure. Since sclerotherapy completely eliminates the spider veins in question, it is considered a permanent treatment. However additional spider veins can form in the same area, necessitating additional treatment in the future. Sclerotherapy continues to be one of the most effective and most popular means for eliminating unsightly spider veins today.