David A. D’Alessandro,
Spider veins are tiny distended veins in the skin and
are the most common vascular blemish of the legs.
Women especially resent these eye catching red or
blue colored streaks. Varicose veins are not usually
part of the problem but before treatment the
possibility of underlying or coexistent disease needs to
be considered and the doctor will begin with your past
medical history, so please be thorough in filling out
our pink sheet. In addition to physical examination,
Doppler evaluation may be performed to detect
problems not otherwise apparent.
Lasers and injection sclerotherapy are the two usual
treatments for spider veins. Both have been around
for a long time, forty years or more. While laser has
revolutionized varicose vein treatment, its use on the
skin's surface to eliminate spider veins has been met
with less enthusiasm. With unusual exception your
spider veins will be treated sclerotherapeutically.
If this is your first experience with injection
sclerotherapy do not be concerned about pain. Any
discomfort is minimal and well tolerated by everyone.
The very tiny needle pricks are often not even
Do not expect a miraculous disappearance of
blemishes. That's not how it works. Injections are
inflammatory, so redness, swelling and bruising occurs
first. Fading comes as your body heals this
inflammation, the end result being absorption and
replacement by an unapparent scar.
The practitioner's art is to maximize blemish
dissolution while minimizing any skin reaction because
it cannot be avoided for everyone. Matting is a red
blush and staining is a tan discoloration. Both usually
disappear spontaneously as spiders fade but on
occasion may take some months longer and
sometimes don’t ever completely clear. Such
possibility needs be acknowledged before you begin
treatment so if you feel you need further explanation,
Some months later
Eighty percent (80%) of the benefit of a sclerotherapy
treatment experience is realized in about forty days.
The unusual patient will not require a second
treatment. It is impossible to predict how much
treatment will be necessary and how much it will cost
but we can advise that most new patients require
between three and six treatment sessions over a
period of three or four months. A treatment session is
fifteen minutes and sometimes double sessions are
recommended to minimize clinic appointments. We
advise spider vein patients to expect at least seventy
(70%) overall improvement.
Treatment for spider veins is not covered by health
insurance unless your initial evaluation discloses an
underlying condition that specifically is. In some cases,
treatment may qualify as a portion of the deductible
amount for which you may be responsible. Payment
is due as treatment is rendered and may be made by
cash, check or credit card or you can use a payment
plan such as Care Credit.
Do not wait until the week before an event for which
you want your legs to look their best to have
treatment. While you’re in treatment we recommend
daily walking, twenty minutes or more. If bruising is a
particular concern to you, Arnica gel is available for
purchase in our office.
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