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School of Medicine
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for superficial leg veins ("spider veins"). Superficial leg veins are dilated small surface veins that are usually pink, red, or purple and occur on the thighs, lower legs or ankles.
- What causes these superficial leg veins?
Heredity, pregnancy, hormones, weight gain, trauma, long periods of standing and sitting, have been implicated as predisposing factors for superficial leg veins.
- How does sclerotherapy eliminate these veins?
Sclerotherapy is the injection of a solution (glycerin and lidocaine) into the dilated veins. This results in complete or partial disappearance of the vein’s color. Treated veins will appear much lighter (as if you are wearing stockings) and some may disappear completely.
- What are possible side effects of sclerotherapy?
Mild redness and swelling may occur. The veins may look darker during the healing process. They will then fade over 4-6 weeks. You may feel some mild muscle soreness for a few days as if you’ve recently exercised.
Occasionally, tiny brown spots (like freckles) may arise at the treatment sites. These fade spontaneously over a few months' time or a quick laser treatment may be performed. Rarely, closing of one vein can lead to opening of other tiny veins in the same area. These veins resolve spontaneously or with a short sclerotherapy treatment.
- What should I do following my sclerotherapy treatment?
Compression wraps will be applied and they should be worn for a few hours. Then pre-purchased compression stockings of 15-22mmHg are worn for 1 to 2 weeks.
Patients should avoid strenuous exercise for the first 48 hours, but walking is encouraged. Aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided for the first 24 hours after treatment to limit bruising, and hot baths/showers should be limited for the first 48 hours after treatment.
- How many sclerotherapy treatments will I need?
This depends on the number of veins you have and their size. The average is about 2 to 4 treatment sessions spaced 4-8 weeks apart. Maintenance may be needed as new veins may appear over time.
We are located in Green Spring Station, a Johns Hopkins outpatient satellite, in Lutherville, Maryland, just north of the city of Baltimore. The Center is off the Baltimore Beltway 695 (exit 23B) and the Jones Falls Expressway (Rt. 83). Our practice is in Pavilion I, Suite 350. Free parking is available.
Schedule a cosmetic consultation with one of our Board Certified Dermatologists to discuss which treatment plan is best for you.
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