Superficial veins, or "spider veins", on the legs, chest, and hands are small dilated surface veins that may be pink, red, or purple. These veins may be hereditary or they may appear after pregnancy, trauma, oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy. Although often troubling to patients, these superficial veins are easily treated with a procedure known as sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a "sclerosing agent" such as glycerin into the dilated vessels which pushes the blood out of the vein and causes the vein walls to swell and close. This results in a lightened color of the vein or, in many cases, disappearance of the vein entirely. The injection is relatively painless due to the very small size of the needle and shallow nature of the veins. Many great laser procedures are popular now for a wide variety of cosmetic purposes, but sclerotherapy remains the best method of treating superficial veins.
At Georgia Skin Cancer & Aesthetic Dermatology, treatment is performed by our highly skilled physician. We recommend that patients refrain from taking Vitamin E, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or aspirin during the week prior to treatment. You may wish to wear comfortable shorts to the treatment session. Pressure bandages may be placed over the injection areas immediately after treatment and it is recommended to wear support hose for five days following treatment to obtain the absolute best results.