Erasing Spider Veins with Sclerotherapy

UVA Radiology Inside View blog header image showing a women's leg with spider veins

When the weather is warmer and you’re wearing shorts, you want to look and feel your best with smooth, unblemished legs. Veins are an important part of the vascular system—but most people don’t want to SEE their veins. Red and purple spider veins can cause people to feel self-conscious or embarrassed about their appearance. Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that reduces the appearance of spider veins, helping you to feel more confident in your own skin.

What Are Spider Veins? 

Spider veins occur when blood pools in the small capillaries, or superficial veins, just under the surface of the skin. They were given the name spider veins because they appear as a red, purple, or blue “spider web” of veins underneath the skin. 

Although the exact cause is unknown, the risk of spider veins increases with a genetic history, obesity, trauma, aging, or fluctuations in hormone levels, especially during pregnancy or menopause.

While spider veins are somewhat similar to varicose veins, they are not usually accompanied by deeper circulation issues since they only involve superficial veins. They can, however, sometimes cause an itching sensation or pain. Nevertheless, the most common complaint with spider veins is their unsightly appearance, causing those with them uneasiness about the appearance of their legs.

How Sclerotherapy Erases Spider Veins 

Sclerotherapy is a safe, simple, outpatient procedure. Many people are in and out of their appointment in just an hour. During this procedure, your provider will inject an irritant solution directly into the vein with a very small needle. This solution causes the vein to become inflamed and collapse, forcing blood to be channeled through healthier nearby veins. Your body will eventually reabsorb the spider veins so that they are no longer visible on the surface of the skin.

What to Expect During and After Sclerotherapy  

During the procedure, you will be positioned comfortably with your legs slightly elevated. Your care provider will cleanse the injection site with alcohol. You may experience a slight pinch while the needle is injecting the solution. However, most patients say they can barely feel the needle at all. When your provider has finished injecting your spider veins, they will cover the injection site with cotton swabs and bandages to prevent any bleeding.  

After the procedure, you will be able to resume your normal activities. Your provider may ask you to wear your bandages for at least a day, and compression stockings for 5 to 10 days. During the recovery period, you will also want to avoid any sun exposure that can lead to dark spots on the legs (click here for 4 reasons why winter is the best time for vein treatment). 

Why Choose Sclerotherapy to Erase My Spider Veins? 

Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that is highly effective and will cause very little disruption to your daily life. You can typically expect to see results in 4 to 6 weeks— so you can look and feel your best, and be your most confident self in no time!

For patients near Charlottesville, Virginia, call 434.924.2722 to schedule a consultation at our Charlottesville Vein Clinic. For patients in Northern Virginia, call 703.712.6062 to schedule a consultation at UVA Vein and Vascular Care Gainesville

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