incredible-marketing Arrow

Sclerotherapy (Asclera, Hypertonic Saline)

As we age, wrinkles and age spots aren’t the only cosmetic concerns that appear over time. Veins can also start to become visible, showing up as unsightly red and blue networks on the legs, face and additional areas of the body. The good news is that like wrinkles and age spots; visible veins can be treated using a variety of nonsurgical treatments today. One of the most popular vein treatments available at The Maas Clinic, due to its long track record of safety and success, is sclerotherapy. This injectable procedure eliminates a variety of veins, giving you smoother, clearer skin you are proud to show off to the world.

The Veins You See

Sclerotherapy addresses a variety of veins that can become visible over time:

Spider Veins

These veins appear as a network of small red and blue lines on the skin’s surface that might resemble a spider’s web. The networks can be relatively small or grow quite large. Spider veins frequently develop on the legs but may also make an appearance on the face and other areas. There are different causes of spider veins, including:

  • Venous insufficiency
  • Weight gain
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Some medications
  • Trauma to the skin
  • Sun exposure
  • Long periods of sitting or standing 

While most spider veins are merely a cosmetic nuisance, they can indicate a deeper vein condition is occurring. If you have symptoms with your spider veins, such as leg heaviness or fatigue at the end of the day, it is best to schedule an assessment to determine whether additional treatments might be necessary.

Reticular Veins

Also known as feeder veins, these vessels might appear as blue and green lines underneath the surface of the skin. They may appear alone or in conjunction with spider veins. Reticular veins are often caused by a buildup of pressure in the vascular system, but they can also be attributed to heredity in some patients. In most cases, the appearance of reticular veins is cosmetic so eliminating the visible vessel is all that is necessary to achieve an optimal outcome.

Varicose Veins

These are the larger vessels that are typically blue or purple and sometimes bulge out from the skin’s surface like ropes or cords inching up the leg. They are usually found on the lower leg and are caused by damaged valves inside the vessel that affect blood flow and lead to swelling of the vein. This condition is known as venous insufficiency, and it does not improve unless the faulty vessels are eliminated.

Because an underlying condition causes varicose veins, they can worsen over time. You may start to notice symptoms associated with your visible vessels, such as leg heaviness, swollen legs and ankles and cramping at the end of the day. Skin changes can also occur as the disrupted blood flow can lead to discoloration and changes to the skin texture.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is an injectable procedure that addresses spider and reticular veins, as well as smaller varicose veins. During the session, a sclerosing agent is delivered directly into the damaged vessel via injection. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to seal shut. The body reabsorbs the collapsed vein and blood is rerouted naturally through healthy veins nearby. In the meantime, you will see those visible veins disappear, leaving you with clearer, more beautiful skin.

Options in Sclerotherapy

While the process used for sclerotherapy is the same no matter what type of solution is used, Dr. Maas offers different solutions that allow him to tailor his vein treatments to each patient. The two different sclerosing agents used at The Maas Clinic include:

Hypertonic Saline

Saline solutions are the traditional method of eliminating unwanted veins and continue to be the first choice for superficial veins close to the surface of the skin. This solution is not effective on larger veins, which is why Dr. Maas offers an alternative for patients that require treatment for these vessels.

Asclera

Asclera is a newer prescription medication used to treat both uncomplicated spider and varicose veins. This solution comes in both liquid for superficial spider veins and a foam solution that produces greater coverage for smaller varicose veins. The Asclera solution in both forms is very comfortable for the patient and is associated with few side effects.

What to Expect from Your Treatment

Dr. Maas performs sclerotherapy in his office, and most procedures take just a few minutes to complete. Most patients do not need numbing before the injections as they are quick and relatively comfortable. The needle is placed directly into the vessel, and the sclerosing agent is administered. You might feel a slight burning sensation as the solution enters the vein. Once inside, the agent goes to work irritating the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell shut and stopping the flow of blood. Over time, the treated vein will collapse and be reabsorbed by the body.

After Sclerotherapy

You can resume your routine immediately following your sclerotherapy treatment. In some cases, Dr. Maas may recommend you wear compression stockings for a few days after your appointment to encourage healthy blood flow and healing of the vessels. For the first 24 hours, you will also be advised to avoid saunas or hot tubs as these can affect circulation. You also need to keep the treated area out of direct sun exposure for at least two weeks to prevent skin discoloration from occurring around the treatment sites.

You may see some improvement in your veins right away, but in most cases, results will develop in the weeks following your appointment. Many patients require more than one sclerotherapy session to achieve an optimal outcome. Dr. Maas will advise you at your consultation as to the best treatment plan for you. Since the vein is destroyed, the results of sclerotherapy are permanent. However, new threads can develop in the same area over time, particularly if the underlying cause is not identified.

If spider or varicose veins are making you self-conscious about your appearance, help is available. Contact The Maas Clinic today at (415) 567-7000 or contact us by email to find out if sclerotherapy is the right treatment choice for you.

The information about sclerotherapy was reviewed by Dr. Corey Maas. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form on the sidebar.

It is never too late, To be what you might have been.- George Eliot