What are varicose, spider and reticular veins?
Varicose veins are large blue, dark purple veins. They protrude from the skin and many times they have a cord-like appearance and may twist or bulge. Varicose veins are found most frequently on the legs.
Spider veins are very small and very fine red or blue veins. They are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like a thin red line, tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face and may cover a small or large area.
Reticular veins can also be known as feeder veins. They are the blue and green veins beneath the surface of the skin. Reticular veins enlarge because of increased pressure in the vein. They can be caused by heredity. You may have reticular veins alone but you may also have spider veins at the same time.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure done by your healthcare provider to treat uncomplicated spider veins and uncomplicated reticular veins. The treatment involves the injection of a solution into the affected veins.
What can I expect after a sclerotherapy procedure?
The procedure itself takes less than an hour and varies, depending on how many blood vessels are treated. The injection may be followed by some cramping or discomfort immediately after, and this is more common when larger veins are treated.
You may feel itching around the injection site, as well as irritation or bruising that lasts for a few days. Large veins may get hard and lumpy, and it could be months before these break up and fade. Brown spots could appear along the vein’s path, but these too will fade with time.
As your body creates new blood vessels in the area surrounding the treated vein, you may note small, visible blood vessels. These will also fade, taking up to a year to vanish.