Columbia Dermatology Center; Jane T. Chew, M.D., Board Certified in Dermatology, Phone 410-772-0707
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Spider veins are a common cosmetic problem that can occur in both men and women, but are most often seen in women. Hereditary factors, pregnancy, hormones and injury are the primary contributing factors in the development of spider veins in the legs. Although these veins carry blood, they are not a necessary component of normal circulation, and therefore can be safely treated and minimized.

Dr. Chew has been successfully treating spider veins with a minimally invasive procedure called sclerotherapy, causing these veins to disappear or become much smaller.

Spider veins, which are dilated small blood vessels having a red or bluish color, appear mostly on the legs and occasionally on the face or elsewhere. They can sometimes cause pain ranging from a dull throbbing pain to a burning sensation. When spider veins are present on the legs, sclerotherapy injections are usually the best treatment. Larger dilated blood vessels called varicose veins may require a more extensive evaluation and surgery by a vascular surgeon.

Sclerotherapy previously was limited to treating narrow spider veins because the chemical solutions injected would be diluted by the blood in a swollen varicose vein. Blood flow then shifts to other healthy veins.

Sclerotherapy eliminates spider veins from the inside out to reduce scarring, avoid general anesthesia and lessen recovery time.

Sclerotherapy is a technique that has been around for decades to treat spider veins and in some instances small and medium- sized varicose veins. This procedure involves the injection of sclerosing solution directly into the small veins. As the solution comes into contact with the blood vessel, it produces a local irritation of the blood vessel causing it to seal off so that blood can no longer pass through the vein. After several weeks, many of the treated vessels will visibly disappear. The procedure causes minimal discomfort and patients can return to their normal activities immediately. The only activity we limit is heavy pounding exercises and/or weight for at least 48 hours after the treatment.


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