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Sclerotherapy is a longstanding treatment that uses injections of specialized solutions to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins.

Sclerotherapy Side Effects

The treated veins can become lumpy and hard before actually disappearing. The injection site may develop brown lines, spots, and a tiny network of blood vessels, which all dissolve naturally. Very rarely (as in less than one percent of all cases) blood clots, swelling of the legs, and small ulcers may occur.

Who shouldn't use it: Very large varicose veins do not respond well to sclerotherapy. Women who are pregnant should not undergo the treatment. If you have a known allergy to the solution used in sclerotherapy, another vein removal procedure, like laser removal, may be a better fit.

Speak with your doctor first if you have thrombophlebitis (inflamed veins due to blood clot), pulmonary emboli (blockage of the lung), or a tendency to form blood clots.

Drawbacks: About 10 percent of veins persist even after repeated treatment. If veins recur after treatment, ask your doctor to find the "queen" or "root" vein, which may be causing the condition.

Recovery Time For Sclerotherapy

It would be wise to schedule a ride home, since your legs and hands (if treated) can be sore for up to a day. Aerobic activity and sun exposure should be avoided for up to two weeks after.

After care for sclerotherapy: Patients may wear compression hose for 48 to 72 hours following the procedure. These hose are medical devices that provide support and cannot be purchased from your average drugstore.

Patients should avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory medications for at least 48 hours after treatment. Avoid hot baths, hot compresses, whirlpools or saunas, and direct exposure to sunlight. Short, lukewarm showers are fine.

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