Sclerotherapy is the primary treatment for spider veins and is very effective. Despite the simplicity of the procedure, there are few good tips to follow post procedure to ensure the best outcome:
Is there any benefit to topical agents post-sclerotherapy?
- Stay active! Take frequent walks during the first few days to encourage proper new circulation
- Wear compression stockings as directed by your vein doctor. Studies demonstrate improved cosmetic results with at least 1 week of compression post-treatment
- Avoid long, hot baths, whirlpools and saunas
- Avoid strenuous exercises for 1 week following injections
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight and stay out of the tanning bed. Use proper sun protection with SPF >50 for the first few weeks.
We do not routinely prescribe topical agents after treatment, however there are certain instances to consider a trial. Sclerotherapy is injected into spider and varicose veins as a chemical irritant. However this can be associated with hyperpigmentation especially in larger veins where the sclerosant can trap blood inside the collapsed vein. Blood contains hemosiderin which can leak out of the treated vein into the surrounding tissue. Oxidation of these pigments can cause bronzing of the skin (hemosiderin staining), which can last up to 12 months. It’s difficult to predict who will be prone to staining, however with proper technique, the occurrence can be minimized. For this reason, it is important to wear compression stockings post-treatment and follow up as recommended with your vein specialist. During your visit, your doctor will also be able to determine if any topical agents are advisable. Most commonly, medications containing hydroquinone have been prescribed for skin lightening directly targeting melatonin producing skin-cells. The medication is for short-term use only and is generally well tolerated, though efficacy is not proven. Any potential side effects of hydroquinone-containing medications should be discussed with your treating physician. Exfoliants such as chemical peels can also be considered but carry a risk of causing inflammation and potentially further pigmentation.
What about natural substances?
More recently, a natural fade substance, Sclerolucent was developed by VenaSmart that combines Alpha Arbutin, Jojoba Oil, Squalane and Sodium Hyaluronate in a proprietary non-hydroquinone skin brightening blend. Sclerolucent can reduce hyperpigmentation and fade bronzing and skin discoloration while nourishing and conditioning the skin.
Should I purchase over the counter creams or pain relief medications?
Although there is little downside to trying alternative treatments, we still recommend that you discuss any new treatment with your vein specialist first.
This article was contributed by Dr. Alissa Brotman-O’Neill. Dr. Brotman is recognized as one of the top varicose vein doctors in New Jersey. Dr. Brotman uses the latest innovations in vein management including radiofrequency ablation (VNUS), endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), and also VenaSeal for management of vein disease.
If you are looking for a vein treatment center
in New Jersey, contact us for details on how you can see Dr. Alissa Brotman-O’Neill in NJ.