What are the current treatments for leg veins?By Dr. Mary Lupo
By far and away, the most effective and utilized treatment for leg veins is compression sclerotherapy. This involves a liquid injection called sclerosant being injected into the abnormal blood vessel. This sclerosant acts likes a detergent to disrupt the lipids between the cells that line the blood vessel. Over several weeks, the inflammation of these lining endothelial cells results in the occlusion of these dilated, abnormal vessels. Sclerotherapy typically involves several sessions. These sessions are spaced at 4-8 week intervals to allow the sclerosis process to be fully complete. Compression of the vessels immediately after treatment facilitates the closure of the vessels, prevents pain, and prevents any risk of unusual complications like phlebitis. The vessels injected gradually fade over several weeks. The winter is an ideal time to be treated since the stockings look more fashionable, like leggings! The length of time that the stockings must be worn depends on the size of the vessels injected. The recent release of Asclera by the FDA has been a great breakthrough for effective and virtually painless sclerotherapy.
There may be cases that need more aggressive treatment for their leg veins. Ambulatory phlebectomy and invasive laser treatment such as endovenous closure may be necessary for severe cases.
Always review your options with a board certified dermatologist or vascular surgeon before deciding which treatment is best for you.