Foam Sclerotherapy to Treat Spider and Varicose Veins

Smooth and healthy skin has a way of helping us put our best face forward in the world. Not only is smooth skin confidence-boosting, but it can help individuals achieve a more youthful and vibrant appearance overall. When it comes to the development of either spider or varicose veins across the body, many individuals feel that this condition stands in the way of them achieving their ideal aesthetic.

While spider veins generally develop across the legs, arms, and even face as a colorful web of small veins just below the surface, they often aren’t accompanied by any painful symptoms and are more of a visual nuisance for the men and women that develop them over time. Varicose veins often present as bulging or ropey protrusions under the skin that can show up in shades of purple, red or blue and tend to congregate on the legs. Unlike spider veins, it’s much more common for varicose veins to be accompanied by one or more painful symptoms that can interfere with daily life. From cramping and swelling to discoloration and heat at the affected area, those who suffer from varicose veins are often looking for solutions in relation to their physical appearance as well as the general discomfort they may cause.

While the primary solution for reducing or eliminating spider and varicose veins in the past was often painful vein stripping, today, prospective patients are offered up a much longer list of potential options for treatment that are minimally invasive and come with much shorter recovery periods.

The Potential Causes Behind Spider and Varicose Veins

Physicians point to a variety of potential reasons that an individual may eventually develop either spider or varicose veins and potentially a combination of the two. One of the most common reasons behind the development of varicose veins, particularly in the legs, is an underlying venous insufficiency. Veins must work hard to return oxygen-depleted blood from the lower extremities back to the heart before being circulated once more. In order to work efficiently against the pull of gravity, veins are outfitted with one-way valves that help keep blood moving in the right direction. The larger veins in the legs below the surface of the skin move the vast majority of blood from the lower body to the heart, so in the event a valve malfunctions, blood quickly begins to rush towards the legs and pools in these same veins. Over time, this pooling puts pressure on the vein walls and causes them to swell causing varicose veins to develop. Spider veins that occur near these veins may be the result of blood looking for a clear outlet from the problematic larger veins and finding routes near the surface of the skin.

Beyond venous insufficiencies, some physicians point to age, family history, and lifestyle as potential causes for varicose veins. Those individuals that are prone to interrupted blood flow due to standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time are often more susceptible to developing varicose veins. Additionally, drastic hormonal fluctuations, particularly those associated with pregnancy, have been known to lead to the development of varicose veins as well. Spider veins along the face tend to be caused by over-exposure to the sun and are particularly likely on those with fair skin.

The Benefits of Foam Sclerotherapy

Patients looking to reduce the appearance of spider and varicose veins, or eliminate them completely, are more frequently turning to foam sclerotherapy as an option. This outpatient procedure is proving to be highly efficient, safe, and successful and comes with the added benefit of being able to be performed in the doctor’s office over the course of 30 to 40 minutes. Foam sclerotherapy is currently being used to treat smaller spider veins as well as larger varicose veins. Those patients suffering from more severe cases of varicose veins will likely be recommended a combination of sclerotherapy and radiofrequency or laser vein ablation to better provide successful results.

Foam sclerotherapy as a treatment option begins with the physician clearly identifying the site of problematic underlying veins. A local anesthetic is applied and a solution of foam sclerosant is injected directly into the vein. This unique foam substance allows the chemicals that will ultimately irritate and close the vein to attach exclusively to the inside of the vein wall without filtering into the bloodstream. Over time, the problematic vein will collapse and be naturally reabsorbed by the body leaving clearer skin in its wake.


Once the procedure is complete, a physician will likely fit the patient with pressure bandages that can be worn for 12 to 24 hours following the session in order to promote healthy healing and improved blood flow. After 24 hours, a patient will likely be advised to wear pressure stockings for up to two weeks in order to make sure the best results are achieved.

Call Us Today

When you’re considering the benefits of sclerotherapy or are interested in learning more about our many other services, be sure to call Dr. Wright and his team at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center today. We can’t wait to partner with you on your journey to your best self!