Sclerotherapy for Spider and Varicose Veins

The development of spider and varicose veins is fairly common, but that doesn’t make their arrival any less frustrating. For many individuals, spider veins tend to show up along the legs, ankles, and even the face as webbing of red, blue, or purple veins. These veins are close to the surface of the skin and while they don’t normally associate with any other symptoms, they can be in contrast to the aesthetic an individual is hoping to achieve. Alternatively, varicose veins often present as protruding or even twisted veins that bulge from underneath the skin mostly across the legs. For individuals suffering from this condition, varicose veins are often associated with painful swelling. Understanding the cause of both spider and varicose veins is a great first step in determining the right treatment options, such as sclerotherapy for spider veins, when it comes to reducing or perhaps even eliminating their appearance altogether.

Causes Behind Spider and Varicose Veins

Every human body hosts a network of veins that are responsible for moving blood back and forth between the heart. These same veins are fitted with a series of valves that help move blood in the right direction, even when gravity works to pull it down. In the event that a valve malfunctions, blood can begin to flow the wrong direction and easily pools in the extremities. This pooling leads to a buildup of pressure that ultimately presents as either varicose or spider veins. Varicose veins live well below the surface of the skin while spider veins are those that are more superficial in nature.

Sclerotherapy as a Treatment Option

While the procedure of choice, particularly for treating varicose veins, used to be vein stripping, today, patients enjoy a wide variety of far less invasive treatment options to choose from thanks to advancements in cosmetic technologies. Among these options is sclerotherapy for varicose veins. This minimally invasive technique works to collapse problematic veins throughout the body using simple injections of sclerosant. Sclerosant is an irritant within the veins that ultimately causes them to close and collapse. Once collapsed, blood is directed towards healthy veins within the network and the damaged veins are reabsorbed naturally back into the body. Sclerosant is available as both a liquid or foam injection. Some physicians prefer to use a foam version to treat varicose and spider veins as this substance tends to stick exclusively to the inside of the vein and avoids leaking into the blood system. During a treatment session, a cosmetic physician will generally begin with treating those underlying and larger varicose veins and working up towards smaller spider veins. Ultrasound guidance often proves highly effective in helping to located problematic veins below the surface that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Results and Recovery

When treating varicose and spider veins with sclerotherapy, it’s common to have a treatment plan in place that involves multiple sessions. If you’re wondering ‘is sclerotherapy safe?’, worry not! Fortunately, each session averages 30 to 40 minutes and comes with the added benefit of a relatively quick recovery period. Most patients will enjoy noticeable results within 3 to 6 weeks following treatment while those being treated for more severe varicose veins may see results showing up in the months following a session. Most physicians recommend staying away from vigorous activity for at least 3 to 5 days following treatment and it’s likely that compression garments will be recommended for 24 to 48 hours in order to promote healthy blood flow and healing. While some patients report sclerotherapy for spider veins side effects such as bruising or discoloration at the injection site, at most, post-treatment symptoms are minimal.


One of the greatest benefits to patients who elect sclerotherapy treatment for spider or varicose veins is the elimination of a need for general anesthesia. Because injections are small, there’s no need to worry about any of the risks associated with a hospital stay or a lengthy recovery. A quick recovery period also reduces the risk of infection.

Sclerotherapy Cost

Every patient’s customized treatment plan for varicose and spider veins looks different. That means that every final price associated with sclerotherapy treatment looks different too. The final cost associated with this method fluctuates depending on the severity of the condition of the veins being treated and how many sessions are required to achieve healthy, smooth, and younger-looking skin. The team at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center is on-hand to help walk patients through a variety of in-clinic financing options available.

Contact Us Today

When you’re ready to begin your path to change and are wondering if sclerotherapy treatments are right for you, be sure to contact Dr. Wright and his team at the St. Louis Laser Vein Center today. We’re happy to discuss our many services and help you decide what the next step is in eliminating or removing the evidence of frustrating spider and varicose veins.

Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins FAQ

Question: Can you do Sclerotherapy on veins on the hands/wrist/arms?


Yes, you can have sclerotherapy on your hand and wrist. I don’t advise getting sclerotherapy on your arms as you may need those veins for IV or blood draws.

Question: Will I have to avoid hot or cool water after Sclerotherapy?


We recommend a week of avoiding hot tubs or Jacuzzi after sclerotherapy. The reason is based on a study that showed better cosmetic results after sclerotherapy for patients who wore compression stockings. Bathing in hot water has the opposite effect of compression so we ask for patients to refrain from it and wear stockings for a week.