If you dread the approach of warm weather because you're embarrassed by your varicose veins when you wear shorts or a bathing suit, talk to your doctor about sclerotherapy. This procedure has been used for decades to treat small varicose veins, and it's fairly easy to undergo. Here's an overview of having sclerotherapy done.

Why You Might Want Sclerotherapy

Varicose veins, especially small ones, aren't always bothersome physically. They might itch occasionally, but they usually aren't harmful to your health. That doesn't mean you have to live with varicose veins if they bother you for cosmetic reasons. You might think the veins are unattractive, and that could make you feel self-conscious about showing your legs in public. You probably don't want to wear long pants all the time, especially when it's hot outside, so having your varicose veins removed is a good solution.

Sclerotherapy is proven to be effective at removing varicose veins, and it's an easier procedure to undergo than some other types of varicose vein removal. That makes it a good choice when you want to improve the appearance of your legs for more self-confidence.

How Sclerotherapy Works

You have this procedure done in a clinic or doctor's office, although you'll need to see a vein specialist for treatment. The doctor injects a solution into a varicose vein, and this causes a reaction so the vein blocks off and is absorbed by your body. The solution may contain an anesthetic agent so the treatments don't cause pain or discomfort. Your doctor can treat multiple veins during a single session, and it's possible you'll need a followup treatment to get rid of stubborn veins.

It takes time for the results to be apparent. The larger the vein, the longer it takes for it to disappear. Tiny veins could be gone in weeks while larger ones could take a few months to be absorbed by your body. There's no concern about losing blood supply due to sclerotherapy since blood will flow through nearby veins and continue to nourish the tissues in your legs.

What To Expect After Sclerotherapy

Since there is no incision and no surgery involved, you can resume activity right after your doctor's appointment. However, you'll need to wear a compression stocking for several days and keep the treated areas out of the sun. Your doctor will give you instructions for recovery so you'll know when you can bathe and return to life as normal.

Sclerotherapy gets rid of unsightly varicose veins, but the procedure doesn't prevent new ones from forming. Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent new varicose veins from appearing. If you develop new spider veins or varicose veins in the future, your doctor may be able to remove those too with the same technique.