Sclerotherapy - Golden Coast Dermatology Orange County


Cosmetic sclerotherapy is a procedure where a small injection of a liquid detergent or sclerosant is used to remove small unattractive spider veins. It is a very common and highly effective cosmetic procedure. Some vein conditions with symptoms are more than just cosmetic and have medical indication for treatment.

We are able to diagnose medically in cosmetic vein conditions. Then based on your specific situation, we can recommend appropriate medical and cosmetic treatments to get your legs and confidence back. Call us today at Golden Coast Dermatology, Skin Cancer, and Vein Center.

What is cosmetic sclerotherapy?

Cosmetic sclerotherapy is a treatment for unsightly veins on the legs. These veins can be blue or red and often about the size of 1 mm. These veins are known by a variety of names such as spider veins, telangiectasias, and small varicose veins. These veins appear most commonly around the knees and ankles. They are connected to larger veins called reticular veins deeper in the leg.

Cosmetic sclerotherapy is different from medically indicated foam sclerotherapy. When used for cosmetic purposes, the medication is in liquid form. We often use polidocanol ( Asclera) or sodium tetradecyl sulfate, “STS” (Sotradecol). These agents can also be used for medically indicated foam sclerotherapy. When used for larger veins as a part of medically indicated procedure, air is mixed with the agent to increase our ability to treat larger veins and is placed into the veins with ultrasound guidance. This is not needed for the very small veins treated with cosmetic sclerotherapy.

What is a treatment with cosmetic sclerotherapy like?

When you arrive for treatment you will be placed in a gown and shorts. The cosmetic sclerotherapy agent such as polidocanol (Asclera) is prepared. The leg is sterilized and the unsightly veins are identified. The cosmetics solution is carefully injected into the spider veins with a very tiny needle. The medication causes the vein to close upon itself. With these vessels sealed, blood is directed to healthier things deeper in the legs and the damage vein is reabsorbed by the body. After the procedure we will help you place on compression socks. These compression socks should be worn as much as possible for the week following the procedure.

Does cosmetic sclerotherapy hurt?

Usually not. While older medications used for sclerotherapy such as hypertonic saline caused a burning sensation when injected, new medications do not typically have that unpleasant sensation. We primarily use polidocanol ( Asclera) or sodium tetradecyl sulfate, “STS” (Sotradecol) for our sclerotherapy. When injected with a very tiny needle these agents are virtually painless.

Does sclerotherapy have medical indications?

Yes. Often cosmetics spider veins are found in people who also have an underlying medical condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. Approximately 60% of Americans will develop chronic venous insufficiency.

Symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency include:

As a part of our vein care, we examine patients for underline chronic venous insufficiency. While cosmetic treatment is highly effective, if there is an underlying chronic venous insufficiency and large vein damage, this should be addressed as well. By treating the entire venous system for both medical and cosmetic indications, we are able to help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes.

When should I see someone about my leg veins?

If you have unsightly veins that are hurting your confidence or ability to wear your favorite summertime clothing, we are able to help. We have a variety of cosmetic therapies for veins including cosmetic sclerotherapy and cosmetic lasers. When indicated, we are also able to screen for underlying chronic venous insufficiency and utilize advanced, minimally invasive medical therapies with laser ablation and foam sclerotherapy.

A combination of treatments is often best to achieve maximum results. We are able to assess your particular situation and recommend a variety of advanced treatments appropriate for you.

Why should I get my veins treated at Golden Coast Dermatology, Skin Cancer, and Vein Center?

We love seeing our patients get their quality of living improved and their confidence back. Over 60% of Americans have chronic venous insufficiency and many of them don’t even realize there are treatments available. We love using advanced medical treatments such as lasers in combination with cosmetic sclerotherapy to see our patients legs restored in just a matter of weeks from beginning their treatment plan.

Our physician Dr. William James Tidwell is board certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic medicine. He also completed a year long fellowship under renowned vein surgeon Dr. Leland Housman at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. Dr. Housman is a pioneer in vein therapies by performing and curing more patients with minimally invasive vein treatments than anyone else in the nation. 

Call us today or make an appointment online to see how we can get the health of your legs and veins restored.

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