What conditions does sclerotherapy treat?
Sclerotherapy being performed on varicose veins in foot.
Sclerotherapy may help to reduce the appearance and symptoms of varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy is most often used to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins are also known as chronic venous insufficiency.
Varicose veins occur when the veins swell and bulge, usually in the legs. This is due to weak vein walls that, in turn, weaken the vein valves. As a result, blood pools up the veins, causing them to swell and look different.
Varicose veins may be painful and can cause skin issues, including rashes. By shrinking the veins, sclerotherapy reduces the effects of vein damage, making varicose veins less visible and less painful.
Sclerotherapy is also used to treat some other conditions, including:
Malformed lymph vessels. These are vessels that carry lymphatic fluid or lymph, which helps the immune system fight infections.
Hemorrhoids. Sclerotherapy may be used when other treatments fail. Hemorrhoids occur when blood vessels, surrounding the rectum, swell and become irritated, causing pain and making bowel movements uncomfortable.
When to consider sclerotherapy
Not everyone who has spider veins or another condition that can be treated with sclerotherapy needs to have the procedure. People should discuss their symptoms and treatment options with their doctor to decide if it is necessary.
Other treatments may be more affordable and less invasive. Hemorrhoids, for example, often respond well to nonprescription treatments. This can include lifestyle changes, such as eating more fiber and not straining when having a bowel movement.
People with spider veins should consider sclerotherapy when:
- the veins are painful
- the legs are sore or feel heavy
- the skin on the legs or feet is patchy or dry
- there is a rash near the veins