Sclerotherapy is often called the Gold Standard treatment for spider veins, but what does that mean? Spider veins are those unattractive, tiny, red, blue and purple veins that pop up near the surface the skin, usually on your legs or face. They get their name from the web-like appearance.

Most people get spider veins as they grow older, but they can be a symptom of a larger problem. Sclerotherapy is the most common vein treatment option. It is safe, fast and effective. Finding out more about what causes spider veins and how this treatment eliminates them will give you an idea of why it is the Gold Standard relied on by most clinics in the treatment of spider veins.

What is Vein Disease?

The veins have an important job in the vascular system. They transport blood up towards the heart to receive oxygen, which often means working against the force of gravity. To make this possible, veins have muscular tissue and valves built into their walls. The muscle contracts, squeezing the veins and the blood moves up towards the heart. When the muscles relax, the veins open up again. The valves close to trap blood in place and keep it from flowing backwards with the pull of gravity.

Vein disease is a malfunction of the valves designed to keep blood from moving towards the feet. As a person ages, the walls of the veins lose some of their elasticity, allowing a few valves to gap open. Blood seeps through the gap and pools in a lower section of the vein, causing it to become engorged. This is a varicose vein.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are smaller versions of varicose veins. The blood is trapped in the tiny veins near the surface of the skin, usually because a larger vein is diseased. The backflow of the engorged vein puts pressure on the tiny vessels near the skin, causing them to pop up, as well.

Why Sclerotherapy is the Gold Standard

Sclerotherapy is a treatment reserved for spider veins and small varicose veins. The vascular surgeons inject a sclerosing solution into the vein, closing it down. Once closed, the body reroutes the blood flow to healthy veins and absorbs the bad one.

For larger veins that are more difficult to reach, the doctor uses duplex ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy to deliver a foam solution that blocks the vein, forcing blood to go another way.

Both treatments take just a few minutes and produce a positive result with almost no pain. It may take multiple trips to the clinic to eliminate all the problem veins.

Why is sclerotherapy the Gold Standard? It’s called that because it works quickly and efficiently to eliminate ugly spider veins.