Visible leg veins usually exist in the form of spider and vericose veins. They are considered to be unsightly in appearance and many people undergo sclerotherapy to get rid of them.
A saline solution called sodium tetradecyl sulfate has been used as an injection to “sclerose” visible blood vessels. The solution damages the interior cell lining (endothelium). Platelets and various forms of debris gather at this site of damage, forming a clot. This renders the tissue as unusable waste. After being broken down, the circulatory system carries away the remnants of the blood vessels.
Newer Sclerotherapy InjectionVersus Older Saline Injections
A newer injection called Asclera is now available. It surpasses the safety and performance capabilities of sodium tetradecyl sulfate in many ways:
1) Because it is not made of saline, Asclera does not sting once it is injected
2) Also Asclera is safe in situations where it is inadvertently injected outside the blood vessel
3) Asclera does not entail the risk of hematomas
4) Asclera does not precipitate skin irritations caused by sun exposure
5) According to the FDA, Asclera outperforms saline injections by about a 20% effectiveness margin
6) Asclera can also treat smaller blood vessels around 1-3mm in diameter
Contraindications For Using Asclera
Asclera should not be used for the following types of individuals:
- Those who have a blood clotting disorder
- Individuals who are allergic to the injection
- Women who are pregnant or nursing
When Sclerotherapy Cannot Treat Leg Veins
While both Asclera and sodium tetradecyl sulfate can address vericose veins, there are also certain restrictions. This is caused by high pressure blood vessels which may be attached to the veins that are targeted for removal. These attached blood vessels may be close to the skin’s surface, or more central in their location.
If they are situated more centrally, even surgery may not be an effective option for their removal. However, sclerotherapy will be more likely to be successful when attached vessels are near the surface.
Ultrasound can be used to determine the location of the attached blood vessels.
Discussing Leg Vein Removal Options With Your Doctor
Many people with leg veins assume that nothing can be done to get rid of them. However there are solutions such as Asclera, saline injections, laser and surgery.
Instead of feeling the need to hide leg veins by wearing long pants all year round, discussions with a board certified physician may be the best way to determine the right treatment.