Fine Touch Dermatology, recognizes that every patient case is different. Instead of working within a one size fits all paradigm, we strive to provide different solutions to solve specific issues. When it comes to removing visible leg veins, we offer laser treatments for tiny blood vessels and sclerotherapy for spider and varicose veins that are larger than 3mm.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is the use of injections to get rid of leg veins. The chemicals will “sclerose” (damage) the inner endothelium tissue that lines the blood vessels. This causes the tissue to close and become non-functional waste. It becomes subjected to further degradation with the remains carried away by the circulatory system. This results in a clearing of the blood vessels from the skin’s surface.
Asclera For Removing Leg Veins
Conventionally, leg veins have been removed using a saline solution known as sodium tetradecyl sulfate. Fine Touch Dermatology also offers a newer injection known as Asclera (Polidocanol). This drug was approved by the FDA in 2010. Up until then, it was used in Europe for more than forty years.
Although sodium tetradecyl sulfate is quite effective, Asclera offers additional benefits. Some of these include:
(1) Less stinging once injected
(2) Reduced risk of side effects (e.g. regrowth of blood vessels, irritations and hematomas
(3) Greater performance effectiveness (according to FDA research)
(4) More precision with smaller blood vessels
What Can Be Expected From Asclera Procedures?
Asclera injection procedures may last between 15 to 45 minutes. There is no required downtime and patients can get back to work and their normal daily routines after their session. However, certain precautions are advised following the treatment. Patients should avoid the following:
(1) Hot baths or sauna like conditions
(2) Long airplane travel periods
(3) Extensive sun exposure
(4) Intense exercise
Several weeks will be needed to see full results. Keep in mind that sclerotherapy injections only start the process of degrading unwanted leg veins. The actual clearing occurs from natural processes conducted by your body.
Asclera Versus Saline (Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate)
Patients tend to express a higher level of satisfaction from sclerotherapy treatments using Asclera. Here is a summary of benefits and advantages offered by the newer drug:
(1) Better overall results. An FDA study compared the two injection solutions and Asclera outperformed sodium tetradecyl sulfate by about 20%
(2) Fewer side effects such as:
- formation of new blood vessels (neovascularization)
- hematomas at the injection site
(3) Much safer if the solution is mistakenly injected outside the blood vessels
(4) More precise for blood vessels between 1-3mm
(5) Less painful since Asclera does not sting.
Recommended Blood Vessel Types For Asclera Treatments
(1) Reticular veins in the range of 1-3mm
(2) Spider veins smaller than a millimeter
Some veins which are larger than 3mm wide may be treated with Asclera. But a doctor would need to decide if surgery is a safer option, especially if there are other blood vessels attached which are deeper within the leg. Ultrasound is often used to help determine this.
Preliminary Treatment Sessions With Asclera
Some patients may be at risk for experiencing allergic reactions to Asclera. This may happen if greater amounts than 3ml are given. A very serious form of allergic reaction is Anaphylaxis which may lead to death.
To prevent these types of consequences, doctors will often administer a very small dosage to see how the patient reacts after a week. If no adverse effects are present, then it is usually deemed safe to proceed with an official treatment session.
Patients will not qualify as candidates for Asclera if:
(1) they are allergic to Polidocanol
(2) they are nursing or pregnant
(3) they have a blood clotting disorder
Side Effects of Sclerosants
Both Asclera, saline and other drugs used for sclerotherapy are associated with side effects such as:
(1) hemosiderin staining
(3) post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
(4) blistering (rare)
(5) scars (rare)
(6) ulcers (rare)
Patients should always disclose all forms of medications and even supplements they are taking, even if they are herbal. Examples would include:
- over the counter drugs
- herbal supplements
Duration of Sclerotherapy Treatment Procedures
Each patient case will differ depending how complex the removal process is. However, sessions may last anywhere from 15-45 minutes.
After their treatment with Asclera, most patients can immediately return to work and their normal routines without the need for downtime. However, certain activities should be avoided for about three days:
(1) long flights on airplanes
(2) intense exercise
(3) prolonged sun exposure
(4) hot baths and saunas
Cost Range of Asclera Treatments
Leg vein removal procedures usually fall in the range of $250-$500
Seeing The Results of Asclera
The full extent of results from an Asclera treatment may take a few weeks or even an entire months. Usually larger veins will require several sessions.
Sclerosants only initiate the process of clearing blood vessels. After the clotting process starts, it is the body which breaks down this tissue and clears it away.
If you are interested in learning about removing smaller forms of leg veins, less than 3mm, click here to read more.
Complimentary Consultations At Fine Touch Dermatology
Free initial consultations are offered to patients in the Los Angeles area who are interested in getting rid of leg veins . During your session, you will learn if you will benefit from sclerotherapy, laser or a combination of both.
To sign up, start by clicking the box at the top right corner of the page and fill out our online consultation form. You may also give us a call at 877-337-6424.