Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011


Varicose veins are large, swollen blood vessels, usually, in your legs, that can be seen through your skin. Spider veins are their smaller counterparts. Varicose veins can be red, blue, or purple, and spider veins sometimes occur on the face as well. Treatment for varicose veins is usually very effective.

If you suffer from venous insufficiency — which is when the valves in your veins, particularly in your legs, don’t work properly.  If you’re interested in cosmetic benefits, sclerotherapy can reduce or eliminate the appearance of unsightly varicose veins.

Women are more susceptible to varicose veins than men. If you’re pregnant, have had possible blood clots in the past, or the veins affected could be used for future heart bypass surgery, you may not qualify for sclerotherapy.

Who Gets Varicose and Spider Veins

You may have high risk factors for developing varicose and spider veins, but most people respond well to treatment for varicose veins. Risk factors include:

  • A family history of the condition
  • Being involved in a profession that requires a lot of standing, such as a hairstylist, nurse, teacher, or factory worker
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal issues related to puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Undergoing postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy
  • A history of blood clots
  • Increased pressure in your abdomen — from tumors, constipation, or girdles
  • Pregnancy
  • Trauma or injury to the skin of your legs
  • Previous vein surgery
  • Extensive exposure to ultraviolet rays

Symptoms of varicose veins can include pain, aching, or cramping in your legs. You may also feel more tired or restless than usual. Sometimes, you experience burning, throbbing, tingling, or heaviness in your legs. Swelling, ulcers, and a darkening of your skin — especially around your ankles — are rarely seen symptoms but are still possible.

Varicose Veins Natural Treatment

You can try simple forms of treatment, such as wearing a support hose or compression stockings, but these home remedies don’t always work. In Manhattan, your dermatology specialist may recommend lifestyle changes and other varicose veins natural treatments, such as:

  • Losing weight and eating a better diet
  • Walking or getting into a regular exercise regimen
  • Resting whenever possible and keeping your legs raised when you do
  • Not standing or sitting for long stretches
  • Keeping your legs straight, not crossed, when sitting
  • Wearing comfortable shoes
  • Taking supplements such as horse chestnut extract

Varicose veins natural treatments are a good place to start but don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist if you’re not getting better or your symptoms are actually getting worse.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★Susan Bard was very professional and very knowledgable right off the bat. I highly recommend she and her team.

The Sclerotherapy Procedure

If simple forms of varicose veins treatment don’t lead to marked improvements, see your NYC dermatologist. Sclerotherapy is a viable alternative. This treatment for varicose veins involves:

  1. For 10 days prior to the procedure, you have to avoid certain medications — such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  2. Before your procedure, you should check with your doctor about any other medicines, over-the-counter drugs, herbs, or dietary supplements you may have to stop taking.
  3. Your licensed Manhattan specialist performs the sclerotherapy process in her office.
  4. A solution, usually a detergent, is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein.
  5. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to collapse and stick together, while the blood clots.
  6. You may experience mild discomfort and cramping for a minute or two.
  7. The number of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as your medical condition in general.
  8. After your procedure, you shouldn’t engage in any aerobic activity for a few days.
  9. You should wear your compression stockings for at least 2 weeks following the procedure.

Over time, the blood vessel scars over, preventing blood flow through it. The procedure usually takes about fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on the number of veins you’re having treated.

Side Effects of the Process

This varicose vein treatment has been proven safe. In fact, it’s been used for decades. There are, however, some potential side effects, including:

  • Itching that can last for one or two days
  • Raised, swollen, red areas or hives at the injection site
  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Larger veins may become lumpy and hard; they may require several months to dissolve and fade.
  • Hyperpigmentation, or brown lines or spots, may appear at the vein site, although they usually disappear within three to six months.
  • Allergic reaction
  • Developing new tiny blood vessels at the injection site, which can appear days or weeks after the procedure

Contact your doctor if you experience inflammation within five inches of your groin, the sudden onset of a swollen leg, the formation of small ulcers at the injection site, or an allergic reaction to the fluid. All these are very rare.

Results and Benefits of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure that promises little to no downtime. You can resume normal activities immediately. Walking, in fact, is encouraged. Your NYC dermatologist may recommend that you use a support hose to “compress” the treated vessels. Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs for at least forty-eight hours. You should also avoid hot baths, hot compresses, whirlpools or saunas, direct exposure to sunlight, and hot showers.

You can look forward to a 50 to 80 percent elimination of the affected veins with each session of your varicose veins treatment. For tougher cases, different solutions are available. Spider veins usually respond in three to six weeks, while larger veins react in three to four months. If the veins respond well, they won’t reappear, although new veins may appear, depending on your physical makeup, personal medical history, and family history.

Sclerotherapy is a safe, effective method for varicose vein treatment in many cases. If this procedure does not resolve the appearance and symptoms of your varicose veins, your doctor may try another treatment option, but sclerotherapy is well-regarded in the dermatological field.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist could determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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