As we get older we all have some gripes. Here’s a universal complaint — spider veins. Yes, these clusters of red, blue, and purple lines coursing about on our ankles, shins, and thighs are as universally detested in Houston as Hurricane Harvey.
Dr. Kronberg knows how to deal with these unfortunate byproducts of aging — sclerotherapy. Houston’s low-key winters are a great time to have her take care of your spider veins.
What causes spider veins?
Our veins are the pathways our de-oxygenated blood takes to return to the heart. In the legs, the veins have an uphill fight. They have to fight Newton’s famed law all the way. In our younger years, the muscles and other tissues on our legs all help to squeeze the veins and push the blood upward, aiding the pumping heart to do the job.
But as we get older, our support tissues aren’t as strong, and our veins themselves aren’t as strong. Plus, our veins have valves in them that prevent the blood from flowing backwards, and these can leak or malfunction. The end result is that blood pools in the veins just a bit, rather than cleanly moving on through. This pooling can happen where a vein wall weakens and the blood pushes outward, or it was be an area where a valve doesn’t do its job.
Regardless, now you have areas where the purple and blue de-oxygenated blood can be seen in these veins near the surface of the skin — spider veins.
Sclerotherapy is nothing new. It was first used in the 1930s to make unwanted veins close up and go away. Dr. Kronberg has tried using lasers to heat the veins and make them close up, but she doesn’t think lasers are as effective as good old sclerotherapy for spider veins.
In sclerotherapy, Dr. Kronberg injects a special saline solution directly into the vein in question. This solution irritates the vein (much like that uncle who visits every year during the holidays irritates you!) and causes the walls to shrink up and the vein to close off. Over the next two to three months, the body gradually absorbs the unused vein, making it disappear or become dramatically less visible. Any blood that ran through the vein is routed to an adjacent vein.
What happens afterward?
After your treatment, we put you in compression stockings that you’ll wear for two weeks during your waking hours. This compression improves your results so most veins need only one injection to disappear.
Winter is the time to get rid of your spider veins. Call Dr. Kronberg at 713-771-8941 to schedule your appointment.