Leg veins form as a result of heredity, hormones (especially pregnancy), and poor circulation (prolonged standing or leg crossing). Spider veins can be treated safely and effectively with sclerotherapy—which involves injection using a very fine needle of a concentrated saline solution directly into the veins. Unlike laser therapy for leg veins which has shown inconsistent results, sclerotherapy has been the gold standard for treating spider veins on the legs, and it has been in use since the 1930’s. Typically, one to three treatments are necessary to reduce the appearance most of the veins.
Compression stockings must be worn for a few days after treatment, and exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for 7 to 10 days. Besides mild and temporary bruising, side effects are unusual. After sclerotherapy, the veins that have been removed will not reappear however, new veins may develop which will require additional treatments.