Sclerotherapy is primary if not only treatment for getting rid of spider veins and reticular veins. But like any medical procedure, it does come with potential side effects. One of those is hyperpigmentation of the skin on a patient’s legs.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a discoloration of the skin, usually a brownish color and splotchy in appearance. It occurs in 9-30% patients, depending up on the chemical makeup of the sclerosing agent used and the patient. Hyperpigmentation is more common with dark skinned patients or with patients who have very dark hair. The good news is that post-sclerotherapy hyperpigmentation is, in most cases, temporary, fading within six months. More severe cases can last up to a year and in a very small number of patients, about one percent, hyperpigmentation can be permanent.
To help minimize the potential for hyperpigmentation, Dr. James St. George of Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center offers these tips:
- Choose your vein specialist carefully.
Look for a physician who has completed a fellowship in a specialty with advanced training in venous disorders as recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and has sought certification by the American Board of Phebology. The latter demonstrates advanced knowledge and dedication to the treatment of venous disorders.
- Follow instructions.
After your treatment, be sure to follow your physician’s instructions for wearing your compression hose fully. Maintaining Proper compression is critical because it minimizes the blood reentering the injected area, improves venous blood flow and thus, decreases the incidence of post-sclerotherapy hyperpigmentation and telangiectatic matting.
- Don’t take supplemental vitamins with iron.
Do not take supplemental iron or multi-vitamins that contain iron. It has been shown that hyperpigmentation is frequently related to the iron in a patient’s blood.
If you have spider veins, reticular veins or varicose veins, call 904-402-VEIN (8346) or complete our online form to request a consultation.