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Q: With summer right around the corner, I want to be able to wear shorts and skirts in the hot weather, but I have these ugly spider veins on my legs. Why do I have them and is there any way to get rid of them?

A:  Spider veins are small, red, purple and/or blue vessels that twist and turn and are visible through the skin – most often seen on the legs and face. Factors such as heredity and hormones can cause spider veins to appear. Additionally, those who are always on their feet – teachers, hair stylists, etc. – have a greater chance of getting spider veins because compared to other veins in the body, leg veins have the toughest job of carrying blood back to the heart. They endure the most pressure.

Everyone wants beautiful legs to show off in their summer shorts, but what if you have unattractive spider veins? Well fortunately there is a treatment known as “Sclerotherapy.” It involves the injection of a small amount of a substance that affects the inner lining of the blood vessels, making them fade over a period of one to two months. Very recently, aethoxysclerol (Asclera) was approved for the treatment of spider veins.

 Asclera has been used worldwide with excellent results, and now that it is FDA-approved, we can finally use it here in the U.S.  Even better, this treatment doesn’t hurt or carry some of the risks of traditional treatments. Unlike hypertonic saline, Asclera treatments do not produce a painful stinging sensation or predispose to the rare risk of ulceration.