North Texas women are visiting their doctor's offices for a spider-vein treatment approved by federal regulators just in time for summer.
Asclera, a chemical injectible that destroys the lining of cells, has long been used in Europe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in the United States on March 30.
"It's a different chemical compound that seems to be better at irritating these veins and helping them sclerose down, or shrink down. At the same time, it seems to be having fewer side effects. People aren't having as many complications from the procedure," said Dr. Kent Aftergut, a dermatologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
A tiny needle injects the solution into each unsightly vein. Patients wear compression tights for a month after each treatment.
Doctors say there is a noticeable difference after the first treatment, but most women need three treatments.
"We tell patients to expect about 50 to 60 percent improvement with each treatment," Aftergut said. "That's about average, and that's pretty good."
Asclera's website has several dramatic before-and-after pictures on its website. The company states the results are based on patients 26 weeks after their last treatment.
Marty Arnold is getting the treatment after trying for 20 years to hid her large, purple spider veins.
"People come up and ask, was I in an accident, did I get hurt?" she said.
Doctors say spider veins can be a combination of genetics, pregnancy, using birth control pills or standing for hours on end.
"It is hereditary, and I got them from both of the times that I had my children, two daughters," Arnold said.
She said she is already looking forward to a shorts-filled summer.
"I'm very excited about it," she said. "I couldn't even sleep last night knowing that I was having it done today and be able -- by June, when we planned a beach trip -- that I'm going to be able to wear shorts."
Asclera is only for spider veins, not varicose veins. Each treatment is roughly $400.