• What is Sclerotherapy?

    Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical outpatient procedure designed to diminish the appearance of spider veins and smaller, superficial varicose veins. Whether on the legs, the face, or virtually anywhere on the body, unsightly veins can be removed with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is minimally invasive, only involving a micro-needle for the injection of a solution, causing unwanted veins to fade or disappear.

  • Causes of Varicose or Spider Veins

    The cause of varicose or spider veins is not known. However, in many cases, they run in families and women seem to be more prone than men. This may be due to pregnancy or normal hormone fluctuations such as menopause.

    Other contributing factors include:

    • Standing or sitting for long periods
    • Being immobile for long periods of time. i.e. (being confined to bed)
    • Lack of exercise
  • Results of Sclerotherapy

    Sclerotherapy is designed to improve the appearance of unsightly veins. After each sclerotherapy session, the veins will appear lighter. However, because there is typically some minor bruising, results may not be visible for up to two weeks. Sclerotherapy does not prevent new veins from forming at the surface of the skin, so it should not be considered a permanent solution for spider and varicose veins. Most patients are satisfied with the results of sclerotherapy and enjoy the improved appearance of their skin.

  • Candidates for Sclerotherapy

    Appropriate candidates for sclerotherapy are those individuals who have spider or varicose veins and the desire to change their appearance. The ideal candidates are non-smokers who are physically healthy and psychologically stable. Since it is not known whether the sclerosing solution affects breast milk, pregnant women should avoid sclerotherapy. Individuals with a blood-borne disease or condition affecting the vascular system should not have sclerotherapy. Laser vein removal or vein removal surgery may be more appropriate depending on the severity of your vein condition and other factors affecting your health.

  • The Sclerotherapy Procedure

    Sclerotherapy entails the injection of a solution introduced directly into the targeted veins. In preparation for treatment, the patient stands while the relevant veins are marked. Using a micro-needle, the sclerosing solution is injected into the vein and causes the vein to harden and fade over time. One injection will treat about an inch of surface skin and a single procedure may involve numerous injections, depending on the size of the area being treated.

    As there is little to no pain experienced by patients, anesthesia is rarely required. Generally, treatment time is 30 minutes to an hour. Two or more sclerotherapy treatments are usually required to achieve optimal results.

  • Risk

    The most significant advantage of microdermabrasion is its lack of complications. In early years of use, reports allude to redness of the eyes, photophobia, and epiphora after examination by an ophthalmologist. The examination discovered conjunctival congestion, crystals adherent to the cornea, and superficial punctate keratopathy. By means of eye protection, ocular complications are virtually eliminated, but corneal abrasion from stray crystals continues to be a theoretic risk.

    Scarring has not been recognized from microdermabrasion, although scarring is theoretically probable when producing any injury to the skin. Then again, microdermabrasion hardly expands through the epidermis, so the depth of injury is very superficial. To say such explains both its advantage and its limitation. Superficial injury denotes prompt healing and recovery with little risk; yet, only superficial skin conditions, such as fine lines, quality of the skin and shallow scars can be addressed.
    Bruising and/or swelling– usually at the injection site, this will disappear within a couple of weeks Brown lines or spots – these may appear on the skin at the injection site and occurs when blood escapes from the treated vessel into the skin tissue.

    This discolouration is caused by the iron in the blood and will disappear in time. In a small number of people (less than 5%) the brown lines may last up to a year or more. It is not recommended to take iron supplements while having sclerotherapy treatment.

  • Recovery

    Following sclerotherapy treatment, compression bandages are often applied to increase pressure and swelling of the veins. Bandages can generally be removed within a day or two, although support hose may be required for up to two weeks. Swelling and bruising are typical postoperative conditions. Moderate exercise is recommended in order to increase blood circulation. If sclerotherapy was done on the leg, elevation of the leg may also be recommended.


    How sclerotherapy works?
    – The solution, which is injected into the veins, is called a sclerosant. It causes the vein to close by irritating the blood vessel so that it swells and sticks together. This process causes the vein to fade over the next week or two so they can no longer be seen.

    Is sclerotherapy painful?
    – The needle is very fine and the pinprick is barely noticeable. The sclerosant is a bit stingy but doesn’t last for long.

    Things to remember

    – Sclerotherapy is the injection of a substance into the spider veins
    – Most people receive a significant improvement in the appearance of spider veins.
    – You will need 1 or 2 treatments approximately 1 month apart and then an annual maintenance treatment.
    – Side effects can include bruising, swelling or brown lines or spots