Microsclerotherapy is the injection of a sclerosing agent (prescription only) into the lumen of the vein, which in turn damages the wall lining, causing it to swell and become sticky. Compression is then applied and over a period of time, the vein will heal, eventually fading away.
Microsclerotherapy is a treatment for spider veins, which involves injecting a chemical cosmetic substance called “sclerosant” through a fine needle into the inner wall of the veins, causing them to become inflamed, stick together and eventually disappear. The sclerosant used is sodium tetradecyl sulphate or “fibro-vein”, which has been effective in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1946.
Spider veins can be caused by hormonal changes, pregnancy, oral contaceptive, menopause, sun damage, sedetary lifestyle, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or local injury. They can also occur as a result of larger underlying varicose veins which are not always visible.
It is important that spider veins are fully investigated using ultrasound to identify the incompetent valves within veins which cause varicose veins, as failure to treat these usually results in early recurrence of spider veins and a poor cosmetic outcome.
Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They are also closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins and often red, blue or purple. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with short, jagged lines and are typically found on the legs and face, covering either small or large areas of skin. The medical term is telangiectasia.
The number of treatments needed depends on the size and extent of the thread veins. Several injections into the veins of one or both legs can be performed at each session, however, the amount of sclerosant that can be injected in a single treatment will limit the number of injections you can have.
If only a small number of spider veins are to be treated, sometimes only 2 or 3 treatments will be adequate. More extensive or prominent varicose veins may require a series of treatment sessions in order to reach the desired result.
We recommend at least 2 treatments for an area of thread veins before any improvement can be seen. However, it is possible that you may only require 1 session of treatment - though this is all dependent on the number and severity of the veins being treated. It may take a number of repeat treatments before reaching your desired result.
Though a reliable treatment, microsclerotherapy is not entirely without risk and the most common side effects are haemosiderin deposition and telangiectatic matting.
Haemosiderin deposition occurs when the vein is not entirely closed and blood is trapped. In some people, iron pigments escapes from the clot and stain the skin over the vessel. These brown marks are usually not permanent, but can take 6 - 18 months to fade and darken when exposed to the sun. Results also to longer to see if tanned.
Matting occurs when the fragile vein vessel is injured during the injection process, leaving a web of tiny veins that look like a blush or red bruise. This typically disappears completely after 6 - 12 months, but if persistent, can be treated with sclerotherapy - should the needle be able to access the vessels and flush solution gently through.
A consultation is required prior to treatment to assess your suitability. We’ll discuss all the relevant information, so you can decide if it is right for you.
Weeks after treatment
Varies from person to person