Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins and usually red, blue or purple, sometimes looking like tree branches or webs. They can typically be seen under the skin, but do not bulge out like varicose veins and are found on the legs or face.
Around half of the population suffer with spider (thread) veins and they are more common in men than women. Microsclerotherapy is the injection of a sclerosing agent (prescription only medicine) into the lumen of the vein, which in turn damages the wall lining, causing it to inflate and become sticky. Compression is then applied and over a period of time, the vein will eventually fade.
Microsclerotherapy is considered the gold standard treatment for leg telangiectasias. Though it cannot be used to treat facial veins, which can be treated via Thermavein or laser therapies.
Often a number of treatments are required to clear or improve the condition and this differs from person to person, but on average 2 - 4 procedures are recommended.
There are several factors that enhance the likelihood of developing spider veins.
These include: ageing, gender, pregnancy, oral contraceptive, hormonal changes during puberty or menopause, varicose veins, sedentary lifestyle, surgery, obesity, standing for long periods of time, sun exposure and those treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Though reliable, microsclerotherapy is not entirely without risk. The two 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 fade if tanned.
Matting occurs if the fragile vessel is injured during the injection process, leaving a web of tiny veins that look like a blush or red bruise. Matting usually disappears completely after 6 - 12 months, but if it persists, can be treated with sclerotherapy - should the needle be able to access fine vessels and flush the 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 its right for you.
2-4 Weeks after treatment
Varies from person to person