Microsclerotherapy for Thread Veins on the Body
Microsclerotherapy is a simple, well proven and effective treatment for the reduction of thread veins. Anyone can suffer with thread veins (red, spider or broken veins), and they can appear on any part of the body. Although harmless, they can cause distress as the sufferer often feels self-conscious, particularly if the veins are on an exposed part of the body, such as the legs, which people can see.
Sclerotherapy treatment was originally developed in the 1920s for the treatment of varicose veins. This was refined for the treatment of thread veins, and this is what we now call microsclerotherapy.
What is microsclerotherapy and how does it work?
Microsclerotherapy is a technique of injecting thread or spider veins with a special substance known as a "sclerosant" (usually sodium tetradecyl sulphate) that causes swelling in the vein%u2019s wall. If the vein is small enough, the swelling will destroy the vein over several weeks, making it much less noticeable or even invisible.
Microsclerotherapy is normally used for the treatment of leg thread veins and is rarely used for the treatment of facial veins owing to the small possibility of scarring that can occur. We would normally recommend an alternative procedure.
What happens during the treatment and how long will it take to recover?
There is usually minimal or no discomfort during microsclerotherapy injections due to the size of the needle and the superficial injection technique. The solutions used may differ in strength slightly depending on the size of the vessel to be injected. The doctor will decide which solution is best for your particular case.
Following injections, a swab may be taped over the treated area, and often a special bandage and compression stocking is applied which may be worn for several days to help assist shrinkage of the thread veins.
A single blood vessel may have to be injected more than once, depending on its size. Repeat injection sessions can be scheduled one week later, but it is better to wait one month between treatments. In practice, most people require between 2 and 6 treatments at 4 to 8 week intervals.
It is common for around 75 percent or more of your veins to vanish, but you should be aware that 100 percent disappearance of all veins is rare.
The whole treatment should usually take no longer than half an hour or so %u2013 depending on how many veins require treatment. You can normally drive immediately and go about your usual daily activities following this treatment.
Does it hurt and what could go wrong?
Some pain or burning at the injection site may occur following injections, and some clients experience restlessness in their legs during the first few nights. This is due to the swelling of the walls of the veins.
For a month or so, the vessels may appear more prominent. The injection sites look like insect bites, and may occasionally itch. The veins gradually begin to fade and continue to improve for up to 8 weeks. After this time, a brownish discolouration of the skin may continue and may take many months to fade away.
Complications following microsclerotherapy are very rare, but the solution can sometimes escape from the veins and cause inflammation in the skin surrounding the treated area. There is also a small risk of the development of tiny ulcers, which may leave a small pink or white scar on healing.
Occasionally you may also find new veins developing in the treated areas, or even old veins flaring up again.
Please note that women on the contraceptive pill or people with a history of thrombosis should not be treated with microsclerotherapy.