Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic technique used to treat small veins known as thread veins or spider veins. This treatment was first developed in the 1920s to treat varicose veins and has more recently been refined to treat the much smaller thread veins. These small veins can appear anywhere on the body but the typical areas are near the nose and on the legs. There are many factors which contribute to the development of these small veins including heredity, pregnancy, hormonal shifts, certain medications and also as a result of an accident.
A special solution called Scleremo is injected into the veins through a very small needle causing the walls of the veins to contract and stick together, therefore emptying the veins of blood and eventually making them disappear completely. The veins are injected very accurately using a very bright light and a special magnifying glass to ensure optimal results. Sclerotherapy is by far the most effective procedure for removing thread veins and can also be used to remove smaller varicose veins. Laser treatment of these veins is less effective and the results do not last as long.
This is not a very painful procedure and many of our patients even find it a relaxing experience. A very small needle is used and there is usually no need for any anaesthetic. There may be a very small amount of tenderness at the injection site for a couple of days post procedure.
For optimal results and very much depending on the severity of the veins, a course of 2-3 treatments will be needed. Once the thread veins are eradicated, they are gone forever. The underlying medical cause of the thread veins however remains, and there is a possibility that new thread veins may form in the future needing further treatment. A healthy lifestyle, good diet and plenty of sport will ensure that the chances of recurrence are very small.
The veins which are treated are very superficial veins, and are not at all a functioning part of the body and but are just a cosmetic nuisance. The deeper more important veins are never affected by this treatment as they are too far from the superficial veins, and are protected by many structures including special vein valves. This treatment has existed for decades and has proved to be very safe and effective. Allergic reactions are very rare, and side-effects are very mild.
For up to two weeks there may be some injection related side effects including redness, swelling, itchiness and bruising. Very rarely slightly more long term side effects can occur such as prolonged pigmentation, matting or even mild scarring. None of these longer term side effects are very likely if the treatment is performed by an experienced doctor. In addition even if they do occur, these side effects are always aesthetically more acceptable then the original thread veins. Allergic reactions are very rare.
After every procedure, we will give you aftercare advice.