Sclerotherapy is a treatment for the condition known as "thread veins" - unslightly coloured veins that may appear on the face or body, often, but not always, in a spider formation. The exact cause of thread veins is unknown, although there is likely to be a genetic factor involved. It is also thought that pregnancy and hormonal imbalances may contribute to them.

What happens during Sclerotherapy?

During the procedure, a fine needle is used to inject a solution directly into the veins, which causes it to gradually, over a number of treatments, to collapse and fade away. On average, four treatments are required to get the veins to disappear completely and each treament is completed in less than an hour. If you are troubled by symptoms from your thread veins, such as aching and cramps, these will also be relieved.

Who are the best candidates for treatment?

You can be any age to be treated, but thread veins usually affect women over the age of 30. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you should postpone treatment until afterwards. Often thread veins that appear during pregnancy disappear on their own within a few months of the birth.

Men can also be treated, although thread veins are less likely to occur in men.

Note that sclerotherapy is also a treatment for varicose veins but surgery may also be required to achieve optimal results in these cases.

Note that the treatment does not prevent new thread veins appearing in the future. However, they are less likely to reappear with sclerotherapy than other thread vein removal treatments, as the sclerosing solution used also closes the "feeder veins" that caused the formation of the thread veins in the first place.

sclerotherapy - before photo
sclerotherapy - after
Before sclerotherapy
After sclerotherapy

What are the risks?

Serious complications are rare, but may include blood clots, allergic reactions and scarring.

Other risks include pigmentation changes in the skin and "telangiectatic matting", where further small veins appear requiring additional treatment.

If you have your treatment done by a doctor who has been well trained in sclerotherapy you will vastly reduce the risk of any complications.

Note that Aesthera PPx is an alternative treatment for thread veins.