It is estimated that about 15% of men and the majority of older women will be affected by thread veins or varicose veins at some point. Thread veins (otherwise known as red veins or spider veins) are dilated blood capillaries, mainly found in the legs and face. They look like small red or purple squiggles, visible through the skin. Varicose veins occur when blood pools appear due to poor circulation. The blue or purple, enlarged veins typically affect the legs.
Microsclerotherapy is effective in the treatment of spider veins and small varicose veins. From the Greek word ‘scleros’, meaning ‘to make hard’, the treatment uses a very fine needle to inject a liquid into the vein, which subsequently becomes hard to the touch. This is then absorbed by the body, destroying the vein. The majority of patients report a significant reduction in the appearance of thread veins.
In the hours following the procedure, redness and minor swelling may appear at the injection sites. A temporary itching may also occur. Longer lasting side effects can include bruising or brown pigmentation at the area treated, caused by a break down in red blood cells.
The risk of serious side effects is extremely low. Despite the small risks associated with the treatment, microsclerotherapy remains to be one of the safest and most effective ways to treat thread veins and small varicose veins.
The number of treatments greatly depends on the severity of the thread veins or small varicose veins. Your physician will create a personalised plan for you. On average, patients usually receive between two and four treatments.
Most patients see improvements after approximately four weeks, yet the full effect of the treatment may not be seen for up to two to three months.