Thread, spider or red veins of the legs are a common problem which mostly affects women. These small veins can form anywhere in the leg from the top of the thigh to the ankle. While these veins pose no major health problems, they can cause discomfort and be unsightly. Micro Sclerotherapy can correct these unwanted thread veins.

What is Micro Sclerotherapy

It is a procedure in which a specially trained doctor or nurse injects a small amount of an irritant solution using a very fine needle into the thread veins. The solution displaces the blood within the vein causing it to turn white. It also irritates the vein making it swell and close, thus stopping blood from re-entering it. Depending on the size of the vein a pressure bandage may be worn. However usually support hose is all that is necessary for no more than a week following the procedure. Treated veins will disappear within two weeks to two months. More than one treatment is usually needed, although most thread veins can be treated over a course of two sessions, each taking 30 to 40 minutes. For very extensive thread veins a maximum of six treatments could be necessary but rarely more.

There is a little minor discomfort with a very slight burning sensation but this disappears within a few seconds.

Side effects are rare and easily treated. Some have been reported and include slightly raised areas at the injection sites that heal within a day or two and temporary bruising around the treated areas which usually resolve rapidly. Very rarely, a small dark area of pigmentation resembling a freckle may remain. These spots usually resolve in time and respond to bleaching agents. The development of tiny networks of fine red vessels near the injection site of larger vessels can occur. Most resolve spontaneously. Allergic reactions to the solution are rare and easily treated.

The reason why some people are affected and others are not is unknown. There are though some predisposing factors. Heredity seems to play a part. Injury to the legs and long periods of standing are causative factors. In addition, more women than men seem to develop this condition as a result of pregnancy or hormones.

Thread veins may recur. It may seem that a previously injected vein has recurred, whereas in fact a new thread vein has appeared in the same area.

Post-treatment instructions

  1. Elevate the legs as much as possible immediately following the procedure
  2. Keep moving the legs and walk as much as is practical.
  3. Wear medium support hose for one week.
  4. Avoid waxing or shaving the leg(s) in the areas for about a week.
  5. Preferably shower rather than bathe after the procedure. Avoid rubbing shower gel or soap over the injection sites, but simply splash these areas with water and pat dry.
  6. Avoid the use of body lotions or creams in the treated areas for the first few days.
  7. Avoid strenuous activity such as aerobics or keep fit for five to seven days following the procedure. In addition avoid standing still for long periods of time for the first few days.
  8. Do not sunbathe or use a sun-bed for the immediate few weeks after the procedure to avoid a risk of hyperpigmentation of the treated area.