Sclerotherapy for Thread Veins

Types of Veins

Varicose veins

These are dilated veins, which you can often see bulging on the surface of the legs. They are a sign of leg pump failure and are caused when the valves in the veins fail, allowing blood to flow the wrong way down the leg and cause the vein to start dilating. This in turn causes the vein wall to stretch in both directions and, as the condition worsens, large sacs form at the bends of the vein. The vein can sometimes thrombose leading to inflammation called superficial thrombophlebitis.

Varicose veins are usually deeper beneath the skin than thread veins and are more than 2mm in diameter. Because they are usually deep under the skin, they often appear to be flesh coloured however, they can look bluish green when they are closer to the surface. Varicose veins are more serious than thread veins and although some people get no other problems apart from the cosmetic appearance, there are many who complain of pain and aching particularly towards the end of the day. Varicose veins can be a sign of an underlying problem therefore the aesthetic practitioner will assess the condition and refer you as needed as these veins are usually best left  treatment by a vascular surgeon.

Thread veins or spider veins

These veins are different to varicose veins and are the most common type of vein treated in aesthetics clinics. Thread veins are usually very near the surface of the skin and are red, blue, or purple in colour. They are not regarded as a serious medical condition but they can occasionally ache, and have some negative cosmetics appearance.

Thread veins can be anything from about half a millimetre wide to about 2mm wide. They can appear as tiny little individual threads or in clusters that are star shaped. They don’t usually bulge although sometimes the very big ones can feel a bit rough when you touch them.

How can thread veins be treated?

Sclerotherapy:
Sclerotherapy involves using tiny needles to inject problem veins with a substance known as a “sclerosing agent” like Fibrovein™.  A sclerosing agent destroys the vein making the walls of the veins fibrose (or stick) together. Sclerotherapy is normally used for the treatment of leg veins, the treatment can be slightly uncomfortable and some clients can experience some stinging or burning during the injection treatment.

As Sclerotherapy closes the veins by inflammation of the wall, most patients get a patch of inflamed skin over the site of the injection, which lasts for up to two weeks. This inflammation is actually very good as it’s the body’s way of removing the dead vein. The area then settles down but the full benefit can take up to 12 weeks to be seen. Depending on the number of thread veins on the legs, several sessions may be needed to get the required results. Repeat treatments are usually done 6 – 12 weeks later.

Does Sclerotherapy Work?
Compared with other treatments, Sclerotherapy gives the best results with 95% of patients seeing an improvement and 80% getting a good or very good result. Post procedure instructions and care is essential for an optimal result and clients need to follow the instructions given by the doctor carefully.

What are the risks involved?
As with any medical procedure, there are some risks involved, but complications with Sclerotherapy are very rare and are generally of a very minor nature. About 4-5% of people can get brown marks these are very mild and usually fade over several weeks to months. Very rarely the brown stains can be dark, and remain permanently.Approximately 1% (1 in 100) people can get a little break down of the skin called a chemical ulcer. This can be very tender for a few weeks and then usually heals with a small scar. This scar can be permanent, but such a small scar is usually better then the thread veins that were there before the treatment. Allergies are often quoted as a problem but are exceptionally rare, and Nu Youth being a medical facility is able to cope with any potential medical reactions.