Sclerotherapy For Thread Veins

Micro Sclerotherapy and Foam Sclerotherapy treatments are used to safely treat thread veins on the legs.
Thread veins develop as you age - it is thought pregnancy and menopausal hormonal changes provoke their development, which is why women are more affected than men.
Approximately 20% of women in their 20s have thread veins, which rises to around 50% for those in their 40s and by the age of 70 over 70% of women will have thread veins.
Sclerotherapy is an effective and easy way to treat thread veins. As thread veins spread and grow they can become more difficult to treat, so early intervention will save you a great deal of time, trouble and expense.

TV personality and business entrepreneur Carol Smillie discusses why she had Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy involves injections, using a tiny fine needle, of  a chemical solution into each individual thread vein to make the vein lining sticky. Compression is then applied, by you wearing a compression stocking, to close the veins and make their walls stick together. The veins seal closed and then fade away.

  • The treatment does not leave any scars.
  • The treatment is more effective on leg veins than IPL treatments which are better suited to facial veins. 
  • The treatment is painless.

Healthy skin of all skin colours can be treated with Sclerotherapy. Micro Sclerotherapy is used for smaller thread veins and Foam Sclerotherapy for large thread veins (the foam technique simply expands to fill the cavity of the larger vein).

If you are suffering with varicose veins that are causing you discomfort, swelling or ulcers then you should consult your GP. The NHS will not treat thread veins, but it does treat varicose veins causing these complications.

You must first have a consultation to ensure Sclerotherapy is an appropriate solution for your veins. As each vein has to be injected the process is time consuming, so 1-4 appointments may be required depending on the number of thread veins to be treated. appointment are typically 30-45 minutes. Your practitioner may apply a topical anaesthetic to make the treatment more comfortable.

After each treatment you must wear a compression stocking continuously for 72 hours, during which time you must not allow it to get wet.  The stocking acts as a bandage as well as keeping the vessels closed. When you first remove your stockings it is normal for the veins to look worse before their appearance improves. You must continue to wear the stocking during the day for the next 7 days to promote recovery.

Wearing the compression stocking is an essential part of the treatment as it allows time for the vein walls to stick together and become closed. As the stockings are thick they can be hot and uncomfortable during the summer months, so this treatment is best done in autumn and winter when it is cooler and easier to cover up.

For 2 weeks after treatment you must avoid:

  • Flying.
  • Swimming pools, spas, saunas and beaches.
  • High impact exercise.
  • Waxing your legs or other hair removal treatments.

You will be seen by your practitioner for a complimentary review between 14-28 days.

Treatment Advantages Disadvantages
Lifestyle changes

you do regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight and stop smoking. 
  • Helps prevent condition from getting worse
  • Will support all other options below
  • Does not remove existing veins
Compression stockings

During the day you wear thick elastic stockings to compress the veins.
  • Improves circulation
  • Prevents condition from getting worse
  • Does not remove existing veins
  • Hot and sweaty to wear
  • Appearance is unattractive 

A surgeon cuts and ties the affected vein diverting blood to healthier veins, or makes small incision in the leg and using a suction device removes the veins.
  • Single treatment
  • Immediate removal
  • Can treat large varicose veins
  • Risk of scarring at incision cuts
  • 1-3 weeks recovery
  • Possible overnight stay in hospital
  • 20% of procedures need to be repeated

Short bursts of laser / IPL energy are used to target and break down the veins.
  • Veins fade in 2-3 weeks
  • Suitable for fine to small superficial veins
  • No incision cuts, so no scars
  • Multiple treatments required
  • Moderate risk of pigmentation
  • Not effective at treating deeper veins

A chemical solution is injected into each vein to seal it closed.
  • Veins disappear in 2-3 weeks
  • Suitable for small to medium veins
  • Can treat superficial and deep veins
  • No incision cuts, so no scars
  • Multiple treatments required
  • Minor risk of temporary pigmentation
  • Not suitable for large veins

Sclerotherapy has a great safety record and is practiced by the NHS. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) found Micro Sclerotherapy to be effective and that, on average, the Foam Sclerotherapy was effective in 84 out of 100 cases.

Common side effects are temporary blisters, crusts scabs, bruising and pigmentation which will disappear during recovery. In rare cases, usually when aftercare instructions have not been followed, large weeping blisters can appear. In extremely rare cases the treatment can lead to blood clots. Our doctors and nurses provide highest standard of care and should you need support they will answer your questions or resolve any concerns.

How do I find out if this treatment is suitable for me?
Arrange a 30 minute consultation with our team - who will examine your concern, check your medical history and then recommend an appropriate treatment plan whilst explaining the cost and any associated risks.
All consultations are conducted by doctors, nurses and laser aestheticians and cost £25, so you will never be seen or pressurised by sales staff - as we do not employ them.
Call 0131 226 9610 to book your consultation or click here to request a call back.
How to do I check that DR VICTORIA is a safe and professional treatment provider?

DR VICTORIA is annually inspected by Healthcare Improvement Scotland who regulate independent hospitals, hospices and clinics in Scotland. The inspections examine our team, treatments and clinical environment, so that you have the invaluable assurance that you are in safe hands that use safe products in a safe environment.

We are also accredited with Save Face who independently check and verify patient feedback, which they publish on their website, so you can read exactly what past patients feel about our service.