Microsclerotherapy Spider Vein Treatments

What are spider/thread veins?

Spider/thread veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They are also closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often they are red, blue, or purple. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either small or large areas of skin. The medical term for them is telangiectasia.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins can be caused by hormonal changes, sun damage, or local injury. They can also occur as a result of larger underlying varicose veins which are not always visible.

What is injection microsclerotherapy and how does it work?

Injections of microsclerotherapy is a treatment for spider/thread veins which involves injecting a chemical substance called “sclerosant” using fine needles. The sclerosant irritates the inner wall of the veins and causes them to become inflamed; the vein walls then stick together and the sclerosant irritates the inner wall of the veins and causes them to become inflamed; the vein walls then stick together and the vein disappears.

The sclerosant used is sodium tetradecyl sulphate or “fibrovein”, which has been used in the treatment of varicose and spider/thread veins since 1946.

Prices start from £150 for small area (5cm x5cm) per session
Price on quotation thereafter


Microsclerotherapy FAQ

Am I suitable for Microsclerotherapy?

Injections of microsclerotherapy treatment is not suitable if a patient is:

  • Unable to walk for any reason.

  • Currently taking oral contraceptives (Should be stopped one month before)

  • Currently pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Very overweight (obese).

  • Experiencing acute inflammation with/or without blood clot formation (phlebitis/superficial thrombophlebitis) in the vein to be treated.

  • A history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).

  • An allergy to the sclerosant (sodium tetradecyl suphate or “fibrovein”).

  • An infection in the skin on the area to be treated.

  • An infection throughout the body (systemic infection), such as a virus or a cold.

  • Diabetes that is not well controlled.

  • Significant heart disease.

  • Significant peripheral arterial disease.

  • Significant kidney disease.

  • Varicose veins which require surgical/endovenous intervention.

  • Varicose veins caused by pelvic/abdominal tumours.

  • Currently on medication to thin the blood (e.g. Warfarin).

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed depends on the size and extent of the veins. Several injections into the veins of one or both legs can be performed at each session, however, the amount of sclerosant that can be injected in a single treatment will limit the number of injections you can have. If only a small number of spider veins are to be treated, sometimes only two or three treatments will be adequate. More extensive or prominent varicose veins may require a series of treatment sessions in order to reach the desired result.

How long does the treatment take?

Depending on the size of the area and the number of veins to be treated, the treatment can take from 20 to 40 minutes. A 20minute brisk walk following treatment is strongly encouraged to get optimum results.

It’s advised that you leave 4-6 weeks between each treatment session in order for the results of each treatment to be clear.

Does it hurt?

The injections do tend to sting slightly but they are rarely painful, as only fine needles are used during the treatment. Some people do experience a burning sensation immediately after the treatment, but this usually only lasts a few seconds.

How quickly does the treatment work?

The treated areas may feel slightly sore and itchy for a few days. It is normal for there to be bruising at the injection sites; if you have had multiple injections the bruising can be extensive and may take several weeks to resolve. The veins themselves tend to appear worse and darker after treatment, but this will fade slowly.

It is not uncommon for the skin over the treated area to develop brown discolouration which can take from 6 weeks to over a year to fade. In rare cases, staining can be permanent.

What are the potential risks or side effects?

  • Immediately after the treatment, you may experience slight swelling, redness, and itchiness over the injection sites.
  • Bruising is common and can be quite extensive, taking 3-4 weeks to resolve.
  • Brown/reddish staining or discolouration can occur and can persist even after the veins have disappeared. Although this staining tends to fade over time, it may not completely disappear. The staining generally becomes darker when exposed to sunlight, so we advise that you avoid sun exposure unless a total sunblock (SPF 50+) can be applied to the treated area.
  • Some patients may develop a small painful lump at the site of an injected vein, particularly if a large vein has been treated. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) may help to relieve these symptoms, in addition to wearing the compression stockings provided (wearing compression stockings is essential)
  • Occasionally, a small ulcer may develop at the injection site as a result of the sclerosant leaking under the skin. This may be sore, take a few weeks to heal, and may leave a small white scar.
  • Generalised allergic reactions to the chemicals used during the injections can occur but are extremely rare.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) associated with injection microsclerotherapy is extremely rare.
  • Telangiectasia matting – This is a rare complication associated with microsclerotherapy treatments and describes the formation of new very fine spider veins. These veins typically arise on the inside of the knee and the outside of the thigh and look different to original spider veins as they appear similar to a bluish or red bruise. These veins can develop several months after treatment, and often disappear without requiring further treatment within 6-12 months.

A full detailed medical consultation will be carried out to ensure suitability for the treatment.

Prices start from £150 for small area (5cm x5cm) per session
Price on quotation thereafter


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