Microsclerotherapy is the best treatment for capillary thread veins of the leg. It will dramatically reduce the appearance of these tiny red veins. They are far more common in women, who can feel self-conscious about showing their legs. Male sufferers are treated with equal success. A medication (Sclerovein 0.5%-1%) is injected into each of the involved vessels. This causes swelling in the vein's wall and its eventual destruction.

Thread veins are bright red or occasionally blue, and lie close to the surface. They are not serious and are different to varicose veins. Varicose veins lie deeper, are often greenish and knobbly and can cause pain. An examination on the first visit will determine if varicosities are present and can advise on their treatment first. More information can be found at www.sussexvascular.co.uk

Spider veins on the face can scar with this treatment and are better treated with laser or light therapy.

The procedure:

Very fine needles are used for the procedure. Sclerovein solution tends to be more comfortable than the old alternative Saline, but is slower to act. Support tights should be worn for at least 48 hours afterwards and will increase the success rate of treatment.

Repeat procedures:

These should be left for six weeks as the results evolve slowly and further shrinkage of the veins is possible even up to this time. Often a thread vein will need more than 1 injection, sometimes as many as 5 or 6 sessions.

Recovery time:

With the exception of avoiding violent exercise, you will have no down time after the treatment.

The downside?

  • Having to wear support stockings! It is often better to time treatments for winter months.
  • Itching and ‘insect bite’ appearance at the injection site is common and can last up to 2 hours.
  • Some swelling of legs for the first couple of nights is less common.
  • You may feel some cramping in your legs for the first couple of days afterwards.
  • Vessels are likely to appear even more prominent for the first month after treatment.
  • Old veins can flare up or new veins can appear in the treatment area.
  • Small brown spots of brown discolouration may occur in a third of patients, but fade away gradually.

What can go wrong?

  • Small ulcers occur rarely and may scar on healing.
  • There are rare reports of allergy to the Sclerovein solution.
  • Thrombophlebitis a tracking tenderness of one of the treated vessels for up to a couple of weeks, can occur. This is very rare and DVT is an even rarer complication.

What should you do after treatment?

  • Try to raise your legs as much as possible for the first 24 hours.
  • Do not shower for 24 hours afterwards.
  • Keep support bandages on for at least 48 hours after the procedure.
  • Walking is encouraged, but avoid prolonged sitting or standing, pounding type exercises, squatting, weight lifting and very hot baths.
  • Wear your compression stockings if possible for four weeks after the last treatment.

Conditions that will mean you cannot have this treatment:

  • Known allergy to Sclerovein solution.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Taking the contraceptive pill.
  • Skin infection in the area to be treated.
  • Planned heart surgery; e.g. weak valves in your heart.
  • Varicose veins caused by pelvic tumours.
  • Uncontrolled disease e.g. diabetes.
  • Inability to walk.

Price of treatment

Half an hour £150

My opinion

Despite lasers and other machines, this injection therapy, still yields the best results. Wearing support tights really does help, but it’s quite slow!

Treatment Clinics in Brighton, Hove and Mid Sussex. 01273 691424 or 07809 415211