mediacal aesthetics
Thread/spider veins
Thread veins are unsightly very small, abnormally dilated blood vessels. They are red/blue in colour and lie very close to the surface of the skin. Usually they cause no physical problems, occasionally they may cause discomfort and itching. The veins in the legs have to return blood from the feet back up towards the heart against gravity. There are two main systems of veins in the legs. The deep system lies within the muscles in the legs and carries the majority of the blood. As the muscles contract the veins are squeezed and blood moves up the veins. Valves attached to the walls of the vessels prevent backward flow and as the blood moves up it is drawn into the deep system from the superficial system in the skin. In healthy veins the valves close and blood only moves in one direction.
Approximately 50% of the population will at some point develop a problem with their veins. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins do not close properly and blood leaks back against the flow, this is called reflux. Reflux causes a back pressure in the superficial veins which are not supported by muscle and can dilate. As they stretch their valves do not close properly ,and so the problem develops, leading to varicose veins and thread veins.
The treatment
Sclerotherapy (or Microsclerotherapy) is a safe and well established treatment for thread veins on the legs. Although there are a number of alternatives, it remains the most reliable and successful.The injections are performed with you lying down. A solution is injected with a very small needle,  superficially into the veins, causing the lining of the vein to swell and become sticky. Compression is then applied to close the veins. Over a period of time the vein will heal closed and fade away. Research has shown that ideally there should be some compression of the veins injected. This may be initially with cotton wool/dental rolls and then with a bandage or compression stocking. Compression helps achieving a better appearance in the long term and less side effects. We suggest 24 -72 hours of non stop compression and then for as long as possible during the day. Initially, if both legs are treated you will be unable to bath during this time, unless you can do so with out making your stockings/bandages wet.


The two most common unwanted effects are haemosiderin deposition and telangiectatic matting.

Haemosiderin deposition occurs when the vein is not entirely closed, blood is trapped and clots. In some people iron pigments leak from the clot and stains the skin over the vessel brown. These brown marks are usually not permanent but may take 6 - 18 months to fade. They darken when exposed to the sun and will take longer to fade if tanned.

Matting occurs if the fragile vessel is injured during the injection, leaving a mat of tiny veins that look like a blush or a red bruise. Matting usually disappears completely after 6 - 12 months, but if it persists, it can be treated with sclerotherapy if the needle can access the fine vessels and flush the solution gently through.

Other risks are extremely rare but these include:
Allergic reaction - any drug carries risk of allergic reaction. It is quite common for patients to experience some itching and some redness at the treatment site. This is no cause for concern and will pass within a few hours. If the solution irritates the tissue surrounding the vein, in rare instantes, blistering can occur. If left alone these can potentially lead to further blistering and scarring.

The results achieved after one treatment vary considerably from one patient to another, although they cannot be guaranteed. We advise to consider 2 to 4 treatment sessions, 4 to 6 weeks apart, and you can expect a 60 - 80% improvement in their appearance.


For further details concerning your personal treatment, you can arrange a consultation with a Medical Aesthetics Physician.

Contact us for further information.