What is microsclerotherapy?
Jouvence Aesthetics offers Microsclerotherapy for thread veins/spider veins on legs. Moira Grobicki trained in Liverpool with Facethetics Academy & is also a member of the British Association of Sclerotherapists to ensure she remains up to date with the treatment.
Microsclerotherapy is one of the most effective and well-established treatments for telangiectasia – or spider veins/thread veins – an issue that affects up to 50% of all adults.
Although spider veins can cause discomfort in some, for many patients, these small dilated blood vessels are an unsightly problem that they wish to have removed through procedures such as foam sclerotherapy, microsclerotherapy, laser therapy or even surgery.
Microsclerotherapy differs from sclerotherapy in that it uses micro-needles to specifically target telangiectasia, rather than larger varicose veins.
Microsclerotherapy is most effective in the treatment of spider veins on the legs, and involves the injection of a solution, or ‘sclerosant’, with a very fine needle into the problem blood vessel. The injected solution is designed to destroy the blood vessel lining triggering fibrosis, causing the vessel to close and fade away.
The use of graduated compression hosiery (support toghts/stockings) after treatment supports and promotes the healing process, minimising undesirable side effects such as the development of post-sclerotherapy thrombi and general inflammation.
It is also advised to take a ten minute walk immediately after treatment, and then 72 hours continuous compression. This is followed by compression for two weeks during the day.
The British Association of Sclerotherapists ensure maintenance of high standards of responsible practice in microsclerotherapy, and establishing a code of conduct for practitioners. Before you book with a practitioner check that they are a member of the association.
What are the risks associated with microsclerotherapy?
Common short-term side effects in the hours immediately following a microsclerotherapy treatment include redness, welts similar to insect bites appearing at the puncture sites, and a prickling or itching sensation across the area that was treated.
These symptoms tend to subside spontaneously within hours of the treatment being performed, as long as the correct aftercare instructions are carried out. Longer lasting side effects following microsclerotherapy include bruising and brown pigmentation of the treatment area, caused either by red blood cells breaking down, or by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
The incidence of this can be minimised with compression hosiery. This staining can occur in up to 15% of all sclerotherapy treatments; staining that is not usually permanent, but that can take between six and 18 months to fade.
Telangiectatic matting is another side effect that can occur as a result of microsclerotherapy. This happens when vessels are partially damaged and remain under pressure from feeding vessels, leaving a ‘matted’ area of tiny visible blood vessels that resemble a bruise. Telangiectatic matting usually clears as vessels in the area are successfully closed, within six to 12 months.
As with all medical treatments involving medicated solutions, microsclerotherapy brings with it the potential for an allergic reaction, from relatively minor symptoms of itching and redness following treatment, to a full blown anaphylactic response that can occur as soon as the sclerosant is introduced to the system. Your practitioner will avoid the issue of allergic reactions as much as possible through a detailed consultation prior to treatment, discussing the medical history of the patient and testing the patient’s tolerance to the sclerosant using a small amount of the solution in contact with the skin as a test patch.
Other rare, but potential side effects, of sclerotherapy include blood clots, headaches, lower back pain, fainting, transient visual disturbances and in extremely rare cases, transient ischaemic attacks.
How effective is microsclerotherapy?
The risk of serious side effects from microsclerotherapy treatment is extremely low (the occurrence of allergic reactions – from minor hives through to anaphylaxis – reported as having happened as a direct result of sclerotherapy treatment has been recorded as just 0.3%7), and even if the patient does experience some haemosiderin staining or telangiectatic matting as a result of the treatment, the likelihood is that these will fade without further intervention within 12 months.
The majority of telangiectasia treated with microsclerotherapy will also fade, many patients report that they begin to see an improvement after about four weeks, though it can take two to three months for the full effects of the treatment of the spider veins to be seen. In many cases, further treatments may be necessary to treat an area of telangiectasia, and I usually recommend that patients budget for around 3-5 treatments, though the number required does vary depending on the severity of the case.
If you have any questions at all please get in touch.
Before treatment 4 weeks after treatment