Microsclerotherapy – Pros & cons

The advantages and disadvantages of microsclerotherapy

Provided a high resolution ultrasound scan has been performed to check for any hidden varicose veins that might be feeding into the leg thread veins (or spider veins), and any such veins that have been found have been treated first, then microsclerotherapy is the optimal way to treat leg thread veins (or leg spider veins).
As with any medical treatment, its efficacy largely depends upon the person performing it. Depending how many veins are present, several sessions may be required to get the optimal result. As with any medical treatment, there is always a risk of complication such as; red stains, brown stains, or rarely a small skin ulcer due to a chemical burn.
Some clinics use laser, intense pulsed light (IPL) or electrolysis type treatment of thread veins on the legs. Laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) are more likely to damage the skin at the energy levels needed to treat thread veins of the legs. This does not happen in the face where the skin is more resilient to radiation. As far as the needle-type treatments such as electrolysis that are used that heat the vein and destroy it, this is very slow and laborious compared to microsclerotherapy. In addition, one injection of microsclerotherapy not only takes away a whole patch of thread veins, but also treats lots of little thread veins that are hidden under the skin that may well be feeding into this patch. Using one of the techniques that employ heat being transferred to the vein via a needle, each visible vein has to be treated individually every couple of millimetres along its whole length and any vein that is deep enough to not be visible from the surface cannot be treated.
In a very few cases, thread veins of the legs are too small for treatment by microsclerotherapy. In such cases, laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) can be suggested but with warnings about skin burns. An alternative is to leave the veins for six months in which case they often get large enough to treat with microsclerotherapy.


Microsclerotherapy is the optimal treatment of thread veins (or spider veins) of the legs in the majority of cases. It should only be used once underlying “hidden” varicose veins have been either excluded by duplex ultrasound examination or these veins have been found and treated. Compression stockings should be worn for 14 days after microsclerotherapy treatment and the full cosmetic results are usually only seen after three months.
This website was last updated on 11/10/16.