How does Sclerotherapy Work?

How does Sclerotherapy Work?

cellulite skin on legs

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure involving injecting a solution into veins or arteries to destroy them. The solution is usually a chemical, such as phenol, ethanol, or iodine. Sclerotherapy is popularly known for treating spider and varicose veins. 

The word “sclerotherapy” comes from the Greek word “sclerosis,” which means “hard.” This is because the injections cause the veins to harden and collapse. Sclerotherapy was first used in the early 1900s to treat varicose veins. It has since become a popular treatment for spider veins as well.

How Does Sclerotherapy Work?

Sclerotherapy is injected into the vein, causing it to subside and fade immediately. The solution used in sclerotherapy is usually a salt solution, but it can also be a chemical agent such as sclerosant. The solution irritates the vein’s lining, causing it to swell and stick together. 

Sclerotherapy is typically performed in a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete and does not require any anesthesia. You may experience mild discomfort during the procedure, but this can be alleviated with a local anesthetic.

After the procedure, you will need to wear compression stockings for two to four weeks to help reduce swelling and promote healing. You may also experience bruising around the injection site, which will resolve within a few weeks. 

Is Sclerotherapy Safe?

Yes! Sclerotherapy is a safe and practical treatment for varicose and spider veins. The solution used in sclerotherapy has been extensively studied and has been proven safe for use in humans. Significantly few risks are associated with the procedure, and serious complications are rare.

Risks and Complications of Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is generally considered safe when performed by a trained medical professional using sterile techniques. However, like any medical procedure, there are some risks and potential complications associated with sclerotherapy, including: 

  • Allergic reactions to the injected solutions
  • Bruising or discoloration at the injection site
  • Blood clots
  • Infection 
  • Inflammation 
  • Nerve damage 

Who Can Benefit From Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is an efficacious treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. The procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed on any area of the body where spider veins or varicose veins are present. Sclerotherapy is ideal for patients seeking a non-surgical option to eliminate their spider or varicose veins.

People with Varicose Veins

If you have unsightly varicose veins, sclerotherapy can help you eliminate them. The injected solution will cause the varicose veins to collapse and eventually disappear.

People with Spider Veins

Like varicose veins, spider veins can also be treated with sclerotherapy. The injected solution will cause the spider veins to collapse and eventually disappear.

People who are self-conscious about their Appearance

If you are self-conscious about how your veins look, sclerotherapy can help you achieve your desired appearance. After undergoing treatment, you will no longer worry about your spider or varicose veins being visible.

People who are Looking for a Non-invasive Treatment Option

If you are looking for some means to treat your spider or varicose veins without surgery, sclerotherapy is ideal. The procedure is minimally invasive and does not require any downtime for recovery.

Benefits of Sclerotherapy

A solution is injected into the vein during the procedure, causing it to collapse and eventually disappear. Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment for both spider and varicose veins, with several benefits.

Minimally-Invasive Procedure

One of the main benefits of Sclerotherapy is that it is a minimally-invasive procedure. This means there is no need for surgery, and the risks associated with surgery are eliminated. The procedure is much less painful than surgery, and the recovery time is shorter.

Effective Treatment

Sclerotherapy is proven an effective treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. The success rate for treating spider veins is about 80%, and the success rate for treating varicose veins is about 70%. In most cases, multiple treatments are required for complete success.

Improvement in Symptoms

Another benefit of Sclerotherapy is improving the symptoms associated with spider and varicose veins. These symptoms include pain, swelling, itching, burning, and cramping. 

By eliminating the underlying cause of these symptoms—the abnormal veins—SclerotherapySclerotherapy can provide relief from these uncomfortable symptoms.

What to Expect During Treatment

Before starting treatment, your doctor will conduct a physical examination and order a duplex ultrasound to determine the extent of your venous insufficiency. 

During the procedure, your doctor will inject the solution into your veins using a small needle. You may feel discomfort during the injection, but it should only last a few seconds. 

After the injection, you will need to wear compression stockings for two weeks to help keep the vein closed. Your doctor may also recommend that you walk for 30 minutes each day during this time. 

Most people need two or three treatment sessions spaced four to six weeks apart to see results. Once your veins have faded, they will not come back. 

How to Care for Your Skin After Sclerotherapy

After your sclerotherapy treatment, you’ll need to care for your skin to help the injection sites heal correctly. Here are a few tips:

Avoid Sun Exposure

It’s important to avoid direct sunlight on the treated area for at least two weeks after your treatment. If you must go outside, wear protective clothing and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Wear Compression Stockings

Wearing compression stockings as directed by your doctor will help improve circulation and reduce swelling. Make sure to put on your stockings before you get out of bed in the morning so that they have a chance to do their job during the day.

Take it Easy

After the treatment, do not indulge in strenuous activities for at least 24 hours. This includes things like heavy lifting, running, or other high-impact activities. Taking it easy will help prevent bruising and swelling.

When to Get Sclerotherapy

The best time of year to get SclerotherapySclerotherapy is during the fall and winter months. The cooler temperatures make it easier for the body to heal and the veins to shrink. There are a few reasons why SclerotherapySclerotherapy works better in the cooler months:

  • The weather is more relaxed, so you’re less likely to sweat and causing the veins to dilate.
  • There is less sun exposure, which can aggravate spider veins.
  • Your body is better able to heal when it’s not trying to cope with extreme heat or cold.


Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure involving injecting a solution into veins or arteries to destroy them. It works by irritating the lining of the vein, which causes it to swell and collapse. The procedure is usually performed by a dermatologist or a vascular surgeon and does not require anesthesia.

PBK Med Spa offers Sclerotherapy treatments for both spider veins and varicose veins. Our team of certified professionals has years of experience in performing this procedure.

We use only the highest quality solutions and ensure that the injections are appropriately administered. If you are interested in learning more about this procedure, PBK is happy to answer your questions.