Clinics in Plymouth & Wells

Micro-Sclerotherapy for Leg Thread Vein Removal

Have you got unsightly thread veins on the legs that are making you feel self- conscious?
Do you hate the summer months exposing your legs due to unsightly thread and spider veins?
Would you like a permanent solution to get rid of the visible veins that are bothering you?
Micro-sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that permanently removes spider veins and thread veins.

What are thread veins and why do we get them on the legs?

Spider and thread veins of the legs are permanently dilated superficial skin veins that often appear in the early 30’s and 40’s, more commonly affected women. They are often caused by hormonal changes especially during pregnancy and due to hormonal changes associated with low levels of progesterone.
Localised trauma to the legs can also cause damage to the superficial veins leading to permanent thread veins
Usually, thread veins are asymptomatic but sometimes can be associated with aching of the legs and itching.

Sclerotherapy is effective for the following:

  • Spider veins
  • Thread veins

With micro-sclerotherapy using a very fine needle we inject a special solution known as sclerosant into the visible veins which are being treated. The sclerosant liquid when injected in to the veins damages the lining of the vein walls causing swelling which immediately diverts the blood in to unaffected veins causing and immediate blanching or whitening of the treated veins.

The treated veins will become inflamed and blocked from the sclerosant which then permanently ‘glues’ the veins shut to stop them opening up with blood. The closed-up veins then fade away and are harmlessly reabsorbed into the body. Because this treatment is very targeted on individual veins, it may take more than one treatment to eliminate them all.

What happens during the treatment?

We will clean and sterilize the affected areas and then inject a special solution known as ‘sclerosant’ into the veins you want to get rid of using a very fine needle. The walls of that vein will then come together forcing the blood to take a different route. You may experience a slight burning or stinging sensation while this happens but nothing severe. Immediately after treatment there may be some swelling and itching in the treated areas.
At the end of treatment, a compression garment is applied to the legs.

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment time will vary depending on how large an area you want treated and how many veins are visible but normally a treatment session is up to 45 mins.

Is the treatment painful?

Some patients may experience a slight burning or stinging sensation during and after the treatment. After treatment the treated areas may experience itching and mild discomfort which usually passes within 1-2 days.

How many treatments will I need?

Most patients require 1 or 2 treatments, however with extensive thread veins you may require more treatment sessions to treat all the areas.

Are there any side effects?

It is expected most patients will experience some minor bruising and there will noticeable discolouration of the treated veins which will slowly resolve over the next 2-3 months after treatment. This is normal and expected and part of the treatment process. Occasionally there is more prolonged staining of the skin. These effects can be reduced by wearing appropriate compression garments after treatment and avoiding excessive sun exposure to the legs.

More serious side effects are rare but can include allergic reactions and skin blistering and necrosis. In extremely rare cases, patients have suffered deep vein thrombosis but the risk of this is one patient in 10,000.

Will I need to wear a compression garment after treatment?

Yes, we advise wearing compression garments either lower leg or full leg depending on the areas of treatment post procedure for 72hrs continuously then 12 hrs per day for the next 1-2 weeks following treatment. Wearing a compression garment can reduce the risk of side effects following treatment.
We can provide you with advice about getting appropriate compression garments prior to your treatment.

How long do the results of treatment last?

The results of treatment are permanent although in some patients they can develop new thread veins occasionally if they have future pregnancies or develop venous disease including varicose veins.

Are there any contraindications to Micro-sclerotherapy?

If there is a history of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) or Pulmonary Embolism. Pregnancy and breast feeding.
We advised against treatment up to two weeks before flying or any periods of prolonged immobility due to the increased risk of DVT.
Varicose Veins which are related to more serious venous disease need to be treated before micro-sclerotherapy is undertaken otherwise the treatment is often less successful.

How do I know if sclerotherapy is right for me?

Book a consultation with experienced doctors or nurses at one of our Skin Excellence Clinics and we will talk through what you would like to achieve, examine the veins in question and advise you on whether sclerotherapy would be suitable for you.

How much do sclerotherapy treatments cost?

Micro-sclerotherapy costs £395 per session

Treatment Summary

No. of treatments

Usually 1-2 but up to 4 for extensive thread veins.

Recovery Time

Normal activities can be resumed immediately but we advise against hot baths or saunas and strenuous exercise for 2 weeks.

Procedure time

45 mins

Back to normal

There can be discolouration of the treated veins for up to 2-3 months following treatment before full resolution. Most patients are otherwise back to normal activities and exercise after 2 weeks.

Discomfort level


Final Results

Up to 2-3/12 for full resolution of the treated veins



Duration of results


DISCLAIMER: We are all unique. This means that treatment plans, the results, down time and recovery following treatment will vary from patient to patient. The information we provide is based on the extensive experience we have gained from treating a wide variety of patients, both men and women of different ages and is based on an average treatment experience. For more accurate information about how the treatment experience would be for you, we suggest you make a CONSULTATION with Dr Strawford at one of our clinics.

Why choose Skin Excellence Clinics

What makes Skin Excellence Clinics so special and why should you choose to have your medical cosmetic treatment with us?

  • The guiding principle of Skin Excellence Clinics has always been to deliver exceptional patient care: this was the focus in 2005 when Dr Strawford started in the field of medical aesthetics and has remained the ethos we have followed for the past 11 years.
  • Dr Ian Strawford, founder of Skin Excellence Clinics will help you to find the right solution: but only if appropriate for your needs and expectations
  • You will receive a medical consultation, where you will be given plenty of time and space to consider all of your options, before deciding if treatment may be right for you.
  • We source the best products through official UK Pharmacies: we do not risk the safety of our patients, the quality of our service or the results of your treatments.
  • Whilst many people naturally assume that cosmetic treatments are all about beautification: we can help to reduce the psychological and emotional effects of scarring, acne, rosacea, excessive sweating, hair loss and skin lesions.

Book your Consultation

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