A Beginner’s Guide to Sclerotherapy

The veins carrying blood back to the heart have valves to prevent backward flow.  Varicose veins are webs, thread, branches, or lines that occur on the skin when the valves inside the veins stop working properly. The blood struggles to flow in the right direction if the veins are weakened or damaged. Sclerotherapy is a treatment that can eliminate varicose veins  (only treats spider) and spider veins.

Although spider veins aren’t always painful, you may want to remove them for medical or aesthetic reasons. Read on to find out more about this treatment and its side effects, risks, and benefits:


Patients suffering from spider veins receive this treatment for cosmetic reasons, but it can also improve aching, swelling, night cramps, and burning symptoms. The procedure involves the use of an irritating solution called a sclerosant, which the provider injects directly into the veins. It causes the veins to swell, which cuts off the blood flow and shrinks the vessel.

It is also helpful in the following cases:

  • Painful veins

  • Sore or heavy legs

  • The skin on the legs or feet is patchy or dry

  • Rash near the spider veins

Temporary side effects

The following side effects may occur at the site of the injection:

  • Bruising

  • Raised red areas

  • Small skin sores

  • Darkened skin in the form of lines or spots

  • Multiple tiny red blood vessels


Some of the risks commonly associated with Sclerotherapy treatment are:

Inflammation: The solution can cause swelling, warmth, and discomfort around the injection site.

Blood clot: Blood may coagulate in the treated vein and may require drainage.

Pulmonary embolism: A very rare sclerotherapy complication is an emergency when the clot travels to your lungs and blocks a vital artery. You must seek immediate medical care if you experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, or dizziness after the treatment.

Air bubbles: Tiny air bubbles can rise in your bloodstream, but they don’t always exhibit direct symptoms. You may experience headaches, visual disturbances, fainting, and nausea.

Allergic reaction: It’s uncommon to have an allergic reaction to the solution.


You must avoid certain medications like over-the-counter drugs, anti-biotics, herbs, aspirin, ibuprofen, and dietary supplements before sclerotherapy. You must also avoid applying lotion to the treatment area before the procedure.

Your doctor will perform a physical checkup to assess your medical history and evaluate the veins to check for the presence of nearby blood vessels. You must share the details of any recent illnesses, medications, physical conditions, and allergies with your doctor.


It’s an outpatient procedure, which means that you can drive yourself home after the treatment. In most cases, you can resume regular activities soon after. Dr. Ballentyne asks that patients bring 20-30mmHg stockings to their appointment bc they must be put on immediately following treatment. He asks that patients do not fly on an airplane for 14 days following treatment.

About Ballentyne Medical Aesthetics

If you want to treat spider veins, Ballentyne Medical Aesthetics should be your one-stop destination. We have been helping Portsmouth residents since 2002 with non-surgical cosmetic skin therapies, including CoolSculpting, injectables, laser, and profound RF. Fill out our new patient form to find out which skin treatment works best for you. You can call us at (603) 319-8432 or email at hello@ballentynemedicalaesthetics.com to know more.