Facial veins treated with short wave diathermy

Immediately after the treatment, the appearance of the capillaries will be much improved. The treated area will be red and there may be some local swelling which usually subsides within 24 hours. It is not unusual to develop small scabs at the treatment site. These should be left alone and will fall off during the course of the next 7 days. These scabs will look similar in appearance to bramble scratches.

During the next two weeks the treated capillaries will re-appear and may look more noticeable than before - this is a normal part of the healing process. Gradually they will fade again. The success of the treatment can be judged at 4-6 weeks. A follow up appointment is recommended at this time should further treatment be required.

Please note that it is not always possible to achieve 100% clearance. Often more than one treatment 4 weeks apart is necessary, particularly on larger veins and those around the nostrils.


This is a safe treatment and complications are rare. However the following complications may occur:

  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Pigment changes

After treatment

  • Do not touch the treated area for 4-6 hours;
  • Avoid energetic exercise or swimming for 48 hours;
  • Protect the skin from the sun with SPF 30+ sun screen;
  • Apply cool compresses at home to reduce any swelling or discomfort.

Leg veins treated with microsclerotherapy

Before treatment

  • Do not use bath oils, lotions of creams on your leg for 24 hours before your injections.
  • Dress in loose clothing, jogging trousers or skirt and comfortable shoes to accommodate the support hosiery.
  • If you have already been supplied with a support stocking bring it with you on the day of treatment.

After treatment

You may resume normal activities immediately. You will be given special hosiery to wear for a week after the treatment. This looks like normal hosiery and you will have a choice of colours and styles. You will be advised to take a 10 minute walk immediately afterwards, to avoid high impact exercise for 2 weeks, no steaming hot baths, showers, saunas or sun beds for 2 weeks and no waxing for 4 weeks. Please discuss any long haul travel plans within 4 weeks of treatment with your doctor

Why is compression important?

Following microsclerotherapy medical compression hosiery is highly recommended to be worn continuously for 48-72 hours and during the day for a further 7-10 days. Compression will keep the vein walls closed until scar tissue (or fibrosis) takes place resulting thus in permanent occlusion of the prominent vein.

Post-Sclerotherapy compression will also lower the likelihood of pigmentation and thrombophlebitis.

External compression can augment the body’s natural muscle pump, improving venous flow by returning distended veins to normal size and restoring the competency of the valves. Therefore consider wearing support hosiery long term to minimise thread vein recurrence.

What results can I expect after microsclerotherapy for my leg veins?

The results are not immediate. The veins look worse before they get better and the treatment may need to be repeated at 4-12 weeks intervals. Most people see a 60-80% improvement in the appearance of their veins somewhere between one and four treatments. In rare cases the treatment has little or no effect. Results cannot be guaranteed.

Are the results permanent?

The veins that are successfully treated will not recover. However please bear in mind that this is a treatment for the symptoms and not a cure for the underlying cause of your venous problems. Therefore new veins may develop over time.


Sclerotherapy is a safe and well established treatment for thread veins on legs. Though safe, it is not entirely without risk. The two most common side effects are something called haemosiderin deposition and telangiectatic matting.

Haemosiderin deposition occurs when the vein is not entirely closed, blood is trapped and clots. In some people iron pigments leak from the clot and stain the skin over the vessel brown. These brown marks are usually not permanent but may take 6 - 18 months to fade. They darken when exposed to the sun and will take longer to fade if tanned.

Matting occurs if the fragile vessel is injured during the injection, leaving a mat of tiny veins that look like a blush or a red bruise. Matting usually disappears completely after 6 - 12 months, but if it persists, it can be treated with sclerotherapy if the needle can access the fine vessels and flush the solution gently through.

For more info please download the Advice to Patients PDF.