Do you Know the Side Effects of Sclerotherapy?

Smooth legs.
Sclerotherapy is the top treatment choice for varicose and spider veins, Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center says. But it does have potential side effects.

Sclerotherapy is the gold standard for treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. Some practitioners use other forms of treatment such as lasers, but these do not work for leg spider veins. But as with any medical procedure, there is a risk of side effects. Fortunately, side effects are rarely serious or permanent, says Jacksonville vein specialist Dr. James St. George.

The side effect that patients most frequently ask about is the appearance of dark lines on the legs after the procedure, known as hyperpigmentation. Patients with a darker skin complexion or with dark hair color are at the greatest risk of developing this pigmentation. Though the reason is not completely clear, some believe that a form of iron that escapes from the blood in the injected veins causes the discoloration. Lines typically disappear within three to six months but can take up to two years to fully fade. In rare cases (about five percent), pigmentation can be permanent.

Other possible side effects of sclerotherapy include:

  • Hardness or lumpiness that occurs in larger injected veins and lasts for several months;
  • Raised, red-tinged areas appearing at the injection site and disappearing within several hours;
  • Bruising around the injection site lasting for several days or weeks;
  • The appearance of new tiny blood vessels around the treated area, known as matting. These may require additional injections.

Other, rarer side effects can be very serious. These include:

  • Allergic reactions to the sclerosing agent, typically involving itching and swelling;
  • Sudden onset of a swollen leg;
  • Small ulcers forming at the injection site;
  • Red streaking.

If you develop any of these more serious sclerotherapy side effects, call your doctor immediately.

To find out if sclerotherapy is the right treatment choice for your spider or varicose veins, call the St. Johns Vein Center at 877-640-VEIN (8346).


free vein screeningThe St. Johns Vein Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of both medical and cosmetic vein conditions for Varicose VeinsSpider VeinsBlue Veins and more. Schedule Your Free Vein Screening Today   Call Us Today! (904)373-1237

Related posts

vein center accreditation

St. Johns Interventional and Vascular Receives IAC Reaccreditation

August 8, 2018 Early detection of life threatening heart disorders, stroke and other diseases is possible through the use of vascular testing procedures performed within hospitals, outpatient centers and physicians’ offices. Cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. On average, one American dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease – disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Stroke, a disorder of the blood supply to the brain, is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the country, with nearly 800,000 new strokes occurring annually.

Read More