Sclerotherapy treats tiny blue leg veins, also called reticular veins or venulectasias. This condition may arise in adulthood due to a decline in function of deeper, non-visible veins, which return blood from the feet back to the heart. When these deep vessels stop working, blood backs up in them, and smaller reticular veins and venulectasias become enlarged and visible.
Sclerotherapy is performed by injecting a sclerosant, such as a concentrated salt solution, into the vessels, causing them to collapse. Best results are obtained if compression stockings are worn for three weeks after treatment. Put them on in the morning and remove them at night. The Jobst brand of compression stockings may be purchased without a prescription at surgical supply stores and local and online pharmacies. Only a percentage of vessels disappear permanently after any given treatment session, and two to five treatment sessions may be required at six- to eight-week intervals to achieve satisfactory results.
Sclerotherapy is generally well tolerated, but some people develop pain or cramping at the injection sites. Others may develop temporary dark patches at the site of injections. Finally, skin sloughing has been reported, though uncommonly. The appearance of tiny vessels on your legs may warrant a search for broken deeper, non-visible veins with a duplex Doppler ultrasound test. This test may be needed if you suffer from leg swelling or pain. Vein specialists may remove broken deeper veins or treat them with a laser.