What Are the Most Common Sclerotherapy Side Effects?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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The most common sclerotherapy side effects tend to be mild. They include itching and bruising, redness, or raised areas at the site of the injection. These effects should only last a couple of days after the treatment.

More long-term sclerotherapy side effects include abnormalities in the veins that have received the injection. In rare cases they can harden or become lumpy. There is generally no treatment for this condition and it may take many months for the veins to return to normal.

Other sclerotherapy side effects include the appearance of spots, brown lines, or miniscule blood vessels near the veins that have been treated. These marks are usually only superficial and do not tend to cause pain. They typically disappear on their own over the course of a few months, though it can take up to a year for them to fade completely.

One of the rarest sclerotherapy side effects is an allergic reaction to the contents of the injection. The most common symptoms are swelling and excessive itching in the treated area. This kind of a reaction is usually not serious or life-threatening.

More serious, though also rare, sclerotherapy side effects include tiny ulcers that may grow at the site of the injection and sudden swelling of the treated leg. There have also been reported effects in the groin area such as red streaking and inflammation. These symptoms should receive prompt medical attention.


Sclerotherapy is used to treat conditions in the veins. It is most commonly used for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. The treatment is also used for malformations in the lymphatic system and blood vessels.

Veins to be treated with sclerotherapy are injected with a solution that shrinks them upon contact. Over time the vein will eventually be entirely absorbed by the body. Sclerotherapy targets both the primary vein that is causing the trouble and the smaller veins that feed it.

The basic steps of sclerotherapy include a series of injections into the target veins, compression of the leg, and regular exercise after treatment. Compression garments are usually used to put pressure on the leg and usually consist of either a tight bandage or stocking. These are typically left on for a couple of weeks.

Depending on the severity of the condition, a second treatment may be required a few weeks after the first. Ultrasound is often used to determine how successful the original treatment has been. It can also help a doctor to find areas that need additional treatment.


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