Are you putting off vein treatment because you think it will take too long and recovery will be too time consuming? Worried you won’t be able to afford time off from work and other life responsibilities?


Doctor performing vein treatment on patient

Even in health-threatening situations, people feel as though their bustling schedules don’t allow the time it’ll take to get a procedure done. But despite what you may think, the vein treatment process has been streamlined to work around your mega-busy life. In fact, many procedures can be done and recovered from in less than a day.


Here we will break down how long each vein treatment takes and what the recovery process will be like. Once you learn how easy and convenient these procedures are, you’ll be ready to book your first appointment!


The Truth About Vein Treatments: Duration and Recovery Time


We’re pretty sure no one likes painful, grueling, and excessively lengthy treatments that leave us feeling exhausted and totally unmotivated. So you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that all the treatments we provide at Delaware Advanced Vein Center are exceptionally quick and require little to no recovery time. Here’s what you can expect when you get any of the following treatments at our clinic.


Ambulatory Phlebectomy


Ambulatory phlebectomy is one of the most minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins. During the process, a teeny-tiny needle is used to make a small incision near your enlarged vein. A hook is then used to graciously remove the vein from your skin.


The procedure usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour depending on how many veins are being treated. Afterward, the incision area is wrapped in a bandage and patients can feel free to live their lives as they please. We do recommend you take it easy until you have your post-treatment follow-up two days later. Skydiving, marathon running, or extreme sports playing of any sort should be avoided momentarily.


Ideally, you would only need to have one ambulatory phlebectomy to rid yourself of varicose veins for life. But some people may need multiple rounds. This can depend on the size and number of varicose veins you want to treat. You can have multiple veins worked on at once, but this lengthens the duration of the procedure. If you have lots of varicose veins to fix and no more than an hour to do it, you may want to make an additional appointment.


You’ll be relieved to know that the recovery period for an ambulatory phlebectomy is pretty much nonexistent. Especially compared to surgeries that require you to be off your feet for weeks. You might start to miss your varicose veins a bit, but you’ll be too busy showing off your newly beautified legs!




Sclerotherapy is a remarkably quick vein treatment used to diminish the look of spider veins. It differs from other venous treatments as it uses a snazzy medical solution called sclerosant to collapse the vein within your body. This forces the lining of your skin to stick together and your body to absorb the vein. Eventually, the itsy bitsy spider vein will cease to exist.


You may need multiple rounds of sclerotherapy in order to eliminate your spider veins once and for all. This is reliant upon the severity of your spider veins as well as your age and overall health. In general, spider veins respond to sclerotherapy in three to six weeks, and larger veins respond in three to four months.


If you find yourself sensitive to treatments of any kind, even ones as painless and easy as sclerotherapy, it may be best to spread treatments out over several weeks. Luckily, each session of sclerotherapy is very quick. It usually takes 10 to 30 minutes—so short your boss won’t know you left work.


There’s no recovery period for sclerotherapy. Though you may feel slightly sore around the incision area, it’s right back to the grind after the treatment is done. Once again, a procedure made to fit our footloose and fancy-free lives.


Venous Ablation


Venous ablation is a method used to treat varicose veins and venous insufficiency. During the procedure, a small catheter is inserted into the affected vein. It then emits radio-frequency heat to disrupt the structure of your vein walls. This causes the vein to collapse and ultimately absorb into your body.


Venous ablation is less of a cosmetic procedure and more for the sake of relieving discomfort caused by your vein condition. It’s often used in patients experiencing significant pain or swelling from varicose veins or venous insufficiency. Each round of the procedure only takes 45 minutes. But like the other vein treatments we’ve discussed, depending on how intense your vein condition is, you may need multiple rounds over the course of weeks to be completely effective. Just think of it as more quality time spent with your vein specialist.


The recovery period for venous ablation is slightly more involved as post-treatment bruising and discomfort may last a few days. But considering how much it can reduce the pain you’ve endured from your vein condition, we swear it’ll be worth your time.


Venous Ultrasound


Venous ultrasounds are a necessary part of identifying any turmoil going on within your veins. They are taken before treatments to detect venous insufficiency. During the ultrasound, a probe is used to measure your blood flow and see if it’s traveling in the opposite direction. This all-powerful procedure also measures the size of your veins and can even detect deep vein thrombosis.


The good news for those nervous about vein treatments is that venous ultrasounds are completely non-invasive. They don’t hurt a bit, they don’t require needles or incisions, and they allow you to return to work right away. Most importantly, they give you the answers you need to make important decisions about your future vein treatments. How efficient!

What’s the Best Time of Year for Vein Treatments?


There’s never a wrong time to schedule vein treatments, but there are definitely more strategic times of the year for having them done. Isn’t one of the biggest inspirations for ridding your skin of spider and varicose veins to have fun in the summer sun while wearing your favorite swim trunks or sundresses? It may be hard to confidently do that with a big bandage on your legs. Fall is thus the prime time for starting vein treatment, giving your plenty of time to recover before warm weather rolls around again. Especially if your varicose or spider veins are abundant and you suspect you’ll need multiple rounds of treatment.


Vein specialists say it’s best to stay out of the sun for the first couple of weeks after your treatment. That’s because sun exposure can cause skin discoloration in the area where your procedure was done. Your post-treatment bandages and compression socks will go perfectly with all your autumnal layers. And cooler temperatures make going out for a breezy walk in the leaves much more enjoyable. Getting lots of steps in keeps your blood circulating, which is an absolute must for a full and healthy recovery.


Make Time for a Vein Treatment


Time can be a barrier to getting procedures of any kind. But when it comes to sclerotherapy, venous ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy, or venous ultrasounds, the sacrifices are truly minuscule.

All of these procedures take very little time and involve little to no recovery time. These highly efficient treatments are made to disrupt your life as little as possible. Plus our free virtual vein consultations only take 30 minutes. You now have one less excuse for putting off vein treatment—contact us today!

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Feeling self-conscious about your spider veins? Then sclerotherapy treatment is the answer for you. This quick, non-surgical treatment can help reduce the appearance of spider veins and some varicose veins. Just think, sclerotherapy might give you back the confidence to wear shorts in the summer again!

Doctor inserting needle into patient's spider veins.


As with any medical procedure, apprehension can be common. Particularly with vein treatments, because in order to fix veins, you must go beneath the surface of the skin. This can cause a great deal of dread for people who can barely get themselves through a flu shot.


If you’re one who fears medical treatments of any kind, you’re in the right place. We’ll give you an all-encompassing look at what it’s like to get sclerotherapy, what to expect before and after the treatment, and how long it’ll take to see results.


Is Sclerotherapy Really for Me?


Do you want to stop withering away in a pair of pants when it’s 90 degrees outside? If so, sclerotherapy is definitely worth your while. Just look at some before and after pictures of the procedure. As you can see, the results can be life-changing. Especially if spider veins are compromising your self-confidence.


All things considered, sclerotherapy is a quick and easy procedure. The process can be uncomfortable but not intolerable. At Delaware Advanced Vein Center, we use the smallest needle available to lessen pain and improve recovery. So rest assured that we’ll do everything we can to make sure your sclerotherapy experience is as efficient and smooth as possible.


Everything You Should Know About Sclerotherapy Side Effects


Though the effectiveness of sclerotherapy can be life changing, it’s not without side effects. When you undergo sclerotherapy, the following outcomes are possible:

  • Ulcers on the skin
  • Scarring and dark spots
  • Allergic reactions
  • Superficial phlebitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis


Let’s be clear—these side effects sound a lot more extreme than they really are. The likelihood of ulcers developing is 0.2 to 1.2%. And though scarring may occur after the treatment, it should not be permanent. Hemosiderin staining, caused by iron in red blood cells, can stain your skin after injection. But this generally lasts 1-2 years and is rarely permanent.


Dark spots aren’t an uncommon side effect of sclerotherapy. But they are known to disappear six months later. In the grand scheme of things, these temporary side effects are certainly worth the confidence you’ll gain from ridding your legs of spider veins.


Superficial phlebitis, aka vein inflammation, can be linked to sclerotherapy. But if the correct measures are taken (which include compression and anti-inflammatory medication) this should be no problem. Allergic reactions, ranging from mild to severe, are a possible but uncommon outcome of sclerotherapy. Test to see if you are allergic to the solution used in treatment. If that’s the case, there are plenty of wonderful alternatives your doctor can use instead.


The risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may sound terrifying, but rest assured that it’s very, very rare. In fact, less than 1% of patients who undergo sclerotherapy experience it. And of those patients, the majority have existing thromboembolic complications. If you currently have DVT, a conversation with your vein specialist can help you determine if sclerotherapy is a safe option for you.


The Remarkable Speed of Sclerotherapy Treatment


Sclerotherapy is one of the most efficient vein procedures out there. It only lasts 10 to 30 minutes. Why so short? Because it’s a very simple procedure that allows you and your vein specialist to briskly banish those vile veins and get on with your day.


Sclerotherapy starts by injecting a solution called sclerosant into the vein to irritate its lining. This collapses the vein and causes the lining to stick together. Like magic, the vein is absorbed by your body and eventually disappears altogether.


Does the thought of collapsed lining and vein absorption make you cringe? It shouldn’t. The sclerotherapy process is a cinch and will be over before you know it. That being said, you’ll want to prepare for the treatment beforehand. So here are the best ways to make sure you’re ready.


How To Prep for Your Sclerotherapy Treatment


Obeying the following rules will ensure you don’t have any issues during your sclerotherapy treatment:


  • Refrain from Vitamin E or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Advil or aspirin for at least 1 week before treatment. This may be bad news for those with a proclivity for headaches. But the migraines will be worth it for spider vein-free skin.
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing is the best thing you can do for your veins at this time. So trade in those skin-tight jeans and yoga pants for your baggiest pair of sweats.
  • Now is not the time for moisturization. Your skin should be void of any lotion prior to treatment.
  • For optimal success, this procedure requires a sober, smoke-free patient. So avoid consuming alcohol or nicotine beforehand.


Best Practices for Successful Sclerotherapy Recovery


Following these instructions will ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Avoid sports or exercise for at least 10 days after your treatment. Because why not take the only opportunity your doctor will give you to be superbly lazy for a week and a half?
  • Wear compression stockings for 5 days or as advised by your doctor. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of stylish options to choose from.
  • Avoid warm baths, sunbathing, hot tubs, and saunas for at least 2-3 days after your treatment. This causes blood vessels to dilate.


What to Realistically Expect From Sclerotherapy


Don’t be under the impression that this surgery instantly erases any trace of spider veins. Your veins will be visible after treatment and may last anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months. The duration of this is dependent on how large the veins were, to begin with.


Ideally, those pesky spider veins would cease to exist after your first round of sclerotherapy. But the likelihood of eliminating all of them within one session is small. So you’ll probably want to schedule a follow-up treatment in 4-6 weeks. Most people need 2-3 sessions or more to achieve their desired results. But since sclerotherapy is so easy and quick, this should be no biggie.


Sclerotherapy Is Easier Than You Think


If your boss won’t sign off on two weeks of post-treatment recovery, you’re in luck. As soon as the sclerotherapy is done, you can head straight back to work. You may experience some minor pain at the injection site but all in all, this treatment won’t stop you from moving onward and upwards.


What’s the magic formula for avoiding potential side effects from sclerotherapy? Following all of your vein doctor’s post-treatment advice to a T. This can lower your risk of experiencing cramps, scarring, or browning of the skin and ensure the most successful results. And if you’re still not convinced, give this video a watch and see just how irresistible your veins can look after sclerotherapy.



Filed under: Spider Veins, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , , , ,

Illustration of hands with bulging veins.

Our blood moves through the body via blood vessels with the goal of reaching our heart. But when blood has a hard time being transported, it can pool up in our veins. This can manifest itself as bulging in legs, hands, and feet. These swollen veins can look unappealing and really show off our age.


The good news is most bulging veins aren’t actually a sign of poor health. But there are instances where they may arise from an underlying disease. Whatever the cause or effect, let’s discuss everything you need to know about bulging veins.


8 Common Causes of Bulging Veins 


Bulging veins can be identified by their rope-like shape and bluish-green tone. While they’re not an inherent health threat, none of us want to have them on our skin. So why are my veins popping out? Here are some of the reasons why they appear:


  • Aging: As we age, our skin gets thinner and less elastic, making our blood vessels more visible. While not particularly desirable, it’s all part of the aging process.
  • Genetics: Having family members with bulging veins increases your chances of getting them.
  • Hot Weather: Heat can make veins more prominent and enlarged. Because they have to work harder in high temperatures, veins become more visible.
  • Hormone Imbalance: Pregnancy or menopause can lead to a hormone imbalance. One of the symptoms is bulging veins. Pregnancy may also put pressure on veins, making it harder for blood flow to get back to the heart.
  • Exercise: Heavy lifting for long periods of time can make blood flow increase. The muscles harden, causing more visible blood vessels. Over-stretching can also play a role in making veins pop out.
  • Blood Clots: Also known as thrombophlebitis, this condition can cause swollen veins that feel tough.
  • Body Fat Loss: Our skin has a layer of fat that serves as an insulator. When you lose weight, that layer thins, making veins more visible.
  • Health Conditions: Underlying heart problems can cause a chronic increase in blood pressure. This weakens the veins and can cause popping.


The causes of bulging veins differ from that of varicose veins. Varicose veins are often caused by damaged or weakened valves. Not all bulging veins are varicose veins, deeming them generally harmless. But if they cause pain and discomfort, it may be an underlying problem from untreated varicose veins. Let’s explain.


Are Bulging Veins the Same as Varicose Veins?


There are a few ways to tell the difference between a regular bulging vein and varicose veins. The first is where the vein is located. Bulging veins can pop up in various places. But varicose veins usually show up on your legs. This is where blood has to work the hardest to travel back to your heart.


Though similar in appearance, varicose and bulging veins have a slightly different look to them. They both have a rope-like structure. But varicose veins are generally larger and more twisted. Bulging veins are smaller with a green-blue hue. Varicose veins have a more purple-blue color.


Symptoms can help you identify whether you’re dealing with bulging or varicose veins. Bulging veins can be purely aesthetic and may have no real symptoms. Varicose veins; however, come with pain, discomfort, swelling, changes in skin texture, and even ulcers.


Can Bulging Veins Go Away?


Usually, bulging veins will go away on their own. Especially ones that are caused by exercise or hot weather. But if popping veins run in your family or come from underlying conditions, you may need treatment to help them go away. Here are some options:


  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can help decrease the swelling of bulging veins.
  • Sclerotherapy injects a chemical solution into targeted veins and makes them close.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy is the removal of the targeted veins via small incisions. While you’re under general anesthesia, your doctor will make an incision, tie off the vein, and remove it. The blood that used to run in the vein is automatically shifted and the closed vein eventually fades away.


What Can You Do To Prevent Bulging Veins From Forming?


As we’ve learned, bulging veins often have genetic causes. So while we can’t always stop them from forming, there are things we can do to lessen the appearance of bulging veins or prevent new ones from popping up.


Improve Your Heart Rate, Reduce Your Weight


Routine exercise improves circulation, prevents blood from pooling in veins, and helps with weight loss. Being overweight puts extra pressure on your veins. This increases your chances of developing bulging veins. So maintaining a healthy diet and workout routine is an advantageous step in treating or preventing bulging veins.


Sport a Pro-Vein Wardrobe


Wearing tight clothing could actually be the cause of your vein problems. Overly fitted garments restrain blood flow, which can then cause bulging veins to form. Sporting a loose-fitting, free-flowing wardrobe can help. And to further reduce your risk, compression socks can even out the pressure on your veins and prevent blood pooling.


Switch up Your Position


Refrain from standing, sitting, or crossing your legs for extended periods of time. Doing so can cause blood to pool in your veins. Elevating your legs to a position higher than your heart can also improve blood flow. Taking periodic breaks and stretching are both helpful ways to prevent and lessen bulging veins.


Trade Bad Habits for Healthy Ones


We all know that smoking is bad for us. It damages our blood vessels and restricts blood flow. This enlarges your veins and can cause them to bulge out. If you don’t want this to happen, stop smoking and start drinking—water that is. Getting lots of hydration keeps the blood flowing. This reduces pressure on your veins and can even help with skin elasticity.


When All Else Fails, Bulging Veins Can Be Fixed


Bulging veins are not a serious medical issue for the majority of people. But if you’re concerned that your popping veins are something serious (or if you just don’t like the way they look) make an appointment with a vein doctor.


If there’s a serious problem with your veins, a doctor can recommend treatment. And if you want them removed for cosmetic purposes, they can also make a suggestion for the best procedure. If bulging veins are a sign of a more serious condition, your doctor will offer specific medical treatments.

Filed under: Vein Health, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , , , ,

Doctor wearing scrubs with ultrasound machineIf you are looking for a less painful alternative to treat varicose veins, Venaseal™ may be for you. It’s minimally invasive and has a quick recovery process—a great option for busy people who hate getting surgery. But first, you have to know how it works. Let’s walk you through this procedure and discuss all the benefits.


Venaseal: An Innovative Treatment for Varicose Veins


Medical adhesives have been used for decades. But not until the last decade have they been utilized for venous procedures. Venaseal is the first of its kind to be FDA-approved for vein treatments.


Venaseal uses a medical adhesive to close varicose veins. The adhesive is a soft, elastic substance that polymerizes rapidly, allowing it to swiftly close the vein. But how is this adhesive effective? Let’s walk through the steps of Venaseal.


How Does the Venaseal Process Work?


The goal of Venaseal is to redirect blood flow from an unhealthy varicose vein to a healthier one. This is done by closing off the vein with a device that releases medical adhesive.


To start the treatment, the doctor takes an ultrasound of your leg to find the varicose vein. Once located, they numb the area by applying local anesthesia. Then the doctor uses a needle to guide a catheter into the vein.


Once inside, the catheter runs along the length of the vein and releases the adhesive. The doctor then uses an ultrasound to make sure the catheter is properly guided. The only discomfort you will experience now is mild pressure to ensure the vein closes.


After the vein is fully closed, the doctor will remove the catheter and apply a bandage. Over time the body will start to reabsorb the repaired vein. Once this happens, the outward appearance of varicose veins should lessen. This usually occurs within 4 weeks of the Venaseal treatment.


What Are the Advantages of Venaseal?


It’s apparent that with Venaseal, you don’t need to worry much about varicose vein pain relief. But what other benefits make this procedure worthwhile?


No General Anesthesia Needed


When you get Venaseal you are awake for the entirety of the procedure. Just local anesthesia is used. This may be of benefit to those sensitive to nausea, muscle pain, hypothermia, delirium, and other side effects of general anesthesia. The worst you can experience from local anesthesia is mild bruising or itching.


Doesn’t Interfere With Your Medication


Some people may be wary of how Venaseal will interfere with their prescriptions. The good news is that it won’t! You don’t have to stop taking any of your medications before or after the procedure. The minimally invasive nature of Venaseal means that it won’t mess with the balance of  anything you are currently taking.


Surgery and Recovery are Quick


Venaseal treatments are maximized for your convenience. The procedure is outpatient, only takes about 60-90 minutes, and can be done on both legs during the same appointment. Once done, the vein access point is generally the only area that needs healing. Tissue irritation and bruising are exceptionally minimal and recovery time is usually only a few days.


Venaseal Has Proven Success Rates


Venaseal has over a 98% vein closure rate for patients 6 months out of surgery and and a 94.6% closure rate for those 5 years out. This is as effective as other varicose vein treatments that come with far more side effects.


What Are the Alternatives to Venaseal?


Now that you know how convenient and quick Venaseal is, let’s see how it compares to other treatments.




Like Venaseal, sclerotherapy is both minimally invasive and highly efficient. This process uses a small needle to inject a chemical solution into the vein. Sclerotherapy tends to have a longer recovery process than Venaseal. Patients also experience more discomfort from the needle used during the procedure.


Laser Treatments


Laser treatments use beams of radiation to close varicose veins. The beam of light shrinks the vein, creating scar tissue inside the vessel that seals it off. When you use thermal or laser procedures to seal varicose veins, the heat must be numbed. So unlike Venaseal, multiple needle injections are needed to offset the pain. These injections often cause post-surgical aches and bruising.


Ligation and Vein Stripping


Ligation and vein stripping are considerably more invasive than Venaseal. Ligation is a surgical procedure where the affected vein is tied off to prevent blood flow and then removed. Vein stripping strips the varicose vein out of the body through a small incision in the leg. Because both of these procedures require incisions, recovery time is usually longer than Venaseal.


Ambulatory Phlebectomy


Ambulatory phlebectomy’s remove varicose veins through small puncture holes in the skin. This can be done without making large incisions or using general anesthesia. Like Venaseal, ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. However, it uses a small instrument to remove the veins rather than sealing them with an adhesive.


Venaseal Could Be the Right Treatment for You


Having varicose veins isn’t just a cosmetic issue. It can also cause major pain, swelling, blood clots, and ulcers in your veins and legs. If you want a relatively low-pain treatment for varicose veins, Venaseal may be for you. With its quick recovery process and little to no side effects, this may be one of the best treatments for varicose veins.

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dark lump on leg that may be symptom of phlebitisHave you noticed an area on your leg that’s dark with a lump? This is a common symptom of phlebitis, the inflammation of veins. It can cause blood clots called thrombophlebitis if left untreated.

Let’s go over what causes phlebitis so you can better understand how to treat it.

What Causes Phlebitis?


Phlebitis has many causes, but the most common are:

  • Local trauma or injury to the vein
  • Prolonged inactivity like long drives or plane rides
  • Insertion of intravenous catheters (IV) in hospitals
  • IV induced after surgery, especially orthopedic procedures
  • Prolonged immobility, as in hospitalized or bed-ridden patients
  • Varicose veins
  • Underlying cancers or clotting disorders
  • Removal of lymph nodes after mastectomies

Phlebitis can also occur in individuals whose blood tends to clot. This is often caused by circulatory issues.

How to Treat Phlebitis


A short-term condition of phlebitis will usually subside in 1-3 weeks. During this time, there are many methods you can use to treat phlebitis including simple at home treatments. Here are some things you can try:

  • Blood thinners to prevent clots from enlarging
  • Compression stockings
  • Warm or cold compresses
  • Elevating the legs for better blood flow
  • Over-the-counter drugs such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Indocin
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and inflammation (prescribed by a doctor)

ways to find relief for phlebitis leg lump pain

There are a number of  preventive measures you can take to avoid phlebitis and thrombophlebitis. Staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and quitting smoking can all help.

Can Phlebitis Turn into Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?


If left untreated, phlebitis can increase the risk of blood clots in deeper veins. The development of a serious blood clot is known as deep vein thrombosis.

One of the primary risks of DVT is a clot breaking free of the blood vessel wall. The clot can then travel through the body into the lungs. It can lodge in a pulmonary artery and block blood flow back to the heart. This situation can be life-threatening.

When phlebitis causes deep vein thrombosis, hospitalization is often recommended. Combine this with anti-blood clot or blood thinner medications and close monitoring.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , , , , , ,

Brown-stained legs magnified to show blood leaking out of veins just under the skinDo you have any concerns about your legs turning a reddish-brown color? This could be an indication that the veins in question are suffering from hemosiderin staining and potential problems with their health.


As we get older, it’s normal for our skin to thin, dry out, and lose elasticity. But it can be more concerning when you notice unusual changes in color and texture on your knees, legs, or ankles. If you notice a brown discoloration on the lower legs, it could point out a problem with your veins. For this reason alone, it’s important to understand why brown skin stains appear and what you can do to treat them.

What Is Hemosiderin Staining?


Hemosiderin staining occurs when red blood cells leak through the veins and iron or other byproducts are released. The brown stain shows up on the skin as a result of this symptom, which can happen for several reasons.


What Causes Hemosiderin Staining?

Chronic Vein Disease


In addition to its unsightly appearance, hemosiderin staining indicates an underlying health condition. The reddish-brown discoloration on the lower legs is caused by chronic venous disease–the abnormal function of veins.


When your veins can’t pump blood back up to the heart properly, it pools in your lower legs. Symptoms start with slight skin irritations and itchiness, then manifest varicose veins. Other vein disease symptoms that can lead to brown staining are:

  • High blood pressure – veins force blood through the veins and sometimes through the skin.
  • Vein ulcers – slow-healing or non-healing wounds.


As blood continues to pool in the veins, its cells break down and leak iron pigments into the skin. Over time, this shows up as brown patches or stains on the lower leg or ankle. When unaddressed, the stain will darken and eventually may turn black. At this point, these symptoms are unfortunately permanent even when vein disease is treated. BUT! If caught early enough, chronic venous disease can be controlled and hemosiderin staining will fade.

orange personified as a person with brown-red stains on her legs, shows how it is caused by sclerotherapy needle

Sclerotherapy Staining Side-Effect


Sclerotherapy is one of the treatment options for vein disease and varicose veins. It involves the injection of a substance known as a sclerosant into the affected veins. This makes the veins reduce in size.


In some cases, this treatment may leave the patient with brown skin discoloration as a result of hemosiderin (iron) deposits. This discoloration is usually transient and disappears in a couple of weeks; however, in some people, the stain ends up being permanent.


If you are considering sclerotherapy treatment, consider the following factors that are associated with the hemosiderin staining side effect:

  • Dark skin type
  • Sensitive skin
  • Older patients with fragile veins
  • Taking certain medication
  • Experience of the vein doctor

Treating the Condition, NOT the Symptom


Most patients will go to a dermatologist or primary care physician for the skin condition, not the underlying vein disease of hemosiderin staining. As a result, they may not get an accurate diagnosis.


If you have brown skin discoloration on the knees, lower legs, or ankles, make an appointment with a vein specialist as this could be early signs of vein disease…especially if accompanied by achy, heavy, and swollen legs.


Early treatment of your vein disease may help lighten the brown stains caused by hemosiderin staining, and even keep them from getting darker. Once diagnosed, the goal is to reroute the blood to healthier veins and fade unwanted veins, stains, and pains. The sooner you treat your vein condition, the better you’ll feel and the fewer complications you’ll experience.

Filed under: Varicose Veins, Vein Health, Vein TreatmentTagged with: , , , , , ,