I Did Sclerotherapy then I Have Got an Ulcer! How Could This Be Treated? It Will Leave Any Scar?

Doctor Answers 8

Sclerotherapy and Ulcer

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Thank you for your question. A scar is likely, and hopefully it is a small on which should improve over time. If the problem is just pigment, then this will reabsorb and fade. There is both blood particles, and possibly pigmentation form inflammation. These can take 6 months to improve, and fade. Be patient with these. I hope this helps.

Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Can be treated.

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Ulcer formation following sclerotherapy can happen and, fortunately, this is not a common occurrence. Ulcers tend to form more commonly around bony areas such as the inner and outer ankles.  Some sclerotherapy solutions are more prone than others to form ulcers and also concentration of solution used and experience of the injector all can play a role.  Once an ulcer is formed there are several things that can be done.  Local wound care with various topical agents and time will usually heal them.  Some ulcers may require debrideing (cleaning) and some may even require excision and then closure of the skin.   Most likely a small scar will result. 

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon

Ulcer After Sclerotherapy

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Thank you for your question. Some side effects with leg vein treatments can include ulcer, especially around the ankle and behind the knee. Many factors predict the likelihood of developing an ulcer, such as solvent used, concentration, and technique. Depending on the severity of the ulcer, it will heal, but likely will leave a scar. Be sure to follow up with your provider. It is best to get treated by a board certified dermatologist or vascular surgeon with expertise in leg veins I hope this helps.

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Ulceration from Sclerotherapy

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It is possible to get an ulceration or erosion in the skin from sclerotherapy treatments. It happens when the solution injected does not go directly into the vein, but rather into the surrounding tissue. This is a known risk of sclerotherapy injections which usually can be avoided in the hands of an experienced injector. Nonetheless, they typically heal very well with time and proper care. I recommend you follow up with your dermatologist to discuss optimal wound care so as to avoid any permanent discoloration or scarring. 



Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


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Unfortunately this can occur when the sclerosant is injected in to the tissue and not the vein intended for treatment.  It will take some time to heal.  I would encourage you to see a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Ulceration after sclerotherapy with saline solutions is more likely than after sclerotheray with Polidochanol, STS, etc

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Fortunately, it is very very unlikely to get sclerotherapy related ulceration with modern chemicals and techniques (such as foam sclerotherapy).

Unfortunately, the use of 21% saline solutions (as in the past) was associated with the development of cutaneous ulcers. Modern chemicals that are used in foam sclerotherapy (polidochanol, STS, etc) rarely cause such trophic (skin) complications. What is likely is hyperigmentation with all types of sclerotherapy techniques.

Yes, it will leave a residual scar as all healed ulcers do.


Sclerotherapy ulcer

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Unfortunately some people will get an erosion or ulceration when the sclerotherapy solution inadvertently misses a vein. This is a well known risk, and thankfully these erosions or ulcers typically heal very nicely without a scar. Speak with your dermatologist about the best ways to minimize the wound appearance and prevent infection.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Ulceration after sclerotherapy

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Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately sclerotherapy sometimes can cause ulceration: either the sclerosant seeps into surounding tissue and causes inflammatory reaction or capillary network, supplying that particular area of skin was injected and in the absence of adequate alterantive blood supply skin might suffer ischemia and ulcerate.

Normally deeper ulcers will heal with scaring. Consult your doctor for advise and treatment. Sometimes excising the ulcer and suturing will give a better scar.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.