Is Itching Following Sclerotherapy a Sign of an Allergic Reaction?

Why would itching occur after sclerotherapy? How often does it occur in patients?

Doctor Answers 10

Temporary itching is common.

Temporary itching and usually localized to the areas treated by sclerotherapy especially around the ankles is common and not a sign of an allergy.  This reaction is due to the localized inflammation and irritation caused by the sclerosing solution.  A topical steroid ointment or even aloe usually resolves this.  It is possible, although most unusual , to have a true allergic reaction to the sclerosing solution used and would present with true allergic symptoms.

Naples General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Itching After Sclerotherapy

Itching is common immediately after a sclerotherapy treatment. Which is why we apply a potent topical corticosteroid immediately after treatment under the graduated compression stocking. Though itching after sclerotherapy may be a sign of an allergic reaction, there are also several other reasons for what you are experiencing. If you are overly concerned, I'd recommend seeking help from your treating physician or get a second opinion from an experienced cosmetic dermatologist specializing in sclerotherapy. Because the natural reaction of the body upon injection of the sclerosing agent may be to release histamine, itching can ensue. If you are experiencing other symptoms like swelling, discoloration, or severe discomfort, it's important to seek help. As a double board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, I would suggest that you make sure you speak with a professional.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


It is common to have itching at the injections sites after sclerotherapy treatment.  Applying a topical hydrocortisone 1% cream may be helpful.  The itching should subside shortly.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Itching after sclerotherapy

Local itching at sites where sclerotherapy was performed can be common after the procedure.  As the point of the procedure is to induce a local inflammatory reaction in the vessel, that can result in histamine release, which causes us to itch. This is typically why in our practice we apply a topical steroid to the legs immediately after sclerotherapy, to mitigate this reaction.  Although rare, if you are having itching beyond the areas of injection (rest of your body), you should notify your treating physician as this may be a sign of an allergic reaction, especially if it is accompanied by a rash.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Itching Possible in Treated Areas After Sclerotherapy

It is very possible to have itching in the areas treated after having sclerotherapy done.  The veins treated are irritated by the solution injected into them and that irritation can result in itching and redness in the area; there may even be some bruising and swelling.  All of this should resolve within a couple of weeks. If the itching is bothersome, I recommend using an over-the-counter cortisone cream a few times a day.  If that doesn't help, consult with your doctor who performed the sclerotherapy for evaluation. Click on the link below to view a video demonstration of sclerotherapy on lower extremity veins.

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Itching after sclerotherapy is common

Itching in the region of the injections is quite common after sclerotherapy. It's not common to have itching all over, or in untreated areas. But you can apply hydrocortisone 1% (available OTC) after cool water, or take an allergy pill, to stop any associated itching from the procedure. What's happening is that the sclerotherapy solution which was injected is irritating the veins, causing them to collapse, and sometimes this does show up on the surface for a bit as itching. It's not uncommon and it's nothing to be concerned about.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Itching after Sclerotherapy

In your inquiry you did not specify whether your itching is generalized or localized to the site of the injection.  Itching at the site of the injections is a common finding after Sclerotherapy as it is not uncommon for a mild inlammatory reaction to take place within the lining of the vessel wall.  This can last a for several weeks after the injection.  Generalized itching would not be nearly as uncommon and should be discussed with your physician as some of the sclerosants used can cause (although not commonly) an allergic reaction.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Sclerotherapy and itching

Itching has been described with sclerotherapy but I rarely see that as a complaint from my patients. An allergic reaction that is significant would cause a lot of other symptoms which warrants immediate treatment, typically within an hour after sclerotherapy. Otherwise, the itching can be treated with topical steroids and benadryl and may be a reaction to the sclerosant solution, a reaction to tape or the ace bandages or stockings ... consult your physician for guidance .. 

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Itching after sclerotherapy

Itching is usually normal, but it depends on time since injection.  My suspicion is that you are experiencing healing of sensory nerves that service the treated vessels, and surrounding tissue.  This should subside, but may take many weeks to months.

Ask your doctor to show you desensitization exercises.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Itching After Sclerotherapy

Little hives or itchy spots at the injection sites are very common after sclerotherapy no matter what agent is used.  This can last for a few hours.  If you are having total body itching, that is not common.  Having performed sclerotherapy for over 20 years, I have never had a patient complain of total body itching after this procedure.  

Sheri G. Feldman, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.