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Asclera (polidocanol)

Asclera is an injectable solution used in sclerotherapy—a common vein removal procedure used since the mid-1800s.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Treatment Basics

Regulatory approval: Asclera was approved by the FDA in March 2010, though it has been in use in Europe for decades.

Manufacturer: BioForm Medical, Inc

Asclera, also known as polidocanol, is an injectable solution used in sclerotherapy—a common vein removal procedure used since the mid-1800s. Spider veins and varicose veins can appear under the skin due to a variety of factors, like age, genetics, pregnancy and obesity.

Asclera is injected into these veins, causing them to clot and collapse. (It can only be used on smaller varicose veins.) After the injections, only a shadow of the former veins remain, which should be hardly noticeable (if at all).

Asclera has been extensively used in Europe and around the world for more than four decades, and has recently entered the U.S. market.

What It's Good For

Asclera is used for the treatment of spider veins, which are flat red or blue veins that appear at the skin's surface. Spider veins are less than one millimeter in diameter.

Asclera may also be used for some reticular veins, as long as they appear to be less than three millimeters in diameter. While varicose veins typically appear on the legs, spider veins may be found on the legs, face, and elsewhere on the body.

Who it works for: Though women are more prone to the development of spider and varicose veins, men are not immune to these unsightly knots beneath the skin.

Asclera can be injected into veins that are between one and three millimeters in diameter.

Recommended age range: Asclera does not have any age limitations, but spider and vascular veins do not typically form before the age of 30.

When will I see results?: When the Asclera injections are complete, a stocking or bandage will be added to apply pressure to the treated veins. You will walk around the office for 15 to 20 minutes while being monitored by the physician.

How long it lasts: A successful session should eliminate the vein - or veins - for good. Asclera can't, however, prevent new spider veins and varicose veins from forming in the future.

Key benefits of Asclera (polidocanol): The typical schlerotherapy agent is a saline solution, which stings when injected into the vein (think of rubbing salt in a paper cut). Asclera's solution is not made with salt, and tends to be less painful.

The vast majority - 86% - of patients treated with Asclera reported that they were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the results of the injections.

Licensed uses: Asclera is approved for the treatment of small, abnormally swollen or twisted veins - otherwise known as spider and varicose veins.

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