What Is It?: Glycerin is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colorless, thick liquid which freezes to a gummy paste and which has a high boiling point. Glycerin can be dissolved into water or alcohol, but not oils. It is highly "hygroscopic" which means that it absorbs water from the air. Because of this hygroscopic quality high concentrated glycerin can be is dehydrating (absorbs water). This dehydrating action is irritating to tissue. When injected into small veins by a trained professional the veins can collapse and disappear by being reabsorbed.
- How to Use: To be used only under the direct supervision of a physician experienced with using injectable escharotic substances.
- Possible Side Effects: Irritation and redness at the site of injection may occur. Allergic reactions are rare and should not be disregarded.
- Storage: Store below 25 degrees C, away from direct sunlight. The in-use period of each multi-dose prescription is for a single session of therapy and for the use in the treatment of a single patient. Unused vial contents should be discarded immediately afterwards. Keep in the original container. Do not use if cloudy or if particles are observed in the solution.
Using 72% Sterile Glycerin to Remove Veins.
The size of the vein helps the doctor determine what concentration of a sclerosing agent to use. Small spider veins may be treated with a combination of glycerin, lidocaine, and epinephrine. This solution is prepared in the doctor’s office by mixing 2 parts glycerin 72% with 1 part 1% lidocaine with epinephrine.
Sterile Glycerin 72% is prepared by a compounding pharmacy.
Suggested Glycerin Order Form
- Bluish veins 1–3 mm in diameter, often occurring in fan-shaped arrays from a source reticular vein can be treated with hypertonic saline
- Once the appropriate sclerosing agent is aseptically drawn into a disposable syringe, a 30G needle is attached.
- The patient is positioned in a way that is comfortable and allows access to the target veins and the skin is prepared with alcohol.
- The target vein is entered with the needle as close to parallel with the skin as possible and the sclerosing agent is injected. Most practitioners advocate verifying an intravascular location of the needle tip by aspirating a small amount of blood into the hub of the needle before injection. This is easier with larger vessels.
- The glycerin combination is injected into the vein until the area around the puncture site blanches (turns white) or resistance is felt.
- The injection is immediately discontinued if there is evidence of extravasation – leaking outside the vein (most often seen as the development of a wheal).
- Most individual injections use between 0.1 and 0.5 mL of sclerosing agent, although larger volumes are required for larger veins.
Comparative Trial Between Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate and Glycerin in the Treatment of Telangiectatic Leg VeinsÂ Dermatologic Surgery. Volume 29 Page 612 - June 2003. doi:10.1046/j.1524-4725.2003.29148.xVolume 29 Issue 6 Comparative Trial between Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate and Glycerin in the Treatment of Telangiectatic Leg Veins Brian C. Leach, MD, and Mitchel P. Goldman, MD.
Background. Thirteen patients were treated with either sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS) or glycerin to compare the efficacy and adverse sequelae of each agent.
Objective. To determine the relative safety and efficacy of two sclerosant solutions.
Methods. Each patient's leg veins that were from 0.2 to 0.4 mm in diameter and that did not have incompetence from the saphenofemoral junction and whose feeding reticular veins had been already treated in a prior sclerotherapy session were randomly treated with either 0.25% STS or 72% glycerin solution. Patients were evaluated from 2 to 6 months post sclerotherapy for overall clinical improvement and incidence of adverse sequelae.
Results. Glycerin was comparable to STS in discomfort of injection but demonstrated a significant decrease in bruising, swelling, and post procedural hyperpigmentation. Glycerin also demonstrated a better, more rapid clearance of treated telangiectasias.
Conclusions.Seventy-two percent glycerin is a safe and effective sclerosant with fewer side effects and more rapid clearance of telangiectatic leg veins than STS.