Polidocanol is an FDA-approved treatment of incompetent great saphenous veins, accessory saphenous veins, and visible varicosities of the great saphenous vein system, but numerous other off-label dermatological applications have been reported.
To describe the various off-label dermatological clinical uses of polidocanol, as well as efficacy and adverse effects.
The review of studies searchable on PubMed from 2004 to 2021 describing clinical uses of polidocanol to determine efficacy and adverse effects associated with various dermatologic applications.
Polidocanol has shown efficacy in the treatment of mucocele of minor salivary gland, hemangioma, upper extremity veins, reticular veins of the chest, facial veins, pyogenic granuloma, lymphangioma circumscriptum, digital mucous cyst, mixed skin ulcers, cutaneous focal mucinosis, seromas, glomuvenous malformations, acne cysts, lymphocele, and dissecting cellulitis. Commonly reported side effects include pain, erythema, swelling, ecchymosis, and ulceration. Most sources were case reports and small prospective studies, as such the strength of data supporting many uses is limited by small sample sizes and lack of controls.
Although polidocanol is currently only FDA approved for incompetent great saphenous veins, accessory saphenous veins, and visible varicosities of the great saphenous vein system, the use of polidocanol has been selected for a variety of off-label clinical applications.