Laser vs Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Which treatment option is right for you?
Decisions are amongst us everyday, whether they be small, like what to have for breakfast, or large, such as considering medical treatment. You have spider veins and you no longer want to feel embarrassed by the way your legs look in a dress or shorts.
Now it is time to decide if you should treat your spider veins with sclerotherapy or laser therapy.
About Laser Treatment for Spider Veins
Laser therapy uses a laser or light that is directed at the spider veins on the surface of the skin. This is performed in the office and usually takes less than 30 minutes.
- The laser leads to blood clotting and scarring of the vessel.
- Over time, the scarred vessel is absorbed by the body and no longer visible on the skin.
- It typically causes swelling, bruising, or blistering of the skin that is temporary.
Benefits of Laser Treatment
Laser therapy is best used to treat spider veins on the face over sclerotherapy. Some of the other common reasons to choose laser therapy is fear of needles, if you are allergic to specific chemicals, and smaller veins that may not be able to be treated with chemical therapies.
Although the procedure is short and is performed in the office, it tends to be painful, mainly from the heat of the laser. In patients with darker skin, there is a higher chance for staining of the skin in areas where the laser is used to treat spider veins.
Benefits of Sclerotherapy Treatment
Sclerotherapy uses a specialized chemical that is injected into the vein. This is also an office based procedure that take less than 60 minutes.
The sclerotherapy chemical that is used in the vein is either a liquid or a foam and is called a sclerosant. The sclerosant irritates the vein, leading to scarring and eventually the body absorbing the vein. This is best used for patients that have a lower pain tolerance and those with darker skin. There are quite a few advantages, such as being less painful, treating spider veins that are deeper underneath the skin, and the ability to treat a larger area of spider veins.
So, which of these procedures is the better decision? Sclerotherapy provides the most consistent and best results for spider veins, as compared with laser therapy.
Overall, there is much less pain, more cost effective, and less potential for staining of the skin, which can occur with laser therapy, in those that have darker complected skin.
If you have made the decision to treat your spider veins, please contact the office of Dr. Mackay to learn more about laser and sclerotherapy and which decision would be right for you.
Meet ABMS Board Certified Surgeon, Dr. Mackay
Contact the office of Dr. Edward Mackay, a board certified vascular surgeon providing spider vein treatment to patients in the Tampa area.