How is sclerotherapy different from laser treatments for spider veins? Most practitioners agree that sclerotherapy is an excellent option for the treatment of varicose and spider veins. We would suggest that laser treatments offer a great alternative for smaller spider veins that are a cosmetic concern versus medical (circulation) issue.
Sclerotherapy uses several injections of a saline or detergent-like product that causes the vessel to be destroyed by damaging the inner walls by dehydrating the vessel. This process is usually effective but can be very painful as well. Some of the side effects from this procedure are staining and matting. Staining, a brownish discoloration that appears after treatment, occurs just just below the surface of the skin. Matting refers to a new cluster of very small blood vessels that develop in response to the slerotherapy as the blood flow tries to find an alternative route and in the process new veins appear adjacent to the treated area.
With lasers, the concept is to use heat (thermal) energy heat hemoglobin in the blood. This causes coagulation (thickening of the blood) inside these unnecessary spider veins which then leads to the vessel walls collapsing and sealing together. The spider veins are then absorbed into the body tissue and removed. Although laser spider vein treatments can be uncomfortable, many patients state that is less painful than sclerotherapy.
For cosmetic spider veins, laser treatments offer a excellent option with no downtime and very little after care. Laser spider vein treatments are safe for all skin types, and because many spider veins may be too small or superficial for sclerotherapy, lasers represent the best option in these cases.