If you have spider veins, you have a few options for treating them. One option, transdermal laser therapy, uses laser light to destroy the veins. The other option, sclerotherapy, gets rid of unwanted veins with a chemical injection. Which treatment is right for you or is one treatment option better than the other? It depends on the type of veins you have and a few other factors.
Transdermal Laser Treatment vs. Sclerotherapy
Size of the Veins Treated
Spider veins come in a range of sizes. Particularly large ones are often most effectively treated with duplex ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, which allows the vein doctor to see deeper veins and inject the sclerosing chemical into them. Smaller veins, and spider veins that develop on the face, are often best treated with lasers. During treatment, a patient wears goggles to protect the eyes from the laser beams. If you have a mix of small and large veins, you might find that a combination of both treatments is ideal.
What Treatment Feels Like
Another difference between laser treatment and sclerotherapy is what the treatments feel like. Sclerotherapy involves a needle, which injects the chemical into the appropriate vein. During treatment, a patient is likely to feel a pinch from the needle, then a minute or two of stinging while the sclerosant does its work.
The sensation created by a laser treatment is often described as feeling as if the treated area is being snapped with a rubber band. The discomfort caused by the treatment is usually not too great, but a patient can ask their vein doctor to stop treatment if they find the pain is too much.
How Long Treatment Takes
Typically, treatment with sclerotherapy takes about 10 minutes. Transdermal laser treatment takes a bit longer, about 30 minutes. Some people get the results they want after just a single treatment with either laser therapy or sclerotherapy. But it’s often the case that people need multiple treatments to completely remove their spider veins.
If a person needs additional treatments, they are usually scheduled at least six weeks apart. Spacing out the treatments gives them time to work.
What Happens After Treatment
Little downtime is needed after either laser treatment or sclerotherapy. People are often able to get back to their daily lives right away. A few small adjustments might need to be made to a person’s habits, though. For example, it’s usually recommended that people wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy to help improve their results. After a laser treatment, people should avoid the sun or anything that can irritate the skin, such as a warm bath or certain lotions.
Metro Vein Centers, a Michigan vein clinic, offers both laser treatment and sclerotherapy for spider veins. To learn more about your vein treatment options in Detroit, call 855-433-3720 to schedule a consultation at one of our practice locations in Michigan today.