Sclerotherapy vs Laser Treatment for Vein Removal

Varicose and spider veins affect almost half of the adults in the United States. The two most common treatments for these conditions are sclerotherapy and laser treatment. Both of these treatments are known to be extremely effective, but they have some clear benefits depending on what kind of veins you want to be removed. During your consultation, our medical team will work with you to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan for your needs.


Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical treatment that is mainly used to treat spider veins or very small varicose veins. Our trained technician injects a chemical that is an irritant into a vein. This causes it to collapse and dry up. The body eventually absorbs this collapsed vein.

This treatment is especially effective for veins on the hands and legs and is sometimes used in combination with other vein treatments.

Sclerotherapy works best for:

  • People with low pain thresholds
  • People with darker skin, as some lasers produce light wavelengths that may cause discoloration on dark or tanned skin

Laser Vein Treatments

Intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser treatments are another non-invasive treatment option for removing spider and varicose veins.

Laser treatments involve directing light at the veins from the surface of the skin. They are performed in our office and take somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. The downtime after treatment ranges from a few hours to a day, depending on the extent of the treatment.

The most common side effect is purple skin that looks like bruising. There may be temporary swelling, redness and blistering at the treatment site. These side effects are not cause for concern and will fade over time.

Laser treatment is the best choice for:

  • Spider veins on the face
  • People who fear needles
  • People who are allergic to the chemicals used in sclerotherapy
  • Areas where there are many tiny blood vessels
  • Spider veins that are too small to be injected

Both varicose veins and spider veins are treatable, and both sclerotherapy and laser treatments have a very high success rate. Since they are both non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments, there is little downtime or recovery associated with either treatment option.

At Rao Dermatology, our doctors and treatment providers will discuss your issues and overall health and recommend the type of treatment that may be best for you. Contact Rao Dermatology today to schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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