Needle or Laser? What is your Best Choice for Treating Spider Veins?
- Posted on: Sep 15 2016
If you have spider veins or varicose veins anywhere on your body, you may reach a point where the appearance of discoloration becomes too much to bear. When that time comes, what do you do? There are relatively few choices. You could hide the part of your body on which networks of veins have developed. This could prove difficult if those veins are in a visible are such as the face or the hands, or even the legs. Should you decide you want to have unsightly veins treated, you then need to choose between laser treatment and sclerotherapy. If veins are severe, surgery may be the only way to resolve the issue.
Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Because laser treatments are completely non-invasive, this approach may seem ideal. In some ways, it is. However, it is not without risk. Yes, sclerotherapy is minimally invasive, though non-surgical. Yes, it requires that a tiny needle be used to close veins. However, there are benefits to this method of treatment that should not be overlooked.
- Efficiency. According to one study, sclerotherapy outperformed laser therapy for the treatment of spider veins by up to 40%. Study participants treated with laser therapy obtained 30-40% effectiveness, while sclerotherapy was successful in 50-70% of cases.
- Affordability. Sclerotherapy tends to cost less and require fewer treatments.
- Versatility. Not only is sclerotherapy more comfortable for people with a low pain threshold, but it may also be a better choice for individuals with darker skin, due to the potential for discoloration from laser light.
What Sclerotherapy Involves
Sclerotherapy has been a longstanding method of treating spider veins. This means that its efficacy has been proven through decades of clinical performance. The office procedure could take only a few minutes, if few veins need to be treated. To close problematic, visible veins, a sclerosant is inserted through a tiny needle. This chemical solution irritates the walls of the vein, which results in closure over the course of several days or a few weeks. This process is gentle and comfortable enough that most patients have no problem getting treatment without anesthetic.
Treating veins is much easier than having to live with them. For more information on sclerotherapy, call our Columbia, SC office at (803) 253-8667.