Laser Therapy for Spider Vein Treatment (Sclerotherapy)

Spider veins are small, damaged veins that can appear on the legs or face and many of our patients ask about treatments for them. We offer ClearV™ for the treatment of visible vessels, broken capillaries, spider veins, vascular lesions and skin discoloration. This laser therapy is safe, effective and requires virtually no downtime. We also offer sclerotherapy, a chemical injection, that is effective in reducing the appearance of spider veins.

How ClearV™ Treatments Work

ClearV™ is a special type of laser designed to target vascular structures. It gently eliminates visible vascular structures and reduces the appearance of unwanted vessels. Featuring Subsurface Vein Illumination (SVI™) technology, the ClearV™ provides enhanced visibility so that your dermatologist has an excellent view of subsurface and feeder veins to treat more thoroughly and effectively. The 1064nm wavelength emitted from the ClearV™ is strongly absorbed by oxygenated blood which provides selective heating of treated areas.

Clear V Treatment performed by Dr. Tom Griffin

Clear V Treatment performed by Dr. Tom Griffin

What to Expect from ClearV™ Treatments

ClearV™ treatments are non-surgical, non-invasive and work by emitting heat, but the handpiece features integrated cooling technology to enhance patient comfort. In some cases, topical numbing creams or gels can be applied to the treated areas of skin which may lessen the burning sensation that can be felt during the procedure. Although the procedure itself can be uncomfortable, this feeling quickly dissipates after the procedure.

How Sclerotherapy Works

Unlike ClearV™ treatments which use laser energy to treat spider veins, sclerotherapy uses a chemical that is inserted directly into the veins, starting with the largest vein in the spider vein area. This chemical damages the lining of the vein which creates scar tissue. When this scar tissue prevents blood flow through the vein and it is no longer functional, the body will naturally remove the vein, thereby removing the visible spider veins. Veins treated with sclerotherapy must be large enough to cannulate with a needle.

What to Expect from Sclerotherapy Treatments

Sclerotherapy treatments are quick, usually taking only 10 to 15 minutes, and involve lying down with your legs elevated. Your dermatologist will use a syringe to inject the affected veins with a chemical solution that causes the veins to seal off and eventually be reabsorbed by your body. You may feel a pinch when the needle is inserted into the vein but numbing is typically unnecessary.

Recovery from Spider Vein Treatments

Whether you choose to treat spider veins through sclerotherapy or ClearV™ laser treatments, you will be back to your normal routine quickly. After a ClearV™ treatment, you may resume daily activities immediately following treatment. After sclerotherapy, you should wear compression stockings every day for one week. Patients who are unable to strictly adhere to this element of sclerotherapy aftercare may be better suited for ClearV™ treatments. Both types of spider vein treatments can create mild hyperpigmentation in treated areas that normally subsides within a few weeks.

Is Spider Vein Treatment Right for You?

Prior to your spider vein treatment, you will have a consultation with your dermatologist who will determine if you are a good candidate for ClearV™ treatments or sclerotherapy. These treatments are only for spider veins (not varicose veins) up to one centimeter in size. Pregnant women are not eligible for these treatments and those with a history of blood clots will be decided on an individual basis. This decision depends on the overall health of the area to be treated as well as the reason for the clot. Veins that are potentially usable for future heart bypass surgery will generally not be considered for treatment.

Rather than continuing to struggle with unwanted spider veins, schedule your appointment at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting to find out how we can help.