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Is There a Difference in Healing/scabbing/bruising Btn Sclerotherapy & Laser for Leg Veins?

Doctor Answers (8)

Difference Between Sclerotherapy and Laser Vein Treatment

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Thank you for your question. They can be similar and different. Ultimately, both take time to heal, and both can leave the veins dark. This fades over time as the remaining vein and blood particles reabsorb. There is a bigger risk with sclerotherapy causing a slough if the fluid gets outside of the vein if you have an inexperienced injector. See a Board Certified Dermatologist or Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for this. I hope this helps.


Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Depends on vein size.

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Sclerotherapy is the gold standard for the treatment of leg veins.  The limiting factor for sclerotherapy is the size of the vein.  To treat the vein with sclerotherapy the vein must be large enough to accommodate the needle otherwise laser is the best option for the smaller veins.  Both treatments are associated with bruising and a healing period.  Scabbing occurs more with lasers.  With the newer sclerotherapy solutions, bruising is less and healing quicker.

John Landi, MD
Naples General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Sclerotherapy vs Laser Vein Treatment

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Thank you for your question. Everyone heals differently.  Bruising is common for both Sclerotherapy and Laser leg veins.  Scabbing can occur after a laser leg vein treatment from a blister that can form. I would recommend avoiding sun exposure to prevent hyperpigmentation.  I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Sclerotherapy or Topical Lasers ?

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Sclerotherapy with FDA approved sclerosant solutions works very well in treating spider veins and reticular veins - as well as some varicose veins. Telangiectasias (broken capillaries, spider veins) are amenable to topical lasers. Most vein specialists use both in their armamentarium to treat the whole complement of venous disease, so one is not necessarily better than the other, but is used for different vein issues - cosmetic, medical or both.

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo General Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Sclerotherapy Still Gold Standard For Treating Most Leg Veins

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Sclerotherapy (injecting a sclerosing solution into leg veins) is still the gold standard for treating most types of lower extremity veins. When done correctly with one of the FDA-approved solutions, you can expect to get a 70-90% improvement after a series of treatments. Sclerotherapy is less painful and more effective than lasers and the risks of ulcerations/scabbing are very low if done conservatively and correctly.  Click on the link below to see before and immediately after photos of leg veins treated with sclerotherapy. 

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

The best treatment for leg veins

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Since the 1920’s sclerotherapy has been, and still is, considered to be the gold standard treatment for spider veins on the legs. A sclerosing solution is injected with a tiny needle into the veins causing them to seal shut and eventually become absorbed. The work of carrying the blood is shifted to other healthy blood vessels nearby. It is a very cost-effective procedure that rarely leaves a scar or produces adverse effects and is done in the office. After several treatments you can expect about 80 to 90% of the treated vessels to be gone for good.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Sclerotherapy vs Laser treatment for Leg Veins

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Sclerotherapy is primarily used for small spider or reticular veins in the skin - face, legs, etc. It is not used for larger varicose veins. Laser treatments are used for both types - superficially on the skin for the same as sclerotherapy, and inserted under the skin and used to treat (lance) varicose veins. For many people, laser treatments are more harsh and require more downtime and leave more of a mark because you need to target the veins hard with the laser to get them to respond. If not, you simply send them into spasm so they look like they disappear, but then within a week or so, they are right back. Sclerotherapy is a much easier treatment and has much less downtime and works better, in my opinion.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Sclerotherapy works better than laser for most leg veins

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Sclerotherapy is the injection of a solution inside the vein to make it contract and close. It slowly gets reabsorbed over several months.

Laser uses light energy converted to heat to get the vein to contract.  Since the vein is heated to the boiling point for fractions of a second, the laser method may cause more pain and injury to the skin.  We generally see more scabbing with laser.

We have treated over 40,000 patients for spider veins.  Sclerotherapy is utilized more than 95% of the time. 

Newer solutions such as polidocanol (Asclera(TM) allow relatively painless treatment compared to hypertonic saline of old.

Robert A. Weiss, MD
Baltimore Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.