Can Broken Capillaries on the Face Be Treated with Sclerotherapy Instead on Laser? What Are the Pros/cons?

I'm East Indian. I was wondering if broken capillaries on the face can be treated by sclerotherapy instead of laser? I've read too many horrible stories on real self about laser and since I'm a person of color with very sensitive skin I'd like to stay away from laser. What are the pros/cons, costs, things I should know? Many thanks.

Doctor Answers 10

Facial capillaries - treatment options - Buffalo Vein Treatment Center

There are many options and it depends on the size of the veins (capillaries << 1 mm) and includes Nd YAG laser or IPL (not as successful) and in some cases sclerotherapy. Expect to have repeat treatments until they are gone. 

Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Laser Best for Facial Veins

The 1064nm long-pulsed Nd-YAG can be used safely in the darkest skin types, and a vbeam would also be appropriate if the right cooling settings are used.  As long as the appropriate cooling is used, there is no reason why the laser isn't the safest option for this condition.  I perform sclerotherapy of the legs, but do not prefer it for the face as it can cause visual disturbances if there is retrograde flow through a larger vessel, which is hard to visualize.  If it connects to an artery, an ulcer can form, as one cannot control how far the solution travels.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Sclerotherapy can be used on facial veins.

Facial veins can be treated by several modalities including laser, radio frequency, IPL and sclerotherapy.  Sclerotherapy is possible if the vein is large enough to accommodate the needle.  As with other treatments, sclerotherapy may require several sessions usually 3 to 4 weeks apart.  The pros are that it covers a larger area per injection than laser, is less painful than laser and doesn't cause burning .  The cons are that it can cause brownish discoloration of the skin.  The cost varies with the physician, location of the veins and amount of veins treated.

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

Broken capillaries can be treated with sclerotherapy in patients with darker complexions.

It is easy to treat the larger venules on the face with sclerotherapy at 3-4 sessions a month apart. Light electrocautery also is a safe and effective method. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

"Broken Capillaries" (Telangiectasias) Respond Well To Radiowave Treatments & Sclerotherapy

So-called 'broken capillaries" (more correctly known as telangiectasia, since they are actually permanently dilated small vessels rather than broken ones) can be treated by both radiowave therapy and sclerotherapy. Radiowave therapy uses a device that sends radiowaves into the vessel causing heating and destruction of the undesirable vessels. Sclerotherapy accomplishes the same thing but by injecting an irritating solution, such as high concentration salt (and other types of materials) collectively referred to as sclerosants, since they effectively causing scarring, shrinkage and elimination of the unwanted vessels.

In general, sclerotherapy is used for treating the tiny "spider veins" so common on the lower extremities. In fact, despite the plethora of laser hype and marketing, sclerotherapy remains the gold standard from treating this problem in that region. On the other hand, radiowave treatment as described above or electrodessication are considered the treatments of choice for facial telangiectasias. That having been said, I have had good success, especially when treating larger telangiectases on the nose, with the use of sclerosing solution.

Naturally, you would do well to seek the services of a board certified aesthetic physician with experience in treating these kinds of problems with all the current modalities.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Can Broken Capillaries on the Face Be Treated with Sclerotherapy Instead of Laser

I actually disagree wholeheartedly with other doctors on here. I have used a specific type of sclerosing for over 20 years to effectively treat facial veins. It can take a single treatment or two, rather than multiples treatment as often are needed with lasers. My office has done over 150,000 laser treatments, but I often find that there are some veins that simply cannot be treated with lasers, and for these I turn to sclerotherapy. Also, like in your case, lasers may not even be an option, depending on a person's color. This type of sclerotherapy is absolutely different than what I do on the legs, but it is tremendously effective.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Treatment of Facial Capillaries

I would not recommend sclerotherapy in the face. Laser treatment or sometimes electrodessication is best.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Broken Capillaries on the Face

I would not use sclerotherapy on the face for fear of developing scarring if the sclerosant  leaks out into the soft tissue.  A needle point electrode can be beneficial.  I would definitely try a test area first. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Treatment of Capillaries on Face

Sclerotherapy should not be used for broken capillaries on the face. A very safe and effective way to treat them is with electrosurgery (electrodessication). There is minimal downtime and after anywhere from 1 to 3 treatments, the capillaries are gone.

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Veins on the face

Sclerotherapy should not be used for face spider veins. Results are poor and risks unacceptable. Laser does improve some veins but with less success than thermavein or veinwave 11.

Brian Newman, MD
London General Surgeon

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.