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Laser Therapy vs Sclerotherapy - Non-Surgical Spider Vein Removal

Feeling self-conscious about spider veins? If you want to learn about your non-surgical treatment options, you've come to the right place. Laser therapy and sclerotherapy are minimally invasive procedures that effectively remove spider veins without major surgery or long recovery times. This comparison explores the benefits and differences between these popular treatments for spider veins.

Non-Surgical spider vein removal

Non-surgical treatments offer a low-risk way to remove the affected veins and reduce symptoms. They also allow patients to return to regular activities more quickly compared to traditional Surgery which requires more recovery time. With options like laser vein treatment and sclerotherapy, you can get rid of unattractive veins without major downtime or scarring.

The non-invasive nature of these treatments means less risk of surgical complications. There is little to no anesthesia required. Most people can resume normal activities right away with only mild bruising or discomfort. Non-surgical treatments spare you the scars, long recovery periods and higher costs associated with surgical vein stripping or ligation.

These spider vein treatments are typically performed in a medical spa or specialized vein treatment center using localized injections or laser energy targeted directly at the problem veins. This precise application allows for effective removal of spider/varicose veins with minimal impact on healthy surrounding tissue.

What is laser vein therapy?

Laser therapy uses concentrated beams of light energy to close spider veins. A technician will apply laser energy directly onto the surface of the target vein through a handheld laser device. The laser energy heats and seals the vein shut so blood can no longer flow through it. Over successive treatments, the sealed vein is gradually absorbed by the body.


During a laser vein therapy session, you will lie comfortably on an examination table. A specialist will examine the areas and use a marker to map out the veins for treatment. Laser is applied painlessly to the skin directly over each vein. You may feel a snapping or popping sensation as the laser targets and seals the vein. The entire process takes approx 30 minutes, with most people tolerating it well using just a local numbing cream.

Benefits of laser therapy 

  • Precise targeting of veins through real-time visualization

  • Effective treatment of veins of varying sizes, from small facial spider veins just under the skin to larger subcutaneous veins on the leg.

  • Long-lasting vein clearance with just a few spaced treatment sessions

  • Quick procedure that causes little to no bruising or scarring

Side effects

While laser therapy is a generally safe procedure, some risks still exist. Rare side effects can include skin burns, residual dark pigmentation or small scars. Temporary redness or minor swelling also occur at the treatment sites. These mild side effects typically resolve within 72 hours. 

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment for spider/varicose veins. It involves injecting a chemical solution called a sclerosant directly into the varicose vein using a very fine needle. The sclerosant causes the inner lining of the vein to swell and stick together. This damages the vein, stopping blood from flowing through it. Over 4-6 weeks, the injected vein stiffens and fades from view.


A typical sclerotherapy treatment involves a vein specialist mapping the veins with ultrasound for precise targeting. The injections are then administered using an extremely thin needle inserted directly into the problematic vein. Patients often feel minor pinpricks or brief burning sensations during injection. A compression stocking is worn after to help the treated veins naturally dissolve within 2-4 months.

Benefits of Sclerotherapy

  • Highly effective removal of varicose veins while leaving little to no scarring

  • Suitable for a wide variety of vein sizes such as larger, deeper veins

  • Minimal time required in the office for the injections

  • Quick return to daily activities with only minor side effects

Side effects

Sclerotherapy carries some potential but typically mild and temporary side effects. There is a risk of swelling, skin discoloration, irritation at the injection site, and a small chance of blood clots or an allergic reaction to the sclerosant used. Be sure to follow your provider's guidance on self-care.

Sclerotherapy vs laser 

Now that you understand the fundamental differences between laser therapy and sclerotherapy for spider vein removal, let's take a closer look at how they stack up against one another on important factors:


While both treatments boast high success rates, laser therapy works best for small, thin spider veins close to the skin surface. Sclerotherapy is slightly more effective overall thanks to its ability to also treat larger, more complex varicose vein patterns including larger vessels deeper beneath the skin's surface.


In terms of comfort, laser spider vein treatment causes minimal discomfort in most but the sensation can feel like snapping rubber bands on the skin. Sclerotherapy injections may sting briefly but the discomfort usually subsides quickly once the sclerosant takes effect. Neither technique requires more than local numbing so both are convenient options.


Laser therapy poses a lower risk of side effects as it avoids needles and minimizes the potential for skin burns or nerve damage since energy is not deposited deep in tissues. However, sclerotherapy injections carry slight allergy and injury risks if misapplied. 

Number of treatments

On average, laser therapy requires 4-8 spaced treatments to fully eliminate spider veins while most people find 2-4 sessions of sclerotherapy suffice. 


Both sclerotherapy and laser treatments offer patients quick results in removing unsightly varicose and spider veins. Laser therapy can often clear smaller, superficial spider veins after just one session. While sclerotherapy may require several sessions spaced a few weeks apart, individuals typically begin seeing faded and flattened veins within 1-2 months. An experienced vein specialist can accurately predict the speed of results for your unique case and vein patterns. Overall, both non-surgical options deliver noticeably improved skin appearance much faster than traditional surgeries.

Recovery time

Fortunately, neither treatment demands significant recovery time. Most swelling and bruising from either laser therapy or sclerotherapy subsides within the first 1-2 weeks. full recovery is often less than one month and there are no lengthy incisions or scars to heal.

How to choose the right Non-Surgical treatment?  

Which option is best depends highly on your unique circumstances. Some of those are:

  • Vein type, location, depth, and distribution pattern

  • Size and severity of the veins

  • Your preference regarding needles vs laser discomfort

  • Your practitioner's experience with both modalities

Seeking professional advice

For choosing the best treatment for spider veins in Fredericton patient should schedule a consultation with our vein specialist at Vibrant Salon. They can evaluate your face, leg, or body, and recommend the most suitable treatment plan whether it involves laser therapy or sclerotherapy.

Visit Our medical spa in Fredericton for a free consultation

Consider visiting the Vibrant Salon & Spa located in Fredericton, New Brunswick. As a leading spa, we are equipped with the latest laser Elite iQ+ which makes us suited to treat all skin types, including dark skin tones, effectively and safely.

We pride ourselves on taking the time to thoroughly evaluate each patient to determine the best-individualized treatment path. Our licensed professionals can discuss your concerns, and perform a comprehensive face or leg exam. You'll then have the opportunity to ask questions and gain insight during your free consultation on which approach, and whether laser vein therapy will work best to remove your spider vein case.

Don't hesitate to book your appointment today at Vibrant Salon & Spa. Our priority is your complete satisfaction, and we look forward to helping you achieve veins-free skin through our safe, minimally invasive laser procedures.


In summary, both laser therapy and sclerotherapy are highly effective, non-surgical treatments for varicose and spider veins. For smaller, more superficial spider veins, laser therapy typically provides excellent clearance. Sclerotherapy is generally better suited to treating larger, deeper spider veins and complex vein patterns through a limited number of treatments. An experienced vein specialist can evaluate your case and recommend the best approach for your specific vein problems and priorities. With either nonsurgical option, most people are left with healthier, stronger veins and an improved appearance.

FAQs for Non-surgical spider vein treatment

Is laser treatment better than stripping for varicose veins?

While vein stripping Surgery was once the standard treatment, laser therapy is now preferred by many due to its less invasive nature and quicker recovery time. Laser provides comparable clearance of varicose veins without scarring, risks of nerve damage or long-term pain, and discomfort associated with stripping. It's generally considered a better option for most patients.

Is it better to do a laser or surgery for veins?

For smaller, superficial veins, laser therapy allows effective treatment without general anesthesia or surgical incisions. This makes laser a better choice in many cases. 

Do spider veins come back after laser treatment?

While recurrences are possible, quality laser treatments performed by a certified technician typically clear over 90% of spider veins permanently by closing the treated vessels. Spider veins may reoccur due to genetic predisposition or lifestyle/hormonal factors in some patients. Following postoperative care helps prevent regrowth and maintain healthy veins long term.

Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Vein Treatment?

The best laser vein treatment candidates have small, thin spider or varicose veins close to the skin's surface. Laser therapy works well for most mild to moderate cases not involving large, twisted veins. 

How Many Laser Vein Treatments Are Required?

Most spider veins require only a couple of sessions. The patient will notice a drastic reduction in veins after first session. But for varicose veins may take 4-8 spaced treatments on average to fully close the affected vessels. 


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