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Sclerotherapy vs. Laser Vein Therapy — Which is Better?
Our doctors are often asked by their patients, “Which is the better treatment option for spider and varicose veins, sclerotherapy or laser?” They have seen some clinics promoting laser vein therapy on TV, and the spider veins are shown to disappear instantly. Inspite of the hoopla on laser vein therapy, most doctors will tell you that sclerotherapy is still the better treatment option.

Sclerotherapy is more efficient in targeting and removing veins, and it is much less expensive than laser.
Sclerotherapy is a simple and well-proven clinic procedure since the 1930s. Veins are injected with saline solution, which causes the veins to collapse and fade from view. It is effective, reliable, and affordable. Through the years, Nd:YAG lasers and IPL devices have been offered as treatment alternatives. To date, none have succeeded. Sclerotherapy is still considered the best treatment option in removing unsightly spider and varicose veins.
Nevertheless, Sclerotherapy has its downside. It is quite technique-dependent. Some doctors are not as good as others. Ask for a doctor with years of experience, a sharp shooter. An indicator that you got a newbie doctor is when a 15-minute session takes an hour to finish.
Sclerotherapy is available in all SkinStation  and
DERMAX Laser Center branches nationwide.
Compression stockings are also offered as an
add-on for Sclerotherapy.

Another downside is that barely visible, tiny, and thin veins may be too small to treat with sclerotherapy. This is especially true with spider veins on the face. Nd:YAG laser is good for eliminating the smallest veins that sclerotherapy cannot destroy. That’s why some doctors recommend laser as a finishing touch for vein treatments.
Bottomline: Sclerotherapy still gives the better and more reliable results vs. laser. And it’s cheaper too. Sclerotherapy and laser may be combined to get a thorough clean up of spider veins.Going back to basics, spider and varicose veins can be avoided by having regular exercise to improve blood circulation, avoidance of work that requires hours of standing, and wearing of support stockings daily. Compression stockings are often recommended for post-treatment care.
This article appeared in The Manila Bulletin Main Section, page 2 on May 26, 2015. The author is Fred Reyes, a cosmetic chemist and scientist, and the CEO of SkinStation and DERMAX Laser Center, two leading skin clinic chains in the Philippines. He was awarded the Outstanding Professional in Chemistry in 2011 by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).
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