Intense Pulse Light Therapy (IPL) uses a spectrum of light shined onto the skin to treat a variety of skin and vein issues. IPL delivers a concentrated pulse of light which heats and damages blood vessel walls, shrinking the targeted veins and making them disappear. Because the light is concentrated and focused, IPL treatment does not damage surrounding tissue. IPL is also used to treat spider veins, reticular veins, age spots, and non-cancerous skin lesions.
Spider veins and small varicose veins can be treated with laser treatment applied from the surface of the skin. The laser applies an intense energy that essentially destroys the small blood vessels in the surface of the skin. Results are variable, and multiple treatments may be necessary to have some benefit. This procedure is generally less invasive than sclerotherapy and vein stripping (no insertion of needles or catheters is required). A possible problem that may arise after laser treatment is a temporary discoloration of the skin.
Sclerotherapy effectively treats varicose and spider veins. It's often considered the treatment of choice for small varicose veins. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into the vein. The sclerotherapy solution causes the vein to scar and collapse, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades.