If you have spider veins, those winding networks of red and blue veins below the skin, you’re not alone. Spider veins are common, and although they’re typically not hazardous to your health, they can make you feel self-conscious.
The good news is that spider veins are highly treatable. Modern medical science has developed many different treatment methods and techniques, so it’s possible for most people to find something that has a good chance of working well. That said, not every treatment method works for everyone.
If you’re thinking about treatment for your spider veins, it’s important to consider your options. Comparing and contrasting VeinGogh to sclerotherapy is the best place to start. These are two of the most common and effective treatments.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a chemical treatment that can eliminate spider veins by irritating the vein walls, causing the vein to seal shut and eventually be reabsorbed into the body.
The procedure is straightforward and generally takes less than an hour. A doctor will clean the area and then use a very fine needle to inject a special solution called a sclerosant into the vein. The sclerosant causes the vein walls to swell and eventually seal, closing off the affected vein to blood flow. The body then redirects blood flow around the closed vein, making it obsolete. The vein becomes scar tissue that your body eventually absorbs.
Recovery from sclerotherapy is minimal. Because hot water and sunlight will dilate a recently closed vein, you should avoid baths with hot water or going outside in direct sunlight for the first few days. After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort, but over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol can help with that. It’s also important to get gentle exercise to help your circulation after treatment.
- A proven track record of success as the first-line medical treatment for spider veins
- Minimal to no downtime — you can usually resume normal activity immediately after the procedure
- Potential minor side effects such as bruising, discoloration and discomfort
- Up to four treatments may be necessary for complete elimination
- May cause scarring or pigmentation issues if used on the face, hands or feet
- May require compression stockings for the first 24 hours afterward
What Is VeinGogh?
VeinGogh is an innovative spider vein treatment system that gets fast results, usually with only one treatment per affected vein. You may hear it called the “VeinGogh laser,” but it’s actually not a laser at all. VeinGogh uses a more advanced technology called Ohmic Thermolysis that is safer for healthy tissue than most laser treatments.
Like sclerotherapy, VeinGogh treatment uses a tiny needle to pierce the skin. The needle delivers a precise “microburst” of energy just under the surface of the skin, but without going into the vein walls. This energy burst seals the affected vein, which usually then fades and becomes fully or nearly invisible.
One of the best parts of VeinGogh is that the energy pulses are completely adjustable. Your vein specialist can set the level of energy so that it’s at just the right level to treat your spider veins without burning your skin. The whole process can take as little as a minute and rarely lasts more than 25.
What about Veinwave and ThermaVein?
When you start researching VeinGogh treatment, you might see some experts and treatment centers refer to it alongside Veinwave and ThermaVein. These are just different brands that use the same type of technology. For most patients, all three options are equivalent.
- Appropriate for any type of skin, including tanned skin
- Safe to use on the face, hands and feet
- Precise energy delivery minimizes the risk of damage to healthy tissue
- Less discomfort compared to chemical treatments
- No risk of chemical reactions
- Can be more time consuming if your spider veins are more widespread
- More difficult to use on thick-skinned areas like thighs
- Not appropriate for larger blood vessels
- Minor risk of heat injury to the skin
VeinGogh vs. Sclerotherapy: Which Is Best for You?
Choosing a spider vein treatment is a highly personal decision. Consider the pros and cons of VeinGogh and sclerotherapy treatment, including the medical factors as well as the logistics and costs. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine the best treatment for you:
- – Have you tried nonmedical treatments? Some people prefer to try lifestyle management strategies like exercise, weight loss or gradient compression stockings to manage their spider veins before seeking medical intervention.
- – Are you comfortable with newer therapies? VeinGogh, ThermaVein and Veinwave are widely used, but they haven’t been around as long as sclerotherapy. If you feel more comfortable with something that has a long history of effectiveness, sclerotherapy might be a more attractive choice.
- – Where are your spider veins located? As mentioned, if your spider veins are on your face, hands or feet, sclerotherapy may not be an option, but VeinGogh, ThermaVein or Veinwave may be.
- – What’s your budget? VeinGogh, ThermaVein and Veinwave may be more expensive than sclerotherapy, especially if you have multiple areas of spider veins to treat. Of course, pricing will vary depending on where you have the treatment done, so it’s important to ask your vein specialist what it would cost to treat your veins in particular.
- – Do you have chemical sensitivities? If you have a history of reacting to chemicals, you may decide to go with the nonchemical VeinGogh, ThermaVein or Veinwave treatment.
- – Are you a responsible follower of post-procedure instructions? Remember, if you get sclerotherapy, you may have to wear compression stockings for a few days, and you’ll probably have to avoid things like hot tubs and beach trips. VeinGogh and Veinwave, on the other hand, don’t have any major post-procedure “musts,” so you might choose one of those if you tend to forget or disregard post-procedure instructions.
Finding a Vein Specialist
In the end, only a qualified vein specialist can tell you what treatment option is likely to work best for your spider veins. Expect to have an initial consultation where you talk with the specialist about your experience with spider veins, whether you’ve had any kind of treatment before, and whether you’ve tried home remedies.
If you need help finding an experienced vein specialist, check out My Vein Treatment’s locator tool. In just seconds, it can point you to someone in your area who can help you choose a treatment type.