IPL (Intense pulsed light) treatment for spider veins
IPL treatment, known as Intense Pulsed Light therapy, uses non-laser, a high-intensity light source to helps reduce and heal spider veins as well as other skin blemishes and problems. IPL therapy damages the walls of your blood vessels with heat. This application of heat causes the spider veins walls to weaken and then vanish over the next several weeks. IPL works best on 1mm or smaller vessels close to the surface of the skin.
IPL And How It Works to Treat Spider Veins
In many regards, IPL treatment is like laser treatment therapy. The major difference is that the light isn’t focused. This has its advantages. The procedure offers the benefit of being more speedy than the laser. Since the light isn’t as focused as the laser, it can cover a wider area (up to almost a half inch per pulse.) The light is not as precise as it is with a laser nor is it set at a particular wavelength. This makes for less than optimal penetration of the skin. As is the case with laser treatment, you will likely need more than one treatment before you see the full potential of the technique.
What are the risks of laser therapy?
Laser and IPL therapy may not be suitable for everyone. Sometimes, patients with tanned or darker skin tones have additional complications. The increased amount of pigmentation (melanin) in the skin has the potential to absorb the energy from the laser or light, causing permanent discoloration. In cases where patients do experience some discoloration, their normal skin color usually returns in four (4) to six (6) months after treatment.
When completed by an experienced physician, your risk of side effects fall, however when handled by an untrained user, IPL treatment may lead to patchy darkened areas of skin. There is a small risk that skin treated with a laser can become very thin, leading to ulceration in very rare cases.
What about the costs of IPL Treatment?
Treatments for spider veins (whether they be Laser or IPL) are generally considered cosmetic and not medical. Therefore they are not covered by medical insurance. The cost of the different procedures vary depending on:
- which method is used to treat the condition,
- the number of veins being treated,
- the size of the veins,
- how large of an area is being treated and
- the number of follow-up treatments that are needed.
If endovenous laser therapy is considered medically necessary under your insurance company’s particular guidelines, it may be covered by insurance. Insurance guidelines can be extremely specific and complex, so make sure to check directly with your insurer or ask the staff at your vein clinic to check for you.