Also known as sclerotherapy and laser vein treatment
Spider veins (not to be confused with varicose veins) are dilated or stretched blood vessels that have a branching pattern and are commonly found on the thigh, lower leg and occasionally on the face. Spider veins are progressive in nature and usually increase in number and visibility with age. Sclerotherapy and laser vein treatments are used to treat these vessels, erasing them from your skin.
When to Consider Spider Vein Treatment ·
· If you have visible veins on your legs or thighs that have a branching or weblike pattern
· If you have a pattern of branching veins on your face that you try to conceal
· If you feel that your spider veins are a sign of aging that you would like to eliminate
- · Sclerotherapy and laser therapy are safe, time-proven procedures that cause little, if any discomfort.
- · These therapies provide an overall improvement in the appearance of spider veins.
- · There is no downtime. Patients can immediately resume work and almost all normal activities.
- · Multiple treatments are usually necessary to remove the veins.
- · Patients may be asked initially to wear support stockings to help keep treated veins closed and to reduce bruising.
- · Bruising, color changes and small areas of scarring may occur where sclerotherapy or laser treatment has been performed.
These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering spider vein treatment. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.
Am I a good candidate for spider vein treatment?
The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider spider vein treatment:
- · You are embarrassed by the prominent branching veins visible on your thighs and lower legs.
- · You avoid wearing shorts or swimming apparel because you don’t want others to see your spider veins.
- · The branching veins on your face are unsightly and you must use makeup to camouflage them.
- · You are not pregnant and you do not have a history of blood clot formation.
How is a spider vein treatment procedure performed? Spider veins can be treated with sclerotherapy or with lasers. The complete removal of spider veins is not expected in the first treatment and multiple treatments are required for optimal results.
Sclerotherapy is effective for medium-sized blood vessels (greater than three millimeters in diameter)
A sclerosing solution is injected into the vein with a micro-needle which causes the vein to shrink, turn white (blanch) and then gradually disappear
After the procedure, compression stockings are recommended to compress the veins and maximize the chance of treatment success
There is little if any discomfort when undergoing this procedure and there is no downtime
It is important to note that you are not a candidate for sclerotherapy if you are pregnant. Also, if you have a history of blood clots you may not be a candidate for this procedure.
Laser vein treatment
Lasers are typically used to treat small to medium-sized blood vessels (one to three millimeters in diameter) that usually occur in the face.
During treatment, your eyes will be covered so that your corneas and retinas are protected from the laser.
A handpiece is passed over your skin and the laser light is absorbed by the blood, causing the vessels to coagulate and be absorbed by the body.
There may be some skin reddening, bruising, and blistering, but these side effects subside over a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
There is little downtime; however, you will need to protect the area(s) treated from sun exposure.
Laser ablation may be able to treat smaller vessels easier than sclerotherapy, especially on sensitive areas like the ankle.
What are my options? Sclerotherapy has proven to be a very safe and popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure for treating spider veins. In some cases, if spider veins are small and located around your ankle or on your face, laser therapy may be a good non-surgical alternative to sclerotherapy.
Varicose veins differ from spider veins in that they are often bulging and are normally darker in color and larger in size. Varicose veins are not effectively treated with sclerotherapy or with lasers. Surgery is usually required for optimal treatment.