Spider Vein Treatment (Telangiectasia)
Spider veins are tiny blood vessels just beneath the surface of the skin. They may be red, purple or blue. They commonly are present on the legs, but they can also appear on the face. Sclerotherapy and/or laser treatment is a safe and effective treatment that reduces spider veins.
The most important consideration in treating spider veins of the legs is to make sure that these tiny surface veins are not being supplied by larger “feeder” veins from below. We do this by performing a quick ultrasound to determine the source of the spider veins.
Sclerotherapy addresses specific areas depending on the size and the source of the vessel. Sclerosing solutions are injected through tiny needles into the vessel. The solution causes the vessel to collapse and subside.*
Smaller surface vessels are treated with laser. The laser damages the vein and causes it to subside.* The sensation of laser light hitting the skin can cause some discomfort similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Laser vein treatments can be used in difficult areas such as the ankles, facial veins, and other areas of the body.*
Veins of the face and nose are most often caused by over exposure to the sun and the natural aging process. The preferred treatment for facial veins is laser.
Laser is a light energy that penetrates below the surface of the skin and is absorbed by the spider veins. The heat caused by the absorption of the laser energy causes the sides of the spider veins to collapse together, closing off the blood flow and wiping out the superficial spider veins.*
Sclerotherapy and/or laser treatment is a safe and effective treatment that eliminates spider veins.
TREATMENT PLAN: Spider veins of the face are treated three to four weeks apart and generally require two to three sessions. Spider veins of the legs are treated four to six weeks apart and generally require an average of two to three sessions, but may be more depending on the severity of the veins. Sclerotherapy treats larger veins that are 2-4 mm in size, and the number of treatments depends on the severity of the veins.*
GENERAL TREATMENT EXPECTATIONS
Some patients may not be ideal candidates: Do you have a suntan or any of the following medical conditions?
- Clotting disorder
- Tendency to develop keloids
- History of abnormal response to sunlight
- Medication that is light sensitive
- Infectious disease
- Connective tissue disease
- Patients that are immunocompromised
- Prescription Accutane
- Medical condition that affects wound healing
- Patients with tan skin with certain treatments
- History of skin cancer
Anyone with sun exposure for the past three weeks can receive laser treatments, but should not receive light treatments. If you have any of the conditions listed above, be sure to tell your doctor because these conditions may increase your risk of developing an infection or may create problems with wound healing. Of note, laser and light treatments are not recommended during pregnancy as the effects are unknown. Not a cure: While some patients experience dramatic results which can be long-lasting, neither laser nor light therapy can be guaranteed. To maintain results, additional laser or light treatment may be needed at a later time.*
Realistic expectations are essential: Most patients do see improvement; however, with any medical procedure, there is always the possibility that you will only see a minor change or not see a response at all. Your physician can determine if you are a good candidate. To date, doctors have found that people with lighter skin who limit their sun exposure after the procedure tend to have better results.*
Success depends on several factors: Several factors — including your skin type, condition of your skin, your lifestyle, and the amount of sun exposure you get following the procedure — affect the short-term and long-term results. For example, not protecting your skin from the sun after treatment can cause a strong reaction.*
Complications: Scarring or blistering, although rare, can occur following any treatment. Hives may occur and generally subside within a few hours. Patches of dark skin or light skin are rare but may develop after treatment. Swelling and bruising may be a temporary result following any treatment.*
Not covered by insurance: Typically, the laser and light therapies used in cosmetic treatments are not covered by medical insurance. Laser therapy usually requires two to four treatment sessions to achieve the best results, and sessions are generally spaced two to four weeks apart. Intense pulsed light may require two to five sessions and are usually repeated every three weeks. With both laser and intense pulsed light, follow-up treatment may be necessary to maintain the results.*