Spider veins are characterized as the visible blue or red veins that develop just under the skin. Most commonly seen on the legs, spider veins are very similar to varicose veins, except they tend to be smaller and closer to the surface of the skin. Both types of these vascular conditions are caused by blood backing up in the veins, causing them to distend. Spider veins rarely cause any symptoms and have no health consequences, but they can be cosmetically displeasing. Treatment with laser technology can safely and effectively treat these conditions.
Sclerotherapy laser treatments produce a single wavelength of intense, focused light that can be used to treat spider veins and small varicose veins without damaging surrounding skin. The laser light pulses through the skin to the vein, heating them and causing them to seal shut. Once sealed, the veins die and are removed naturally by the body.
How Many Treatments Does it Take?
Most spider veins may need several treatments before they completely disappear. Sclerotherapy treatments can be performed every 6 to 12 weeks, with each treatment taking about 20 minutes. Most veins will need at least two and as many as six treatments to be fully removed. Sclerotherapy laser treatments are most effective for spider veins and visible varicose veins that are less than 3 mm in diameter.
Can Larger Veins Be Treated?
Larger varicose veins cannot be effectively treated with lasers. Sometimes, spider veins and small varicose veins that are being “fed” by a deeper varicose vein, and will need to have the feeder vein removed before lasers can be used on the smaller veins. Larger, visible veins and deep, feeder veins can be treated with a variety of minimally invasive procedures, such as endovenous laser treatment or Sclerotherapy.
What to Expect From Lasers
Sclerotherapy laser treatment can feel mildly uncomfortable due to the heat from the laser, but cooling systems and local anesthetics may be applied to the area to reduce the discomfort. After treatment, there is no downtime or recovery, allowing patients to return to their daily activities. Side effects include reddening of the skin, bruising or swelling at the treatment site that goes away after a day or two. Sclerotherapy treatment is safe and effective for most skin types, and has no major side effects or risks.
Are the Results Permanent?
Once a spider vein has been removed by laser treatment, it will not recur. However, individuals who are prone to developing spider and varicose veins may develop other spider veins in different locations. There are some simple ways to help prevent more spider veins from developing:
- Protect legs from the sun with sunscreen and clothing
- Exercise regularly to improve circulation in the legs
- Lose excess weight
- Avoid sitting cross-legged
- Avoid standing or sitting motionless for long periods of time
- Don’t wear high-heeled shoes
Following these simple lifestyle changes after a laser treatment will help leave your legs smooth and flawless for years to come.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you’re ready to get rid of spider and varicose veins, Pinnacle Dermatology in Birmingham can help. Our team will work will you to determine the safest and most effective treatment for your needs. Pinnacle Dermatology offers sclerotherapy and other aesthetic and dermatology services for all of your skin care needs. Contact Pinnacle Dermatology today to schedule your consultation.