Typically red, blue or purple in color, spider veins are a series of twisted, raised veins that are visible on the surface of the skin. The patchwork of veins resembles a cluster of tiny tree branches or a small spider web. Affecting approximately half the adult population in the United States, spider veins commonly appear on the legs, feet and face. They are caused by circulatory problems, such as weak or damaged valves within the veins, which result from sun exposure, hormonal changes, and age as well as an injury or pregnancy. The weak or damaged valves allow blood to flow backwards and pool within the vein.
While they are not generally painful, spider veins can be unsightly and embarrassing. In some cases, spider veins can be treated with lifestyle changes like losing weight, wearing sunscreen, exercising and wearing compression stockings. If these remedies fail, you may want to consider a cosmetic treatment, such as laser spider vein removal, to improve the appearance of your skin.
How Laser Treatments Work
The heat from a laser is focused on the affected area. The pulses of light energy are absorbed by the blood, which then coagulates and damages the vein. The vein will eventually die and disappear, as your body eliminates it naturally. Blood flow will be redirected to other healthier veins.
The treatment is often performed on an outpatient basis. It may take more than one session to achieve the desired results. Studies have shown that laser vein removal is safe and effective overall.
Side Effects and Recovery
While the procedure does not require anesthesia, some patients may opt to receive a topical anesthetic to minimize the stinging sensation. Side effects may include redness, swelling and irritation that can last approximately 24 hours. Discomfort is minimal after the treatment.
Although it is usually recommended that you avoid strenuous exercise for a day or so, most patients can resume their normal activity right away. If you have had treatment to your legs, you may be advised to wear support hose. It is also recommended that you apply sunscreen to the treated area. Some patients begin to see results in as little as two weeks.
If you suffer from spider veins, contact Pinnacle Dermatology for a consultation. In addition to reviewing your medical history, we will provide additional information on laser vein removal and answer any questions that you may have. Our professional team is committed to helping you achieve the look that you desire.