Spider Vein Treatments
Don’t settle – learn more about how to get rid of spider veins
Many of us are all too familiar with those pesky, squiggly little lines on our legs known as spider veins.
Spider veins are small, red or purple blood vessels that are not typically raised but are visible through the skin. They are very common on the thighs and legs, but can appear on the face, and usually form in clusters. While these pesky, superficial veins are unattractive, they often indicate there’s something going on internally.
Spider veins are caused by unhealthy valves inside feeder veins, which leads to blood flowing backwards instead of upwards towards the heart. As a result, some veins become dead ends and no longer function as they should, allowing blood to pool and become visible under the surface of the skin. Spider veins are caused by one or a variety of the following factors: lifestyle, heredity, history of blood clots, prolonged standing, and hormones among others. Men and women of all ages can develop spider veins, but it’s more common in women. The severity depends on the individual and their quality of life, and some may experience discomfort.
How to Get Rid of Spider Veins
The treatment used is largely determined by the location of the treatment area. Spider veins most commonly appear on the lower extremities, but can develop on areas of the face that have experienced sun damage. Two common methods of spider vein treatment include sclerotherapy for the lower extremities, and light or laser therapy for the face.
Treatment of Lower Extremity Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy is a widely accepted and safe procedure for treating spider veins in the thighs and legs, and has been proven to be highly effective. Sclerotherapy refers to treatment of spider veins by injecting a solution, known as a sclerosing agent, into the small vessels. This solution causes the vessels to scar over and close down. Once the small veins have scarred and closed, the body slowly reabsorbs them.
A typical procedure takes 20-30 minutes, but time will vary depending on how many areas need to be treated. There is minimal downtime with Sclerotherapy, and patients are advised to to wear compression hose for several days, avoid the sun, and avoid strenuous exercise for a few days. Results from sclerotherapy may not be noticeable for several weeks, and for some patients, multiple sessions performed several weeks apart may be necessary for maximum improvement.
Treatment of Unwanted Facial Spider Veins
Although lower extremity vessels are treated with sclerotherapy, unwanted veins and capillaries on the face are treated differently. Small vascular lesions and facial spider veins (including those seen with rosacea) are treated with light or laser treatments. The thermal energy delivered from these devices triggers the vascular lesions to spasm and close, similar to the way spider veins on the legs respond to sclerotherapy. Two such devices Cosmetic Laser Centers℠ offer includes:
Typically numerous treatments are required, spaced apart by a few weeks. Downtime is usually minimal to mild. Sun and other UV avoidance is imperative before and after treatments.
Request A Consultation
If you’re struggling with the appearance of spider veins or experiencing discomfort, we’re here to help. You can reach our Pittsburgh practice at 412.788.1331, or our Warrendale office, near Cranberry Township and Wexford, at 724.204.6850. Call us to schedule a consultation today!