Spider veins, also known medically as telangiectasia or venulectasias, are tiny red, blue or purple thread-like veins near the surface of the skin that often take on the appearance of a spider’s web. These perpetually dilated and visible veins, caused by increased pressure to the veins, can develop on any part of the body, including the face, but most often appear on the thighs, calves, ankles or buttocks. There are two treatment options we offer Sclerotherapy and laser therapy.
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins. It’s often considered the treatment of choice for small varicose veins. The number of veins injected in one session depends on the size and location of the veins, as well as the general medical condition of the patient.
In most cases of sclerotherapy, the salt solution is injected through a very fine needle directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to collapse and stick together and the blood to clot. At this point, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping for one to two minutes, especially when larger veins are injected. The procedure itself takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
These side effects usually go away within a few days to several weeks. Some side effects can take months or even years to disappear completely.
If you were treated for small varicose veins or spider veins, you could usually expect to see definitive results in three to six weeks. Larger veins may require three to four months. However, multiple treatments may be needed to achieve the results you want.
Veins that respond to treatment generally don’t come back, but new veins may appear.
A follow-up visit will be scheduled about a month after the procedure to check the procedure’s success and decide whether further sessions are needed. Generally, you need to wait about six weeks before undergoing another sclerotherapy session.
Studies of sclerotherapy as a treatment for varicose and spider veins indicate that it has an overall success rate of about 60 to 80 percent in eliminating treated veins.
The laser pierces the skin and penetrates the superficial blood vessel. The heat generated from the laser coagulates the blood inside the vessel, causing it to collapse and seal. Over the next few weeks, the vessel will disappear, and all the blood will be removed by the body’s scavenging cells. The newer laser treatments allow the delivery of a precise dosage of energy to each blood vessel without injuring any nearby structures.
WHAT TYPE OF LASER IS USED TO TREAT SPIDER VEINS?
The most common laser used to treat spider veins is the Nd: YAG laser system. It is a hand-held device and also has a cooling tip to minimize discomfort during the therapy.
Treatments are four to six weeks apart. If new veins appear, additional procedures are recommended for optimum results.
The skin above the veins will have a reddish, cat-scratch appearance. This generally disappears over the next two days.
There is no cure for spider veins. Although treatment does not prevent the development of new spider veins, the removal of existing veins can dramatically improve the appearance of the affected area, providing a more youthful, healthy look and an even color pattern to the skin. Spider veins can be recurrent, and thus, more treatments will be required in the future.