Spider veins are a mild form of varicose veins that appear on the surface of the skin as thin red purple lines or web-like patterns. Spider veins commonly appear on the surface of the thighs, calves and ankles but can also appear on the face. Spider veins aren’t always just an aesthetic concern, but can occasionally cause symptoms like swelling, itching, night cramps, fatigue, aching and/or burning.
Spider veins don’t typically go away on their own and usually require treatment. If you experience spider veins, there are minimally-invasive procedures to effectively remove or reduce the appearance of your spider veins. The two kinds of treatments available for spider veins use either chemical injections or light to shrink your veins so that they eventually fade away and disappear.
Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins. During this procedure at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, Dr. Holy injects a chemical solution into the spider veins with a very fine needle, causing them to slowly shrink, collapse, and eventually disappear. The procedure is performed in the office, is almost pain-free, and requires no down time.
After the injections, the treated area will be compressed with bandages or wraps and you will need to wear compression stockings for about a week. This makes the procedure more effective and speeds healing.
Multiple sessions are often needed for the best effect.
Laser/Light Treatments – In spider vein laser treatment, a high-intensity beam of light is pointed at the spider veins, heating them up and destroying them, eventually causing them to disappear. Laser treatment is considered the optimal treatment for spider veins on the face and can be used on other parts of the body, but it’s rarely used on the legs. It may take multiple treatments for full effectiveness.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment is much like laser treatment, but it’s not as precisely focused. IPL uses concentrated pulses of light which selectively damages and destroys abnormal veins, including small spider veins and small vascular birthmarks. Intense light therapy is best suited for vascular lesions located slightly deeper in the skin than those treated with other procedures. This treatment may be recommended when other options can’t effectively treat the superficial vein.
Both laser and IPL treatments may be an option for some patients who are unable to undergo sclerotherapy, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Results of Spider Vein Treatments
It can take several weeks to see results from both light-based treatment and sclerotherapy. It is possible that not all treated veins will disappear completely after a single treatment, so multiple sessions, spaced out, may be required.
To learn more about spider veins and treatment options in Phoenix, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website.