Spider veins are actually broken blood vessels. They are highly visible, tiny red or purple veins that seem to be just below the surface of the skin. Often appearing on the face or legs, they can be caused by sun damage or other types of irritation. Spider veins are also commonly found on the faces of patients with rosacea. Although they are not harmful, spider veins are considered unsightly by many and are very hard to camouflage with makeup.
– Sclerotherapy – Although this treatment has been successfully used to remove spider veins for over 20 years, it can be mildly painful, for it involves injecting an irritant, such as sodium chloride, into a vein or blood vessel, so it will collapse and disappear. Depending on how many veins need to be removed, several treatments may be necessary. – Laser Therapy – One of the most popular treatment options for spider veins, laser therapy is easy, fast and relatively painless. During treatment, the laser heats up and coagulates the blood inside the vein, so it collapses, seals off and disintegrates, but the surrounding tissues are not affected.
A: Sclerotherapy patients often have bruising and swelling after treatment, so they may be instructed to wear support hose and avoid long periods of standing for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, laser therapy requires absolutely no downtime, so patients can resume their normal activities immediately after the procedure.
A: General anesthesia is not necessary for sclerotherapy or laser therapy, for these are non-invasive, outpatient procedures. However, a topical anesthetic may be applied just before treatment to eliminate discomfort.
A: In rare cases, sclerotherapy may cause adverse reactions, such as a blood clot, allergy or edema, but laser treatment for spider veins is relatively safe.
A: Extensive preparation is not required for either procedure, but patients should have completely clean skin that is free of oils or lotions on the day of the treatment, and loose, comfortable clothing is recommended.
A: Spider vein treatment destroys the vein, so treatment is permanent. However, new spider veins may appear in individuals who are prone to getting them.