How is a spider vein treatment performed, and what are my options?
You will likely get a spider vein treatment in a surgeon’s office. There are two ways to treat spider veins: sclerotherapy or lasers. Your aesthetic plastic surgeon will help you select the option that’s best for you. You will likely need multiple treatments to completely remove spider veins.
Sclerotherapy has proven to be a very safe and popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure for treating spider veins.
- Sclerotherapy is effective for medium-sized blood vessels (greater than three millimeters in diameter)
- Your surgeon injects a sclerosing solution into the vein with a micro-needle, which causes the vein to shrink, turn white (blanch), and then gradually disappear.
- After the injection, you will likely need to wear compression stockings to compress the veins and maximize your results.
- There is little if any discomfort with this procedure, and there is no downtime.
It is important to note that you cannot get sclerotherapy if you are pregnant or have a history of blood clots.
Laser Vein Treatment
Laser vein treatments are a good alternative to sclerotherapy in some cases, like when the spider veins are small and located around your ankle or on your face.
- Lasers typically treat small to medium-sized blood vessels (one to three millimeters in diameter) that usually occur in the face.
- During treatment, your surgeon will cover your eyes to protect your corneas and retinas from the laser.
- Your surgeon will pass a handpiece over your skin, and your blood will absorb the laser light, causing the vessels to coagulate and be absorbed by the body.
- You may experience some skin reddening, bruising, and blistering, but these side effects subside over a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
- There is little downtime; however, you will need to protect the area(s) treated from sun exposure.
Treatment options differ between spider veins and varicose veins. Varicose veins are often bulging or swelling and usually are darker in color and larger than spider veins. Sclerotherapy and lasers do not treat varicose veins. If you have varicose veins, your surgeon may recommend surgery to treat them.