You may have experienced spider veins if you’ve ever been pregnant, or if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. These darkened veins, though visible from outside the skin, typically aren’t a medical concern, but there are treatments that target and reduce the appearance of spider veins.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Elliott and our certified vein technician at Meridian Plastic Surgery can get rid of your spider veins and restore your confidence.
Spider veins, as the name implies, have a webbed look and can appear dark purple, red, or blue. They are often found in small clusters on the legs, but can also appear elsewhere on your body, like your arms, abdomen, or face.
Spider veins are caused by unhealthy valves inside your veins. Blood flows backwards instead of upwards and causes blood pooling. Symptoms such as pain, itching, bleeding, swelling of the legs or ankles, or a heavy feeling in the legs often occur when spider veins go untreated.
Although it once required surgery to remove spider veins and their larger, twisting, bulging cousins varicose veins, advanced technologies give you two much more effective and less invasive options.
Sclerotherapy is a simple injection of a solution that irritates the inner lining of your spider veins, causing them to shut down and die. Once they turn into scar tissue, your body absorbs them and flushes them out.
Laser light therapy accomplishes the same task using a different technology. This noninvasive treatment focuses strong beams of light energy that penetrate your skin to heat up and destroy the affected veins.
If you’re bothered by needles or are uncomfortable with the sclerosing medication injected into your veins during sclerotherapy, laser treatment may be the answer you’re looking for. Laser light treatments require no medication, no needles, and no down time.
Another reason to consider laser light therapy is if you have spider veins that are too small for injections. In this case, our team may recommend laser light therapy to quickly and effectively eradicate the unsightly web of delicate veins.
Although laser therapy is noninvasive, you can expect to feel a snapping sensation on your skin during the treatment. Most patients report slight discomfort, but generally don’t describe it as painful. Those little taps against your skin mean something amazing is happening underneath.
The laser energy targets the pigment in the blood inside your spider veins. As the light energy gently warms up the tissue, the vein dies. Eventually, the dead tissue is flushed away, and your blood is redirected to other healthy veins. Over the next few weeks and months, you'll notice your spider veins fade and disappear completely.
Most patients need at least four to six weeks for the vein to reduce considerably in color. After that time, the vein is reabsorbed by the body and disappears completely. If you have several areas affected by spider veins or yours are particularly severe, you may require a few treatments.
Laser therapy is a good starting point to begin decreasing the appearance of spider veins. Continued treatment can significantly improve the appearance over time, but it’s important to note that your lifestyle can heavily influence the appearance of spider veins. There are a few things you can do at home to continue healing, including:
If you’re concerned about your spider veins or varicose veins and want to learn more about laser therapy treatments, call our office or schedule a consultation online today.