Spider veins earn their name from the twisting and turning of small red, blue, or purple veins under the surface of the skin which resemble a spider web. Spider veins are a common cosmetic concern for both men and women, affecting up to 50% of the adult population. A spider vein forms as the result of a weak or damaged valve in a vein that obstructs the flow of blood, thus causing the blood to back up and the vein to swell. If you are bothered by these unsightly veins, continue reading to learn about the available spider vein treatments and which are the most effective.
Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective medical procedure that has been used in the treatment of spider veins for over 150 years. Sclerotherapy involves using a fine needle to inject a saline solution directly into the affected veins. The solution causes the spider vein to collapse and shrink, eventually forming scar tissue that the body will naturally dissolve and eliminate. The best candidates are those without a medical or family history of blood clotting disorders. This is because after the injection, a small amount of blood that is inside the collapsed spider vein will form a clot before gradually diminishing. The procedure is done without anesthesia and only takes about 20 minutes per session, but you may require more than one session depending on the size and number of spider veins that are being treated. Once the procedure is complete, you will need to wear a compression stocking for a few weeks, but otherwise you can return to normal activities.
Over the next several weeks, you will notice the appearance of your spider veins gradually fading away. Most people see very noticeable results within three to six weeks after sclerotherapy, although more severely affected areas may require additional treatment sessions to maximize your smooth, even results.
The vascular laser utilizes a light which penetrates the outer layers of skin in order to reach the spider veins below that will then absorb its energy and eliminate the vein through a brief but intense heat. The body will eliminate the damaged tissue through its natural healing process. One session only takes about 15 minutes, and patients describe feeling a slight discomfort during the treatment that has been compared to a rubber band snapping against the skin combined with a cool, wet spray sensation. Patients generally require anywhere from one to three sessions.
Most people enjoy long-lasting results that appear virtually immediately following vascular laser treatment, although some swelling, bruising, or redness may still be present for several days. These symptoms, however, should diminish on their own, revealing your even, beautiful skin tone and texture.
Consider scheduling an appointment at the Art of Dermatology office, to learn about the options Dr. Jessica Krant can offer to you.