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Latest in Spider Vein Treatments

Ava Lawson | June 12, 2017 | Posted in Skin Care

Have you noticed small purple veins slowly spreading across your thighs or lower legs? If you have been bothered by the appearance of spider veins (which are different than varicose veins), there are plenty of effective treatment options available.

Spider veins are tiny branching clusters of dilated blood vessels that can be red, blue or purple in color. In most women, they tend to appear on the sides of the upper or lower leg or ankle, although they can also develop on the face. Spider veins can occur in patients young and old though they tend to be more prevalent and visible as we age and our skin becomes thinner. In some people, spider veins are genetic. In others, hormonal changes, long periods of standing, pregnancy or dramatic weight fluctuations can contribute to their formation. Many people are bothered by the appearance of spider veins, which can also lead to dull aching when sitting or standing for extended periods of time.

Spider vein treatment – sclerotherapy

If you have visible spider veins that keep you from wearing shorts or are a source of embarrassment, one of the safest (and time-tested) treatments is sclerotherapy. This simple procedure requires no anesthesia and causes the veins to shrink and then disappear completely. A series of tiny injections are made into the dilated blood vessels, which are infused with a saline sclerosing solution. Over a period of weeks, the veins will slowly fade from a dark blue/purple to white as the blood moves out and the vessel collapses. Sclerotherapy is most successful in patients who have small to medium-sized spider veins on the legs, calves or ankles, and is usually repeated over a course of several months for the best results. Minor bruising is the most commonly reported side effect.

Laser vein treatment

Spider veins that appear in the face, or larger vessels in the legs may respond better to laser vein treatment. There are many types of lasers (including IPL and the YAG 1064 long pulse) that may be used to eliminate spider veins and varicose veins (larger vessels that twist and protrude from the skin). Unlike sclerotherapy, lasers do not involve needles, but there may be some moderate discomfort as the intense laser light or pulsed light emits into the veins. For extensive spider or varicose veins, more than one laser treatment will be necessary. The session lasts between 30-60 minutes and may be followed by some redness, temporary discoloration and swelling.

Varicose vein treatment typically takes several months to take effect, although most people see noticeable reduction in the first few weeks. For those who have to be on their feet or at a desk for a prolonged period of time, your doctor may recommend compression hose or stockings to help prevent spider vein recurrence.

Lifestyle changes

Sclerotherapy and lasers are both excellent and safe spider vein treatments, but they may not prevent new veins from forming in the future. Two of the best methods for keeping spider veins at bay is adopting an active lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body weight. By dropping extra pounds and incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine, you can ease the symptoms of spider veins and reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

Laser vein treatment in NYC

Choosing an experienced, board-certified surgeon is crucial to the success of your spider vein treatment. To learn more about laser vein therapy with Dr. Thomas Loeb, please contact our Fifth Avenue office to schedule a private consultation.

Additional Spider Vein Treatment Resources:

  1. ASPS, Spider Vein Treatment Sclerotherapy https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/spider-vein-treatment
  2. Mayo Clinic, Spider veins: How are they removed? http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/expert-answers/spider-veins/faq-20058284
  3. EMedicine, Varicose Vein Treatment With Endovenous Laser Therapy http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1815850-overview
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