Spider Vein Treatment
Millions of women and men are troubled by unattractive spider veins on their faces and legs. Spider veins are called as such because they resemble a “star” with numerous small veins radiating from a center point. They may also appear as fine, separate lines, a web-like maze, or as “branches” from a single “tree trunk.” It is estimated that more than 75% of females over the age of 18 have spider veins. These red, blue or purple thread-like lines may develop on any part of the body, including the face, but most often appear on the thighs, calves, or buttocks. The condition is associated with increased pressure to the veins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are spider veins bad for health?
The spider veins are always superficial to the skin and much smaller than the varicose veins. Because the spider veins are dark and superficial to the skin, they are a major source of embarrassment for most females.
One thing to note about these veins is that they are harmless and not associated with any symptoms. The disfigurement is only of a cosmetic concern. While we do not have a cure for spider veins, one can protect against these unsightly veins by wearing support hose stocking and maintaining a normal weight.
Are spider veins associated with pain?
No, spider veins are only of cosmetic concern. If there is pain, swelling of the feet or fatigue, then the symptoms are not from spider veins.
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins are typically caused by abnormal blood flow and weakening of the blood vessel wall. Any condition or activity that places pressure on the veins (like weight gain, prolonged sitting or standing) can contribute to their development.
Spider veins increase with age and thus are quite common in the elderly. There is also a genetic basis, since spider veins do tend to run in families. In pregnancy, spider veins are quite common and have been associated with an increase in the female sex hormone, estrogen. Estrogen is known to weaken the walls of the veins and may contribute to the development of spider veins. During pregnancy spider veins are most common in the 2nd trimester.
Do spider veins disappear on their own?
Unfortunately no; spider veins once developed generally get worse and do not resolve on their own. Weight gain, lack of exercise and a sedentary life style is associated with progression of spider veins.
Is laser therapy painful?
During your treatment, you may feel a slight tingling sensation as the laser fires. If the individual feels any pain, a topical local anesthetic is applied 20 minutes before the procedure.
How does one feel after the laser therapy?
Soon after the procedure, you may feel a slight bump on the skin, which will disappear in the next 2-4 hours. The area may also appear slightly redder and occasionally may be bruised.
Are there any precautions after laser therapy?
After laser therapy, it is strongly recommended that one keep away from the sun. Wearing support hose can facilitate healing. The pain is minimal and one may take any over the counter pain medications. After treatment, there is no down time. You can resume all of your normal activities immediately afterward.
How often can one undertake laser therapy for spider veins?
It is generally recommended that the treatments be spaced four to six weeks apart. If new veins appear, additional treatments are required for optimum results.
What are side effects of laser therapy?
The skin above the veins will have a reddish, cat-scratch appearance. This generally disappears over the next two days.
When can I go back to work after laser therapy?
Patients are encouraged to resume all normal activities immediately. Final results may not be apparent for several months. Most patients are satisfied by the results in a very short time.
Can spider veins occur in men?
Yes, spider veins are universal; affect all ethnic groups and gender. In men, spider veins are most common in obese males. Fortunately, males are not too much into aesthetics and most do not even know if they have the problem.
What methods we use to treat spider veins?
The best and gold standard treatment for spider veins is laser. Laser vein removal is an easy, fast, and effective way to treat superficial veins Laser therapy has been used in the medicine for more than 30 years. Advances in technology have helped developed many different lasers. The laser uses a focused beam of light. In the treatment of veins, the wavelength of light is targeted to the pigment in the blood. The laser heats up the small vein and destroys it. The laser beam is focused and does not damage the nearby skin tissue. Over a period of four to six weeks, the vein is reabsorbed by the body and disappears.
What type of laser is used to treat spider veins?
The most common laser used to treat spider veins is the Nd: YAG Laser system. It is a hand held device and also has a cooling tip to minimize the discomfort during the therapy.
How does the laser work?
The Nd YAG laser pierces the skin and penetrates the superficial blood vessel. The heat generated from the laser coagulates the blood inside the vessel causing it to collapse and seal. Over the next few weeks, the vessel will disappear and the body’s scavenging cells will remove all the blood. The newer laser treatments allow the delivery of a precise dosage of energy to each blood vessel without injuring any nearby structures.
What happens during the laser therapy?
The procedure is done in a doctor’s office or clinic and usually takes less than 10-20 minutes. In most cases, only the very small superficial veins are treated with a laser. The majority of individuals do not require any type of anesthesia, but for those who are squeamish or anticipate pain, the physician may apply a topical anesthetic 20 minutes prior to the procedure. Most current day lasers also have a cooling system which prevents the tip of the laser from getting hot.