Laser vein treatment and sclerotherapy are the two most common treatments for getting rid of spider veins. While a board certified dermatologist will be able to help you choose which procedure is best for you, here is some helpful information to get you started.
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are visible veins that are usually blue in appearance and have a web-like appearance, but they can also be purple or red. Their web like appearance is what inspired the name ‘spider veins’.
They are most commonly found in various places on the legs, but can also appear on other areas of the body. They are more often found in women than men.
When Laser Vein Therapy is Better than Sclerotherapy
There’s a few times when laser vein removal or reduction will be a better choice than sclerotherapy. They include:
- When veins are too small to be treated by sclerotherapy
- When the patient has a fear of needles or injections
- Laser therapy is often preferred for facial treatments due to safety
Times When Sclerotherapy Will be a Better Choice
Sclerotherapy has been used to treat spider veins for a long time. In many cases, either injections or laser vein treatment can be used, but it is always best for a board certified dermatologist to evaluate your individual case to see which treatment would be better for your specific situation.
How Long will Treatment Last?
The success of vein removal treatment depends on a number of factors, including the original cause of the spider veins. Laser therapies of all types have become increasingly effective over time for both cosmetic dermatology procedures procedures and medical dermatology procedures.
Once veins are removed by either laser vein therapy or sclerotherapy those veins are usually gone for good. Unfortunately, that does not mean that more won’t appear in the same area over time.
It normally takes 2+ years before new veins appear, and often substantially longer. If the veins have disappeared after treatment and new ones appear this is not a result of bad treatment, but of your body’s propensity to create spider veins. For better or worse, much of this seems to be hereditary.
How fast or slow your spider veins have taken to appear in the first place is the best marker for how long they will take to reappear after treatment. While in most cases neither laser therapy nor sclerotherapy is a permanent solution, we have found that our patients are pleased by the results.
Potential Causes for Spider Veins
There are a number of different contributing factors to spider veins. Unfortunately, spider veins cannot usually be prevented, as they often contain a strong hereditary component. Factors that can contribute to spider veins are:
- Birth Control (hormones)
- Standing or sitting for long periods without movement
Ways to Help Reduce Your Risk of Spider Veins
While spider veins cannot be completely prevented, there are a number of things you can do to minimize your risk of having spider veins or the recurrence of them. Factors that can help reduce your risk include:
- Don’t stand or sit in one position for long periods
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Adopt a low salt diet
Spider Vein Treatment is Best Done Early
Regardless of the treatment that is undertaken it is generally best to treat spider veins within the first few years of their appearance. As they get more established they are harder to eradicate completely using either laser therapy or sclerotherapy.
How does Laser Vein Treatment Work?
Laser vascular therapy (or laser vein treatment) is where a laser is used to heat up the blood inside the blood vessel. This forces the blood to coagulate and the vein collapses and seals itself off. The vessel will then be removed by the body over the next few weeks. Watch the laser vein therapy video above to see it in action.
How does Sclerotherapy Work?
Sclerotherapy has been used since the 1930s and uses a different approach to accomplish similar end results. Sclerotherapy used to use a saline treatment that is injected into the unwanted veins to coagulate them, but this process was quite painful. More advanced solutions are now used that do not have the same burning effect that the saline solution would produce.
How Can I Find out What Vein Removal Treatment is Right for Me?
If you’re interested in getting treatment for spider veins make an appointment for a consultation to find out what is best for you.