Spider veins can resemble a "star" with numerous small veins radiating from a center point, or they can also appear as fine, separate lines, a web-like maze, or as "branches" from a single "tree trunk." 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. The gold standard treatment for spider veins is laser.
Laser therapy for spider veins?
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 all the blood will be removed by the body's scavenging cells. The newer laser treatments allow the delivery of a precise dosage of energy to each blood vessel without injuring any nearby structures.
How do I know if I am a candidate for laser vein treatment?
All individuals are evaluated prior to laser therapy. Spider veins do not cause symptoms and are of a cosmetic concern only. For those who have symptoms, further investigation is done to ensure that they do not have varicose veins. Laser therapy is most effective for the very small spider veins and not used to treat large varicose veins.
What preparations must I take?
There are no major preparations required before the laser treatment. A few common sense recommendations include avoiding sun exposure, aspirin, alcohol and not smoke for at least a week prior to the procedure.
On the day of the treatment one should avoid all creams, lotions and moisturizers on the area that is going to be treated.
One should wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the body part(s).
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 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.