There are two types of vein reduction handled in a dermatologist’s office. These include smaller broken capillaries or spider veins, and larger leg, or varicose veins.
Laser Treatment for Spider Veins
Broken capillaries, sometimes called spider veins, often appear on the face along the nose and cheeks. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels in the body and connect arteries to veins.
Spider veins result from a variety of causes, including sun damage, exposure to hot, dry or windy weather, too much alcohol consumption, rosacea, genetic conditions, or trauma to the skin.
The tiny, thin capillary walls sit just below the skin’s surface and when stressed, can tear, allowing blood to seep out. This results in the appearance of red dots or red/purple lines to appear. Broken capillaries are often called spider veins since the cluster of red lines resemble a spider web.
While not painful, broken capillaries can be displeasing in appearance. Laser treatments are typically used to remove them.
Lasers deliver targeted energy to the broken capillaries, which causes the vessel to clog. Once the vein is no longer transporting blood, it is absorbed by the body. This eliminates the appearance of the spider veins.
Laser treatment generally lasts for 30 minutes or less and requires 1-4 days of recovery time. The number of treatments required will depend on the number and appearance of your spider veins. A large network of broken capillaries may take several treatments, while smaller areas may disappear after one treatment.
Some broken capillaries do not respond to lasers but will improve with electrocautery, which is also performed in our office.
Treatment for Leg or Varicose Veins
Sclerotherapy is a proven treatment that has been used since the 1930s to eliminate the appearance of smaller varicose and large spider veins in the legs.
Your doctor will inject a concentrated saline (salt) solution directly into the vein, sometimes into multiple locations along the vein. The leg is then compressed with pressure stockings or bandages for about 2 weeks. Regular walks are encouraged during recovery.
The vein will shrink and dissolve over a few weeks as the body naturally absorbs it.
Most patients typically need at least 2 treatments separated by several weeks for the appearance of their legs to significantly improve.
Sometimes sclerotherapy is used in combination with laser treatments. However, sclerotherapy tends to work better for larger spider veins and smaller varicose veins because it reduces the chances of the veins recurring.
If spider veins or varicose veins are bothering you, call our office at 214-303-1102 or request an appointment with Dr. Niroomand to learn more about your treatment options.