Is your wardrobe dictated by whether it’s too hot for hosiery? If spider veins on your legs or on your face make you feel self-conscious, you might have looked into solutions. Vein stripping and other surgical options are so invasive, but there could be a better way to get rid of squiggles and lines caused by the weblike veins.
At SkinMD in Orland Park, Skokie, Evergreen Park, and Chicago, our team of accomplished dermatologists and estheticians can help you find solutions to your spider veins — whether they’re on your legs or your face — without invasive surgery or painful procedures.
Spider veins vs. varicose veins
Spider veins affect the capillaries (the smallest veins in the body) and are visible through your skin as blue, purple, or reddish lines, typically seen in clusters. They’re much smaller and flatter than varicose veins, and aren’t typically a health hazard. The threadlike spider veins are unsightly more than they are a cause for concern.
Varicose veins are larger versions of spider veins that show up when the valves inside the leg veins start to fail. When blood flows through the veins back up toward your heart, the valves normally close to keep blood from flowing backwards. When the valves don’t work properly, it causes blood to backflow and pool, creating varicose veins. The veins may be hard and bulging, and can sometimes be an early warning sign of a blood clot.
Causes of spider veins
Whether on the face or legs, spider veins may stem from dilation of blood vessels close to the skin surface. Sun damage and heredity may play a role in their development, too.
Spider veins show up more frequently on the legs of women who are pregnant, are aging, have gained weight, or who work on their feet for prolonged periods of time. Spider veins most commonly are seen on the lower legs, particularly around the calves.
Spider vein treatments
At SkinMD, we offer two treatments for spider veins. Your doctor sits down and discusses them with you to identify the best choice.
- Light therapy: the excelⓇ V laser targets the reddish-blue pigments in spider veins, which absorb the light energy and slowly break down the vein structure
- Sclerotherapy: a very thin needle is used to inject a medicated solution into the targeted veins, causing them to collapse and shrink
With either type of treatment, the breakdown products from the veins are cleared by your body’s natural waste removal system over time.
Most patients see results after just one treatment. You can go straight back to work with no downtime after your laser therapy or sclerotherapy. Remember to protect laser-treatment areas from the sun for 3-4 weeks, and your doctor might ask you to wear compression stockings.
Are you ready for safe, noninvasive spider vein therapy? Call one of our four locations, or use our online tool to book an appointment at SkinMD today.