Spider veins are small-dilated veins near the surface of the skin and measure about 0.3 to 2.5 millimeters in size. They may be red, blue, purplish, or greenish in color. The medical term for spider veins is telangiectasia. Spider veins can develop anywhere on the body, but are commonly found on the face and legs. There are larger superficial veins called reticular veins that may be the source of spider veins.
Spider veins may be the sign of deeper insufficiency. For this reason, any underlying problem contributing to spider veins must be addressed before treatment may begin . Most spider veins are caused by venous hypertension, which is high pressure in one portion of your venous system. During laser treatment, a laser is applied to the skin over your spider veins. Laser energy causes your spider veins to coagulate and shrink. Laser therapy is most effective for small and medium size spider veins. Large spider veins respond poorly and are best treated with sclerotherapy. You are likely to experience mild discomfort similar to having a small rubber band snapping against skin.
Treatments usually do not require sedatives, pain medications, or injections of local anesthetic. Immediately following treatment, spider veins will be darker and more visible. Over two to six weeks, your spider veins usually fade. After each treatment, you will see a 70% to 80% improvement in the appearance of face spider veins and 30-40% improvement in leg spider veins. An average of three treatments will be required at three-month intervals to produce desired results. Combination therapy can be considered and beneficial if you have small, medium and large spider veins. You may wish to start with sclerotherapy, because sometimes all veins will be improved after injecting the larger ones. This may reduce the number of veins that need to be treated by laser and minimize your overall cost.