Spider Vein Treatment

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Spider veins are dilated or stretched blood vessels that have a branching pattern. If you have spider veins then small clusters of red, blue or purple veins can be found on the thighs, calves and ankles. Sclerotherapy and laser vein treatments are used to treat these vessels, erasing them from your skin. Treatment can be performed at any age and may be a good option for you if:

  • You have visible veins on your legs or thighs that bother you
  • You have a pattern of branching veins on your face that you try to conceal
  • You feel that your spider veins are a sign of aging that you would like to eliminate.
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If you are concerned about the appearance of spider veins, treatment options include:

  • Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, your doctor injects a liquid chemical into the vein that triggers the vein walls to swell, stick together, and seal shut. This stops the flow of blood, causing it to reroute through healthier veins. In a few weeks, treated spider veins fade. Although the same vein may need to be injected more than once, sclerotherapy is usually effective if done correctly. Sclerotherapy doesn't require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor's office. Side effects may include swelling, itching and skin colour changes in the treated area. You can return to normal activity immediately after treatment.
  • Laser surgery: This technique sends very strong bursts of light through the skin onto the vein, making the vein slowly fade and disappear. Not all skin types and colours can be safely treated with lasers. No needles or incisions are used, but the heat from the laser can be painful. Laser treatments last for 15 to 20 minutes and, generally, two to five treatments are needed to remove spider veins in the legs. Side effects may include redness, bruising, itching and swelling in the treated area. Complications of laser surgery include blistering of the skin. When the blisters heal, they can leave permanent scars. You can return to normal activity right after treatment.

After spider vein treatment, blood vessels gradually fade over several months, but they may not disappear completely. It is important to know that these procedures treat only veins that are currently visible. They cannot prevent new veins from surfacing in the future, which could warrant additional treatments.

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While Sclerotherapy and Laser surgery are generally regarded as very safe, it is important to keep in mind that they do carry some risks, including:

  • Skin color changes along the treated vein
  • Itchy skin
  • Blisters
  • Spider veins return
  • Blood clots
  • Scaring
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