Spider veins are small, superficial blood vessels that appear red or blue in the skin. They commonly occur on the legs, but are also found on the face or other areas of the body. Spider veins appear in both men and women, but more frequently in women.
Female hormones may play a role in development of spider veins. Puberty, birth control pills, pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy may contribute as well. They may also appear after an injury or as a result of wearing tight girdles or hosiery held up with elastic bands. Varicose veins occur mainly from genetic susceptibility. Spider veins on the nose or the cheeks of fair-skinned people may be related to sun exposure or to skin disorders including Rosacea.
If spider veins are bothersome, they can be treated with laser or by injection of a special solution that can destroy them.
BBL treatment of facial spider veins
How are unwanted blood vessels on the face treated?
The best method of removing spider veins from the face is light therapy. Light of specific wavelengths selectively destroys the blood vessels without injuring the overlying skin. This results in approximately 75% improvement after a single treatment, with very little risk of scarring. A second treatment 4-8 weeks after the first is sometimes needed.
Is the procedure painful?
The treatment feels like the flicking of a hot rubber band against the skin. This is brief and instantaneous. A mild burning sensation may persist for several hours after treatment. Some redness and swelling of the skin may persist for 3-7 days after treatment. Occasionally, mild crusting occurs. Aloe vera gel may be applied as needed. Sun protection (SPF 40+) is required. The treated area may be covered with makeup, if desired.
Do spider veins come back after treatment?
By eliminating the factors which led to the development of these vessels (i.e. excessive sun exposure, smoking, etc.), the recurrence is reduced. However, certain factors such as heredity and skin conditions such as rosacea may lead to the development of new spider veins. Repeat treatment 1-2 years later may be necessary in these cases.
Sclerotherapy of leg spider veins
How are unwanted blood vessels on the legs treated?
The injection method is a procedure called sclerotherapy. This procedure has been used for spider veins since the 1930's, and before that for larger veins. One of several kinds of solutions called sclerosing solution is injected directly into the blood vessel with a very fine needle. A single blood vessel may have to be injected more than once, some weeks or months apart, depending on its size. A number of vessels can be injected in any one-treatment session.
How successful is sclerotherapy?
After several treatments, most patients can expect an 80-90% improvement. Fading will gradually occur over months.
Are there side effects to sclerotherapy?
There are some possible side effects. They include:
- Stinging or pain at the sites of injection, swelling of the ankles or feet, or muscle cramps.
- Red, raised areas at the sites of injection.
- Brown lines or spots on the skin at the sites of treated blood vessels.
- Development of groups of fine red blood vessels near the sites of injection of larger vessels