Spider Veins on Legs

Orchid with StoneEfficient Laser Treatment and Safe Sclerotherapy

Spider veins are wavy, thin veins usually clustered on the thigh or below the knee. They serve no useful function and eliminating them will not affect circulation. The cause is largely genetic, although other culprits include pregnancy, childbirth, birth control pills, estrogen-replacement therapy, previous injury and corticosteroids.

While spider veins are not usually a medical problem, they may make us reluctant to wear a bathing suit or shorts. In the past, patients were treated by electrodesiccation, which involves zapping the vein shut with electric current, but it can leave pitted white scarring.

Tiny pink-red spider veins are usually treated with laser surgery. Larger purple veins that are one to two millimeters in diameter undergo sclerotherapy first and laser later if needed. Patients with darker skin are counseled toward sclerotherapy because the laser can lead to pigmentation loss.

Triad Dermatology’s laser technology has revolutionized treatment so that many spider veins can be virtually erased. Our laser produces a beam of highly concentrated yellow-green light, which is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood. This light energy seals the vein shut so the blood can be reabsorbed into the body.

During Triad Dermatology’s sclerotherapy, a very small needle is used to inject a sclerosing solution into the spider vein. The cells that line the vein wall (endothelium) become irritated, inflamed and damaged. External compression is applied using ACE wraps and/or support hose. The compression causes the vein walls to seal together, and the vein can’t transport blood. The body can then break down and absorb the damaged vein. When healing is complete, the vein is no longer visible.

What to Expect

Most patients need between one and three 30-minute sessions spaced 8 to 12 weeks apart. The entire procedure takes place in our comfortable office, without the costs and risks of hospitalization, incisions or general anesthesia.

The laser treatment itself feels like numerous small snaps of a rubber band. While most patients do not require anesthesia, topical numbing agents are available. Immediate after-effects may include minor bruising, redness, light crusting or tenderness, all of which disappear in a short time.

Sclerotherapy patients may experience mild itching, tenderness and bruising around the injections site. A light brown discoloration of the skin (hyperpigmentation) may develop along the vein. If a small amount of blood becomes trapped and hardened in the vein, patients should return before their next treatment so that the area can be drained.

Infrequently, sclerotherapy patients develop a small ulcer at the injection site, which can take four to six weeks to completely heal. A small scar may result. Some patients experience an allergic reaction to the solution.

  • Partial Leg Treatment (15 Minutes)

For more information, please contact us at info@triaddermatology.com.

Triad Dermatology

an affiliate of The Skin Surgery Center

The Skin Surgery Center, a QualDerm partner

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