Spider veins are tiny dilated capillaries that show through the skin. They are usually purple, red, or blue in appearance and have a squiggly and frayed shape. Typically, they do not cause any pain, but they can sometimes burn or ache after patients have been standing for a while.
The two most common types of spider vein treatments are sclerotherapy and laser surgery.
Sclerotherapy is a method in which the doctor injects a special solution into the problematic veins. This solution closes the vein and cuts off its blood supply, eventually causing it to die and disappear over a period of a few weeks.
Laser treatment involves using a high-powered laser to shoot light into the vein, causing it to seal shut and fade away. Because the laser is used to shoot through the skin, this is a non-invasive procedure and requires no incisions or cuts.
Spider veins are primarily a hereditary condition passed down by affected family members. Additional factors that can cause spider veins to develop include standing around too much, being overweight, pregnancy or menopause, and taking birth control pills.
In some cases, spider veins can return even after treatment. They will not be the exact same veins that return, but different veins that have returned in the same area. Typically, patients do not see their spider veins redevelop for two years or more. Once they do come back, they can easily be removed once again through a repeat treatment cycle.
Both treatment methods are highly effective, so either option is a good choice. Sclerotherapy can be done in an outpatient setting, and because of that, it is quite affordable for most patients. Laser therapy is also affordable and has the added benefit of not requiring the use of needles. The doctor can recommend the best treatment for patients based on how severe the spider veins are.