Spider veins are small, red, purple or blue web-like appearance usually seen on the legs and face. Spider veins are common and around 80% of women have it sometime in their life, but are not a major health concern. There are several treatment options available depending on the size location and characteristics of spider veins. In this article, we’ll discuss about laser treatment for spider veins.
There are various treatment options available depending on the size, location and characteristics of spider veins. Some of the treatment options that have been used for the treatment of spider veins are:
- Lifestyle changes
- Support stockings
- Radiofrequency Occlusion
- Endovenous Laser Treatment
- Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light
How does the laser therapy works?
Laser transmit laser light through the skin to the target blood vessel. After the laser light is absorbed, the light is converted to heat and damage the target vessel. As the vessel damage the circulation stops within these tiny vessels and after certain time they disappear. This procedure is quick and can be done with in few minutes depending on the area, size and number of spider veins to be treated.
During the procedure your doctor may apply topical anesthetic cream, but it can be done without anesthesia. You may experience burning and tingling like sensation during procedure which goes off after procedure is over.
Depending on the lasers, your spider vein size, location and color 2-4 session may be required. If the veins don’t disappear in first session, second or third session may be required with in 6-8 weeks interval.
Side Effects of Laser Therapy
Depending on the laser and dermatologist side effects may vary. The more experience is your dermatologist the less the side effects. Common temporary side effects are swelling, redness, mild pain and hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation. These side effects will gradually disappear as the lesion heals, which may take from few days to several weeks depending on the type of laser and severity of the spider vein.
The cost of laser treatment of spider vein may vary depending on dermatologist, type of laser and location. Average cost may range from $80-350 per session.
Available Laser Options
Long-pulse dye laser
These are second generation lasers with a longer 595-nm wavelength and a longer 1.5-milisecond pulse width is effective for treating small spider veins that are less then 1-1.5 mm thick. Common side effects may be hyper-pigmentation, purpura, redness and swelling. With even more pulse width of 40 milliseconds and combination of refrigerated air-cooling can minimize the side effects.
Long pulsed Nd:YAG lasers
Long pulsed Nd:YAG laser are effective in treating veins up to 3mm in size. The longer wavelength can penetrate deeper and larger veins and with combination with various cooling methods side effects can be minimized. Most common side effect is hyper-pigmentation.
Alexandrite laser have are effective in treating medium-sized blue veins and they are less painful then Nd:YAG lasers. For larger veins Long-pulsed alexandrite laser may give better result. Common side effects may be redness, bruising, and hypo-pigmentation.
Diode lasers are also used in some cases to treat spider veins. They are also effective in treating spider veins with size 1mm or more. Diode lasers offers deeper tissue penetration and sufficient vascular absorption.
Every year thousands of people suffering from spider veins gets laser treatment for spider veins. There are several advertisements claiming to completely treat spider veins quickly and effectively, considerably very cheap but always remember to consult a dermatologist or an expert before going for laser and always go with the experienced doctor.