Squiggly red, blue, and purple lines may have their place — on a child’s doodling with a new set of crayons — but not on your legs and ankles. Ugh. Spider veins. Caused by fluctuating hormones or simple aging, these veins show through the surface of the skin and are unattractive. At Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery, we can remove your spider veins with our lasers.
What causes spider veins to form?
Spider veins are more common in women, forming on the thighs, ankles, and calves. In younger women, hormone fluctuations due to pregnancy can cause spider veins to form. Also, as we get older and the supporting muscles and tissue in our legs that support our veins as they push de-oxygenated blood back up to the heart weaken, blood can pool slightly in the veins. This pooling shows through the skin as spider veins.
Other factors that can create spider veins are heredity, weight fluctuations, and occupations where the person has to stand or sit for long periods of time during the day.
Do spider veins hurt?
In most cases, spider veins are just a visual annoyance and don’t cause any discomfort. This is because the veins are very small, especially compared to larger varicose veins. Still, in some people, spider veins can cause the legs to ache or cramp. Elevating the legs and wearing compression stockings can help ease this type of discomfort.
How do lasers remove spider veins?
Upon hearing about laser treatment of spider veins, it’s easy to think it would be painful. But that’s not the case. The laser is set to match the wavelength of the color of the spider vein. Then the laser light energy is delivered onto the skin above the vein. It penetrates the skin, and the energy is absorbed by the hemoglobin and the vein wall. This energy converts to heat and the heat cause the vein wall to collapse, sealing off the vein and coagulating the hemoglobin within. Once this happens, the body gradually absorbs the unused vein over a few weeks, and it fully disappears.
How many treatments are needed?
Most spider veins usually need only one treatment, but occasionally stubborn veins may need a second session. These are spaced from 4-6 weeks apart.