Both spider veins and varicose veins are common conditions that are capable of creating medical and cosmetic concerns. Although they typically do not require any sort of medical intervention at first, leaving a vein condition untreated can create health problems over time. Oftentimes, however, patients who have varicose veins and spider veins will come to Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery seeking cosmetic treatments that keep their condition from appearing on the surface of the skin. If a vein condition is creating visible imperfections on your skin, then one or more treatment methods may be right for you.
Causes of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Spider veins and varicose veins occur in different blood vessels, but for the same reason. Our veins have a responsibility to direct blood back to the heart, which is particularly impressive due to the fact that the veins work against gravity to supply the heart with the blood it needs. But when a vein is damaged, the blood that is supposed to travel to the heart can begin to collect in the vein, creating the swollen, bulging and twisting characteristics so often associated with spider veins and varicose veins. Although initially harmless, varicose veins and spider veins can become painful and potentially life-threatening if blood is left to accumulate. The best way to ensure the health of your veins and your blood circulation is to have your veins examined by a dermatologist or vascular specialist.
A vein can become damaged for many reasons, often having to do with certain lifestyle choices. Constant standing, continuous sitting, obesity, hormonal changes and heredity can all be attributed to varicose veins and spider veins. Although certain lifestyle changes can prevent vein conditions from arising in the future, those changes will not eliminate the affected veins already in your body. The only way to eliminate your current varicose veins and spider veins is to receive treatment with a specialist.
The Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Spider veins and varicose veins are very similar and have many of the same causes. However, varicose veins are generally larger and are mostly present on the legs as a single swollen vein. On the other hand, spider veins are smaller and tend to resemble the legs of a spider protruding from a common spot on the skin. Spider veins can appear on the legs as well, but can also make their way to the face and chest. Both are equally visible on the body and cause many cosmetic concerns for those who have them.
Available Treatment Options
Many treatment methods are available for spider veins and varicose veins, depending on the amount of veins present on the skin along with their severity. Usually, those suffering from vein conditions desire treatment that is minimally invasive and fast acting, which is what you can find at Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery.
We utilize the Cynosure Elite+ laser for the removal of spider veins and varicose veins on the face, chest and legs. The Elite+ laser is ideal due to its dual-acting wavelengths, which allow treatment to be customizable for each patient. Additionally, the larger laser tip allows for a wider spot radius, meaning faster appointment times and fewer treatment sessions for you. Laser therapy targets the affected vein and emits short pulses of energy that cause the vein to collapse on itself. The accumulated blood is redirected into healthier veins and the destroyed vein is absorbed by other tissues in the body.
Sclerotherapy is usually effective on spider veins as well as smaller varicose veins and works by injecting a salt solution directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the vein and causes it to collapse, effectively removing it from the body. Treatment can be used on multiple veins at once and in combination with laser therapy. The blood that once pooled in the vein will clot as it comes into contact with the salt solution, and eventually the vein will turn into scar tissue that is not longer visible on the skin’s surface.
Which Treatment is Right for You?
Determining the proper treatment method will rely on a physical examination performed by a physician at Lasederm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery. We can assess the spider veins and varicose veins present on your skin and choose a treatment option based on the severity of your condition, the type of veins present and their location. Oftentimes, a combination of sclerotherapy and laser treatment will be used for the most effective results, and multiple treatment sessions may be necessary to eliminate veins completely.
It’s important to note that while each treatment method may work to diminish unappealing veins, it will not prevent veins from surfacing in the future. To ensure the beauty of your skin and your vascular health, our physicians may recommend certain lifestyle changes that will keep vein conditions at bay. A change in diet or exercise routine, for instance, will improve your body’s blood circulation and strengthen your veins. If you would like more information about spider veins and varicose veins or to find out which one of our treatment options is right for you, please contact Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery and schedule a consultation.