Spider Veins

A Healthier You

Learn more about spider veins here, including what our vein care clinic can do for you.

Spider veins, technically known as telangiectasias or angioectasias, are small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin or mucous membranes, measuring between 0.5 and 1 millimeter in diameter. They can develop anywhere on the body, but are commonly seen on the face around the nose, cheeks, and chin.

Spider veins may be there because of local trauma to the area (after an injury or bruise). They may be present due to hormone changes associated with menstruation, use of birth control pills, or pregnancy, or they may be there because the veins underneath them are varicose.

Spider veins are usually harmless, though they can sometimes cause aching, burning, or pain, especially when standing or sitting for long periods of time. If they are associated with larger varicose veins, the treatment for spider veins alone will likely be less effective unless the larger veins are treated first. Consult with your doctor at Center for Advanced Vein Care to determine which treatment is best for you.

Several spider vein treatments are available through our vein clinic.

Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a procedure during which your vein doctor injects the veins with a solution that scars and closes those veins, causing the blood to reroute through healthier veins. In a few weeks, treated spider veins fade. Although the same vein may need to be injected more than once, sclerotherapy is usually effective if done correctly. Sclerotherapy doesn’t require anesthesia and can be done in our vein clinic. Side effects include swelling, itching, and skin color changes in the treated area.

Laser surgery. Laser surgery works by sending strong bursts of light into the vein that make the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are used. The treatment is often less effective than sclerotherapy and can have side effects, including redness, bruising, itching, and swelling in the treated area. Complications of laser surgery include blistering of the skin. When the blisters heal, they can leave permanent scars. After laser spider vein treatment, blood vessels gradually fade over several months, but they may not disappear completely. Also, new spider veins can develop in the same area that could warrant additional treatments.

The good news is:

Surgery is no longer the only option for treatment of vein conditions such as varicose veins!
Newer techniques such as endovenous laser thermal ablation (EVLA), radiofrequency ablation thermal ablation (RF), ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, and visually guided sclerotherapy allow for the treatment and management of most vein conditions WITHOUT the need for hospitalization, major surgery with general or regional anesthesia, or prolonged recovery times! Most people can be back to work or their daily routines immediately; any restrictions are typically lifted within one week, and most evaluations and treatments are covered by insurance. Contact our vein clinic today to learn your options for spider vein treatment!