Spider Vein Treatments to Improve the Appearance of Skin
Not to be confused with varicose veins that are much larger, spider veins -- or telangiectasias -- are broken capillaries or blood vessels that appear on the surface of the skin as fine red lines. Telangiectasias affects about 50 percent of U.S. women; however many men are affected as well.
The current treatment for eliminating unwanted spider veins from the thighs, calves and ankles is sclerotherapy, an injection method developed in the 1930s. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in a doctor's office. It requires no anesthesia, and patients usually experience minimal discomfort. Sessions last from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and amount of veins being treated. Typically, at least two sessions are required to achieve optimal results.
During treatment, the doctor directs bright light at the spider veins, while injecting the sclerosing agent using a thin needle. The agent causes the veins to constrict and collapse, effectively preventing blood flow. This action eliminates discomfort, bulging, discoloration and swelling; and the veins usually fade away within days to weeks.
Facial Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy may not be appropriate for removing spider veins from the face. Instead, doctors often use laser therapy, which utilizes light to destroy the spider veins and restore a natural appearance to the skin. This spider vein treatment produces safe, immediate results and usually takes only about 10 to 15 minutes.
During the procedure, the laser targets only broken vessels and not the surrounding skin. About 70 percent of patients enjoy a successful outcome with only one treatment; however, the procedure is not preventative, and new spider veins can appear later, requiring additional laser treatment sessions.
Cost of Treatment
Sclerotherapy costs include a facility fee and physician’s fee. The total cost of your treatment may vary depending on the doctor, the extent of treatment and other factors; however, fees typically start at around $225 per syringe. Patients sometimes require more than one syringe per session, and repeat treatments may be required to achieve optimal results. The cost of laser treatment also tends to vary; however, fees usually start at approximately $250 per session.