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Laser Spider Vein Removal Treatment FAQs

Laser spider vein removal treatment is a non-invasive and virtually pain free procedure designed to remove veins using a highly concentrated beam of light. Lasers work by targeting the color in the blood vessel and selectively heating them without damaging surrounding tissues. The laser will destroy these veins in just a few minutes.

During a Laser Spider Vein Removal procedure, the light sends pulses to the vein, targeting blood vessels without harming the surrounding tissue. The light heats up the blood, causing it to clot and break down the blood vessel. Through the body’s natural healing process, the blood in the targeted veins will be reabsorbed, while the veins will disappear. The laser light used in this spider and varicose vein treatment goes straight to the vein, so there is little or no risk of burns or blisters on the skin.

The laser is used to selectively target and destroy the red coloration of the spider veins, which are usually close to the surface of the skin, without damaging the surrounding tissue. The procedure is relatively quick, and no anesthesia is needed. After treatment, the skin can be noticeably more uniform and natural in appearance.

Keep in mind that the Laser Spider Vein Removal treats only those veins that are currently visible; it does nothing to permanently alter the venous system or prevent new veins from surfacing in the future.

Spider veins are formed by the dilation of a small group of blood vessels located close to the surface of the skin. Although they can appear anywhere on the body, spider veins are most commonly found on the face and legs. They usually pose no health hazard. They may produce a dull aching in the legs after prolonged standing, which may indicate more severe venous disease.

Varicose veins are larger veins, abnormally swollen blood vessels caused by a weakening in the vein’s wall. They can be harmful to a patient’s health because they may be associated with the development of one or more of the following conditions: phlebitis or an inflamed, tender vein; thrombosis or a clot in the vein; and venous stasis ulcers or open sores from inadequate tissue oxygen and fluid retention.

Women of any age may be good candidates for Laser Vein Removal, but most fall in the 30-to-60 category. In some women, spider veins may become noticeable very early on – in the teen years. For others, the veins may not become obvious until they reach their 40s.

Spider veins in men aren’t nearly as common as they are in women. Men who do have spider veins often don’t consider them to be a cosmetic problem because the veins are usually concealed by hair growth on the leg. However, Laser Vein Removal is just as effective for men who seek treatment.

In general, the best candidates for laser removal of spider veins:

  • Persons who want to improve their appearance
  • Have superficial spider veins that will respond to laser treatment
  • Have fair skin or the appropriate skin tone for the type of laser used
  • Are not taking Accutane, nor have taken it for the previous 18 months
  • Do not have unusual scar formations, such as keloids
  • Are well informed about the procedure
  • Are physically healthy and psychologically stable
  • Do not smoke
  • Hold realistic expectations about the treatment outcome

Some vessels are not suitable for laser treatment. Very large vessels (more than approximately 4mm) or varicose veins cannot be treated using this method. however sclerotherapy may be a treatment option. Some deep lying or blue veins may require more treatments than smaller red veins. If there are any areas of broken skin, the treatment should be delayed until the area has completely healed.

Patients should avoid strong sunlight during the course of treatment and for at least 3-4 weeks afterwards. It is recommended that an SPF 30 is used on treated areas. Tanned skin cannot be treated and patients must not use any tanning products 6 weeks ahead of and during the entire treatment period.

Prior to both Laser Spider Vein Removal and sclerotherapy treatments, you should avoid certain medications. Talk to your doctor about all medicines (including over-the-counter drugs, herbs and dietary supplements) you are taking before the procedure. It may be recommended that you avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (for example, Advil, Motrin and Nuprin) or other anti-inflammatory medications for 48-72 hours before treatments.

The majority of the treated veins will be gone for good with one or two treatments. For maximum long-term resolution, one or two additional laser treatments may be necessary. However, if new veins appear, additional Laser Spider Vein Removal treatments are generally required for optimum results. These treatments may be in three to four week intervals.

Since Laser Vein Removal results are technique-sensitive and entail an artistic component, it’s important to select a physician with demonstrated laser expertise.

Although laser removal of spider veins may not erase all imperfections in the skin, most patients are satisfied with the results. Laser treatment may cause minor bruising which usually improves within a week, but often, recovery is immediate. Generally, immediately following treatment, the veins may appear redder or purple for several weeks. Makeup may be applied to help camouflage the area.

After each Laser Spider Vein Removal treatment, you will see a 70% to 80% improvement in the appearance of facial spider veins, and a 30-40% improvement in spider veins on your legs.

Following treatment, the unsightly red veins are significantly diminished and the skin is returned to a more natural, uniform state. It is important to remember, however, that laser removal does not alter the normal effects of aging and that treatment does not prevent the occurrence of new spider veins.

First, the veins to be treated are identified. Pulses of light (laser) energy are delivered along the length of the blood vessel, larger veins first. This light energy heats the blood within the targeted vein, causing it to clot. The body’s natural healing mechanism then safely absorbs the clotted blood and the veins disappear. Most laser therapy patients report little discomfort as the laser is pulsed.

Some redness and swelling of the treated area may occur, which should disappear within a few days. Generally, the veins will turn a purple color that resembles a small bruise, and then gradually fade within 5-10 days. Ice packs are usually recommended to reduce the swelling. Frozen aloe vera gel is also commonly used.

Serious medical complications from Laser Vein Removal are rare when the procedure is performed by a qualified practitioner. However, the following complications may occur:

  • Semi-permanent or permanent skin lightening may occur in the treated areas. The skin may also become hyperpigmented (darker) immediately following the surgery.
  • Darkened skin can often be successfully treated with a bleaching cream. Lightened skin tone can be more problematic. In this case, most patients elect to live with the lightened area.
  • Heat from the laser may cause burns or injuries. To reduce the risks involved in this procedure, carefully follow all of your doctor’s instructions, both before and after the procedure.

Recovery times depend on the extent of the treatment and the individual’s capacity to heal. Some redness or purple discoloration may persist for several weeks, or longer. The redness will gradually lighten to a pink tone, and then to a lighter, more natural color.

The amount of time required for a Laser Spider Vein Removal varies from fifteen minutes to one hour, depending on the size of the area being treated, as well as the severity of the problem. Usually, more than one treatment may be needed to achieve the desired results.

Today’s new medical lasers provide safe and effective non-surgical treatment options for the removal of spider and varicose veins.

A pulse of laser light feels like a small pinch or slight sting similar to the snap of a rubber band against skin. No local anesthesia is required and the procedure is well tolerated. For people with very sensitive skin, a prescription topical (local) anesthetic can be provided.

Immediately following your laser treatment, spider veins will be darker and more visible. Over two to six weeks, your spider veins usually fade.

Hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation or blistering may occur, but will generally heal with no long-lasting side effects. If the treated area blisters following treatment, the blistered area should be left alone to heal naturally. It is important to avoid scratching or picking scabs or blisters as this could result in scarring. Very rarely, scarring may occur.

For more information about Laser Spider Vein Removal…

We’ll be glad to answer your Laser Spider Vein Removal questions personally, so don’t hesitate to call or email The Elizabeth Roche M.D. Med Spa in New Jersey at 201-505-1020.