Medically known as telangiectasia, spider veins are small, visible veins — oftentimes capillaries, the smallest type of veins. They’re found on the legs, sometimes on the face, and get their name because they intersect, appearing like a delicate spider’s web.
Unlike their larger cousins, varicose veins, spider veins don’t affect the texture of your skin. But they can affect your appearance, producing red, purple, or blue discolorations close to the skin’s surface. They’re generally not a medical issue. Although they can sometimes cause aching or burning sensations, they’re mostly cosmetic, affecting your appearance and not much else. You can certainly leave them alone without doing your body harm, but you may feel self-conscious about the way you look and want them removed.
At Med Physique Center for Aesthetics, conveniently located in Austin, Texas, our expert team of aestheticians understands why you might not want to leave spider veins where they are — in highly visible areas of your body. That’s why we offer laser therapy to eliminate them once and for all. Here’s what you need to know about spider veins and why laser therapy is so effective.
More about spider veins
To understand what causes spider veins to form, you need to know a bit about the way veins work. While arteries are the main blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart and to the body’s tissues, the veins move the deoxygenated blood from the tissues back up to the heart, fighting the downward pull of gravity the whole way.
To compensate for the pull, all veins have one-way valves that ensure blood can only move forward. If the vein walls weaken, say from an injury or high blood pressure, the valves can become damaged, allowing the blood to flow backward and pool. The increased and sustained pressure inside the vein is known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
At the same place the blood pools, the veins become engorged, and since spider veins lie right near the skin’s surface, they can easily be seen. And though they’re thin and usually small, the weblike patterns can sometimes grow quite large.
When spider veins occur on the face, it’s often the result of tiny blood vessels bursting, which may be caused by increased internal pressure, the sun’s UV rays, hormonal changes, or an injury.
How laser therapy deals with spider veins
Laser therapy is both a non-toxic and non-invasive therapy that uses light energy to destroy damaged or unwanted blood vessels, and it’s the treatment of choice for facial spider veins. Your provider trains the laser on the vein in question, and it emits light waves of specific wavelengths that are absorbed by the vein. That light energy generates heat that destroys the vein. In response, the damaged vein shrinks and eventually dissolves away, its components flushed out by your lymphatic system.
Small spider veins may disappear from view immediately after treatment, though those on the larger side may take 1-3 months to clear, and you may need three or more treatments to get all the vessels involved.
Your provider will give you specific aftercare instructions, but here are the highlights of what to expect:
- Treated area may be pink or red for 4-8 hours after treatment
- May feel a slight stinging sensation in the treated area that usually subsides within 4-6 hours, and mild swelling that dissipates within several days
- Stay out of the direct sun for several weeks and always use sunscreen
- Not apply makeup or lotion to the treated area for 24 hours or until all redness and stinging have disappeared
- Apply a good moisturizing lotion to the treated area twice a day during treatment period and for three months after last treatment
If you’re bothered by spider veins crisscrossing your body, consider laser therapy — it’s quick, safe, and gets the job done effectively. To find out if laser therapy is right for you, give Med Physique Center for Aesthetics a call at 512-361-2650 to set up a consultation, or book online with us today.