Red Leg Veins (Spider Veins)
Laser Light or Radiofrequency
Unwanted veins on the legs come in all shapes and sizes. Varicose veins are large, bulging, blue veins that are often painful. The best ways to get rid of these are by surgically stripping them out, by sclerotherapy injections, or newer treatments that irritate these big veins by using laser light or radiofrequency administered from inside the vein.
Did you know?
Dr. Bernstein was the first physician in the WORLD to use the V-Beam Perfecta® and V-Beam Prima® lasers and one of the first in the U.S. to acquire the Excel-V® laser has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on treating numerous conditions with these lasers and has published extensively on their use including on the treatment of leg veins.
Red Leg Veins FAQs
WHY DID I GET SPIDER VEINS?
Spider veins are extra veins that connect to the deeper veins in one’s legs and arise due to hormonal and other influences on vein growth. They are ‘extra’ veins were weren’t born with. Pregnancy and heredity are both major causes of lower extremity spider veins. Although more common in women, spider veins also occur in men.
CAN I PREVENT SPIDER VEINS?
Spider veins result from hormonal causes, heredity and from other factors affecting the deeper veins from which they come. There is no way to prevent them.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU REMOVE THESE VEINS; DO I NEED THEM?
Spider veins occur later in life, and people do just fine without them prior to their arrival. In fact, the skin is better off without these extra veins that serve no useful purpose.
WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS AND HOW ARE THEY REMOVED?
Varicose veins are dilated veins where the valves within the veins, that prevent backflow of blood in the wrong direction, become poorly- or non-functional. As a result, these veins become dilated and can lead to circulation problems, pain and ulcerations. Treatment often requires surgical removal (vein stripping) or destruction of the vein from the inside by injecting sclerosing solutions that injure the lining of the vein or radiofrequency or laser treatments that injure veins by heating them internally (endovenous ablation) resulting in their destruction.
HOW MANY LASER TREATMENTS WILL I NEED TO TREAT MY SPIDER VEINS?
We use vascular lasers such as the V-Beam Perfecta®, V-Beam Prima® and Excel-V® to treat spider veins. These lasers protect the top of the skin by cooling it while heating the veins below the surface. Generally a minimum of 2 laser treatments are required at 3 month intervals to remove the majority of veins. Small veins caused by sclerotherapy injections (matt telangiectasias) are sometimes more difficult to remove and may require more than 2 treatments.
HOW LONG BETWEEN LASER SPIDER VEIN TREATMENTS?
Leg veins, or spider veins, are treated at 3 month intervals.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF LASER TREATMENT?
Laser treatment of spider veins immediately makes them disappear and are replaced with a linear hive reaction long the vein or turn darker blue or purple from bruising inside the vein. A few days after treatment the veins look like cat scratches with a tiny, string-like scab appearance on the skin, but often without a scab one can feel. These marks can last for a few weeks after treatment, so it’s best to treat spider veins before the summer. Sun-exposure can create temporary pigmentation along treated veins if they are exposed soon after treatment.
DOES LASER TREATMENT OF SPIDER VEINS HURT?
Treatment of spider veins stings but isn’t very painful for most people. Some dislike it more than others, but we don’t ever need, or use, numbing cream when treating them.
HOW DO I CARE FOR THE TREATED AREA?
People apply petrolatum (Vaseline® or Aquaphor®) to the treated areas a few times a day, for 1-2 weeks after treatment.
WHAT ARE MATT TELANGIECTASIAS?
Matts are tiny clusters of veins resembling bruises that usually result from sclerotherapy injections, vein stripping or even trauma. They may require more laser treatments than standard spider veins for removal, and often multiply if treated with sclerotherapy injections.