Spider Vein Treatment in Orange County
If spider veins are a cosmetic concern, treatment is available to remove them and restore even coloration to your skin.
Spider veins are clusters of thin red, purple, or blue lines at the skin’s surface. Some people know them as thread veins. They most commonly appear on the legs, ankles, and feet, but can also appear on the face. Because these surface veins are so fine and develop in clusters, they can resemble a bruise. Spider veins are usually harmless, but can sometimes cause discomfort or pain.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins form when blood vessels below the skin’s surface become weakened or damaged, causing a bulge that spreads out into a network of tiny surface veins. Some people are susceptible to spider veins due to heredity. For other people, spider veins may form as a result of hormonal changes, pregnancy, weight gain, sun damage, or prolonged periods of sitting or standing without changing position.
Spider veins are more common in women than men, and are more likely to appear as you get older.
Spider Vein Treatments
At UCI Plastic Surgery, we offer two treatments for spider veins:
Sclerotherapy is the most common and effective treatment for spider veins and works well for most patients. In this treatment, a provider injects Asclera®, an FDA-approved solution, into the surface veins using a fine, thin needle. Asclera® works by damaging the inside linings of the treated vessels, triggering a response that closes the unwanted veins over the next few weeks. The body will divert blood flow to invisible veins deeper in the skin and grow new, evenly colored skin tissue where the spider veins once appeared.
V-Beam laser treatment can also successfully remove spider veins. This treatment uses pulsed-dye laser technology, which converts light to heat when it encounters tissue in specific color ranges. To remove spider veins, the provider calibrates light pulses to heat and damage the dark-colored surface veins without affecting surrounding tissue. As with sclerotherapy, when the damaged spider veins close, the body will reroute blood flow to veins below the skin’s surface and restore skin to even coloring. With laser treatment, small veins disappear almost immediately. Laser treatment can treat other skin discoloration, too, including rosacea and redness associated with acne.
Sclerotherapy and laser treatment may require more than one treatment for optimal results. In some cases, we may recommend combining both treatments at different times. In your consultation, our plastic surgeon or nurse practitioner will examine your skin and recommend the treatment plan best suited to your needs.
What Happens During Spider Vein Treatment?
In sclerotherapy, a plastic surgeon or nurse practitioner injects the Asclera® solution into the spider vein using a fine needle. Depending on the extent of your spider veins, you may need more than one injection. No anesthesia is necessary, and most patients experience little or no discomfort. The treatment usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. You’ll have no downtime afterward, and you can return immediately to your normal daily activities when you leave our office.
Laser treatment focuses an intense beam of light on the spider vein. You may experience a burning or stinging sensation as the light energy heats the targeted veins. If you’re worried about discomfort, ask your provider to apply a numbing cream or gel to your skin before treatment begins. As with sclerotherapy, treatment usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes and you’ll have no downtime after treatment.
You may need more than one sclerotherapy or laser treatment session to obtain the desired results. If so, we’ll schedule the additional sessions at least two to three weeks apart.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
When you have spider veins removed from your legs, ankles, or feet with sclerotherapy, you’ll need to wear compression stockings to promote healing and improve results in the treated area. The compression helps prevent the collapsed veins from refilling with blood. You should wear your compression stockings continuously for at least a week after the procedure. You may experience some short-term bruising. The spider veins will gradually disappear over the following three to six weeks as the Asclera® closes the veins and the body reroutes blood to veins further below the skin’s surface.
After laser treatment, thin spider veins typically disappear immediately. Thicker spider veins may darken after treatment and gradually disappear over the next few weeks. You’ll need to protect the treated area from sun exposure to prevent dark spots from forming on the sensitized skin. Wearing compression stockings may also help improve treatment results.
After treatment for spider veins, we encourage you to take regular walks to promote healthy circulation. After the first week, you’ll be able to resume moderate exercise. You should avoid sitting or standing in one place for more than an hour or two.
To eliminate spider veins, you may need two or three sessions of your recommended procedure or combination thereof.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spider Vein Treatment
Spider veins and varicose veins both result from weakened or damaged blood vessels, but the two conditions have different symptoms.
Spider veins typically appear as networks of thin red, purple, or blue veins at the skin’s surface. The skin over spider veins is usually flat or only slightly raised. They generally cause little or no discomfort and are primarily a cosmetic concern.
Varicose veins are thicker and extend deeper into the skin than spider veins. They are often raised and lumpy and have a twisted appearance. They are usually red or flesh-colored. Varicose veins can cause pain, itching, and swelling in the legs or ankles. They can also increase the risk of blood clots or circulatory problems, so they may be a medical concern as well. Sclerotherapy, laser treatment, and other procedures can treat varicose veins.
While treatment can eliminate visible spider veins, it may not prevent them from developing again, either in the same or a different place. You can reduce the risk of developing new spider veins by following some basic self-care steps:
- Protect your skin from sun exposure. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors for extended periods.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep moving. Avoid sitting or standing in one place for more than an hour or two. Get regular exercise.
- Wear compression stockings.
- Avoid long, hot baths or saunas.
- Elevate your legs when you rest.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol if you’ve had spider veins on your face.
A common misconception is that treating superficial veins will be detrimental to healthy physiological functioning. Surface veins essentially serve no biological purpose—they are not necessary for the circulation of blood to the legs. Therefore, when treated, normal vein circulation remains unaffected, so you can eliminate spider veins without worry!
Schedule a Consultation in Orange County
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to find out whether sclerotherapy or laser treatment can work to eliminate your spider veins. We’ll answer your questions and explain what you can expect from the procedures. We serve Orange County and the greater Los Angeles area, with offices in Orange, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Yorba Linda, and Newport Beach, CA.
The doctors at UCI Plastic Surgery are leaders in the field of cosmetic surgery. Through their teaching and lecturing roles at UCI, they stay current with state-of-the-art techniques and technology. With their advanced technical skills, they consistently produce better, more natural-looking results for their patients.