Spider veins are small, thin capillaries that lie close to the surface of the skin. They are connected to a larger venous system, though they are not an essential part of it since they do not actually carry blood to the heart. While spider veins and flushed skin don't usually indicate a major medical problem, most people would be happy to be rid of them. Unfortunately, spider veins won't disappear on their own, but advanced treatment is available to easily and safely remove them.
Spider veins form when excess blood backs up in the blood stream. The excess blood creates pressure. The body releases the pressure by creating new veins on the skin's surface. The primary problem with spider veins is their unsightly appearance, but they can also cause aching, swelling, burning.
People within certain ethic groups are often more prone to spider veins, so heredity certainly plays a role. So can hormone therapy and oral contraceptives. Aging related to sun damage is also a big contributor. Ultraviolet light exposure is one of the more controllable factors in preventing facial veins, so avoiding the sun and using sunscreen is recommended. Facial veins and flushed skin are also commonly seen with rosacea, a chronic but treatable skin condition.
Light and laser technology offer excellent results in reducing spider veins and facial redness.
Kerisma Centre for Medical Aesthetics offers the following treatments for spider veins.
Lasers are an excellent modality for spot treating larger facial veins. Our lasers deliver precise dosages of energy to each vein, with minimal risk to the surrounding skin. During treatment, light energy is delivered through a special hand piece directly to the targeted vein. This energy is absorbed, causing thermal coagulation of the blood vessel. Over a short period of time the vessel is absorbed by the body. One treatment is sometimes sufficient, but multiple treatments may be necessary.
Also known as IPL or Photo Facial, this treatment offers superior results when treating a whole network of tiny facial veins and the associated flushed look of the skin. There is usually no downtime with this procedure, and it typically requires 4 to 6 treatments. People with mild to severe Rosacea really appreciate the outcome, noting an 80 to 90% overall reduction in facial redness.
Once a vein or vessel has been destroyed, it will not return. However the treatment is not able to stop the development of more veins in the future. Patients who have had laser or IPL could certainly see new facial veins over time, especially those who continue on with unprotected sun exposure. Sunscreen is recommended for everyone, and it can be preventative for people prone to facial veins.
The majority of persons who have completed their treatment with sclerothrapy alone or in combination with surgery will see good to excellent improvement in their vein problems. Unfortunately, however, there is no guarantee that sclerotherapy will be effective in every case. Approximately 10 percent of patients who undergo sclerotherapy have results that range from poor to fair with no vein disappearance after a few treatments.
Following the injections, the treated area is wrapped in a compressed bandage or stocking, and the patient is sent home. The bandage can be removed after five days. There may be slight itching for a day or two after the treatment owing to a mild release of histamine from the treated blood vessels.
The number of treatments needed to clear or improve the condition differs from patient to patient, depending on the extent of varicose and spider veins present. One to six treatments may be needed; the average is two to four.