What's the Best Way to Treat Spider Veins?

Laser vein therapy is a revolutionary medical technique that uses patented technology to eliminate benign vascular and pigmented lesions non-invasively. All parts of the body are treated with lasers. The most common areas include the legs, ankles and face. Broken blood vessels associated with acne, rosacea and sun damage, are also successfully treated. "Cherry Hemangiomas"(red dots on the trunk, arms and legs), and "Spider Vessels and Angiomas" on the face, upper chest and other parts of the body are other commonly treated lesions.

One laser treatment can often accomplish what four or five sclerotherapy (injection of Saline solution) sessions can produce. The laser device generates a pulse of concentrated light that penetrates the skin to raise the temperature of the blood vessel and safely coagulate it. Over time, the vessel fades and slowly disappears, and the flow of blood is directed back down into the deeper vessels, where it belongs.

Sclerotherapy has commonly been compared to mowing grass one blade at a time. With injection sclerotherapy, the operator inserts a needle and injects an irritating solution into the unwanted blood vessel. The body detects that the vessel has been damaged, and reabsorbs the unwanted vessel. Injection sclerotherapy can be an excellent technique for the removal of large vessels on the legs and for blood vessels thicker than 4 mm in diameter.

However, most of the unsightly veins which are less than 3mm in diameter can be treated much more effectively by laser and with much less discomfort than with sclerotherapy. Small blood vessels, which are difficult or impossible to treat with sclerotherapy, respond excellently to vascular lasers. Because only a beam of pure laser light is used to treat an unwanted vessel, there is less risk of bruising; and since the skin is not broken, there is also less risk of infection or complication.

The newest lasers, such as the deeper penetrating 1064nm wavelength provide the best results since they can reach the unsightly blue vessels several mm below the skin's surface. The longer wavelength also makes it possible to safely and effectively treat all people including those with tanned, very dark and black skin. Newer lasers also enable medical technicians to adjust the power and duration of the energy to best suit the diameter and color of the unwanted blood vessels on different parts of the body. Some older laser systems lack this degree of fine control.