Friday, April 30, 2010

Treatments Options For Spider Veins

Friday 30th April 2010

What are the options for spider vein treatment?

Sclerotherapy is the 'gold standard' for eliminating spider veins and small reticular leg veins. Multiple injections of a sclerosing agent are injected into the abnormal red, blue or purple spider veins of the involved leg. Injecting the unwanted veins with the sclerosing solution causes the target vein to immediately shrink, and then dissolve over a period of weeks as the body naturally resorbs the treated vein. The FDA has recently approved the sclerosing agent, polidocanol, for treatment of spider veins. Injection of this drug is painless and it has a good safety profile.

Prescription compression stockings should be worn for one week after treatment to ensure a successful outcome. Patients are encouraged to walk at least thirty minutes every day during that time. The patient usually requires at least 2-3 treatment sessions separated by several weeks to significantly improve the appearance of their legs.

Are there side effects?

Side effects of treatment may include pain and swelling of the leg for a few days after injection. Rarely, brown discoloration over the vein or scarring may occur. In women taking estrogen-containing drugs, the formation of tiny, new blood vessels in the treated area can occur within a month after treatment but this usually resolves spontaneously by 6 months. Cosmetic lasers can be used to treat these tiny vessels.

Can laser be used to treat spider veins?

For smaller spiders, laser therapy may be used with excellent results. Nd YAG lasers can erase these veins with little or no darkening of the skin, and compression stockings are not required to be worn after the procedure. More than one treatment session may be necessary to completely clear your veins.

Will my spider veins return?

Usually the treated veins do not return. However, if you suffer from underlying venous hypertension or varicose veins, new spider veins may open up in the same areas after successful treatment. If this occurs, you should see a specialist in venous disorders, who will examine your legs with duplex ultrasound. This test can determine if your deeper veins are involved. If they are, correction of the underlying problem may eliminate these smaller veins.

Robin Fleck, M.D is a double-board certified dermatologist and internist, recognized by the American Board of Dermatology and the American Board of Internal Medicine.

She is the founder and Medical Director of Vein Specialties in Prescott, Arizona and is a member of the American College of Phlebology and the American Venous Forum.

For more information about venous disorders visit our website at

Article Source:,_M.D.



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