Spider veins, known as telangiestasias, are small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. They are more common in women, and frequently appear around the nose, cheeks, and chin. Spider veins often appear spontaneously, but may also be associated with trauma to the skin, or conditions such as rosacea.
Spider veins do not cause any symptoms, but they are unsightly, making the skin appear flushed or sunburned. There are no medications to treat spider veins, but a simple in-office procedure can effectively reduce their appearance.
In this procedure, a laser is used to heat the veins up, essentially scarring them shut. In our office we apply numbing cream prior to the procedure and use a special fan that blows super cooled air to minimize any discomfort during the procedure. Afterward there is frequently some bruising that takes up to two weeks to fade, so you should avoid scheduling a treatment right before any special events. Most people need two or three treatments for maximum improvement, but you will see a noticeable difference after the first treatment.
In addition to bruising, other risks of laser treatment for spider veins include scabbing and scarring. Seeing a practitioner who is experienced with the laser treatment of spider veins can help minimize this risk.
Unfortunately laser treatment of spider veins is not covered by insurance; the charge varies by physician, but is usually $300-400 for a half hour treatment session.