General Health

Treatments to Reduce the Appearance of Spider Veins

Spider veins are a common problem for millions of people, and while they are not associated with any serious health problems, they can become unsightly over time. Are you tired of covering up your spider veins, and wondering how you can reduce their appearance? We offer some effective treatment alternatives below.

What exactly are “spider veins”?

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are tiny superficial veins that often appear in groups or clusters, and lie close to the surface of the skin.  They are typically red, blue, or purple in color, and are about 2mm in diameter.

Spider veins get their name from their web-like appearance. They are not to be confused with varicose veins, which are thicker and often painful. Spider veins usually appear on various parts of the body, but are commonly found on the face and legs.

Spider veins are often hereditary, but may also be due to hormonal factors, smoking, obesity, excess sun exposure, or venous reflux.

The treatment option chosen for spider veins will depend on their size and location, but it’s advisable to consult with a board certified dermatologist for a determination.

How can you reduce the appearance of spider veins?

Sclerotherapy and Transcutaneous Laser Therapy are two of the most effective treatments for reducing spider veins.


Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment for spider veins, and involves the injection of a sclerosing solution into the veins. The procedure should only be done using FDA approved sclerosing solution. These solutions are designed to irritate the lining of the veins being treated.

When the sclerosing solution is injected into the vein it immediately contracts and collapses. It is subsequently absorbed by the body over the following weeks. Several sclerotherapy treatments will be needed to achieve the final results.

Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure that is done without anesthesia. Treatment time ranges from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of veins being treated. Several veins can be injected in a single session.

Patients are required to wear a compression garment for about 2 weeks after treatment, in order to help with healing.

Sclerotherapy is only used to treat spider veins on the legs.

Are there any side-effects

After sclerotherapy there may be some burning at the site of the injection. Patients may also experience bruising, and swelling, but these symptoms are usually temporary.

When will improvements be seen?

There will be some improvement after the first treatment, but final results won’t be seen until the required number of treatments have been completed. This can take up to up to 6 weeks. It usually takes 2-4 sclerotherapy sessions to achieve the best results.

Transcutaneous Laser Therapy (TCLT)

Transcutaneous Laser Therapy, or TCLT ,is a procedure in which laser light is used to treat spider veins. The laser light is directed onto the surface of the skin in the area overlying the spider veins. The light is absorbed by the red pigment in the spider veins, and the resulting heat damages the vein. The treated veins will shrink, and eventually disappear over the weeks that follow.

TCLT requires multiple sessions, and these are generally spaced about 6 weeks apart. It is an outpatient procedure that requires no anesthesia, and each session takes between 30 to 45 minutes. TCLT can be used to treat spider veins that are located on the face or body.

There are various technologies now being used for laser vein treatment, but the ND: YAG laser system is among the most effective options.

Are there any side-effects?

Patients may experience some swelling after treatment, but this generally clears within a few days.

When will improvements be seen?

Patients will notice improvement after each laser session. It usually takes about 2-4 treatments to achieve the desired results. Optimal results can take up to 6 weeks.

Am I a good candidate for transcutaneous laser therapy?

If you have very small spider veins, you may be a good candidate for TCLT. However, your physician will perform a thorough evaluation to determine your suitability.

For Patients Near Fredericksburg, VA

Clients in Fredericksburg, VA can contact Surgical Arts of Virginia & Ageless Innovations Medical Spa, to learn more about these and other treatments for spider veins. Call (540) 371-7372 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shane Palmer.

R, Shane Palmer, MD
R. Shane Palmer, MD is board certified in surgery and trained in the latest cosmetic surgery procedures. He offers both body and face cosmetic procedures in Frederickburg, VA.
R, Shane Palmer, MD

R, Shane Palmer, MD

R. Shane Palmer, MD is board certified in surgery and trained in the latest cosmetic surgery procedures. He offers both body and face cosmetic procedures in Frederickburg, VA.

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