Cutaneous Laser Therapy
Spider veins, those small, squiggly, web-like networks of red, blue, or purple lines that develop on the legs and the face, aren’t usually painful. But they are a pain when contemplating putting on a bathing suit, sundress, or a pair of shorts. At Vein Center Houston, cutaneous laser therapy is one option to remove spider veins. It provides a fast, easy, and effective removal of these small, dilated blood vessels, particularly on the face.
What is Cutaneous Laser Therapy?
Cutaneous Laser Therapy, also known as Laser Therapy for Spider Veins, is an effective treatment for superficial spider veins. It is typically used on the face, but here at Vein Center Houston, we focus on alleviating the lower legs. Laser therapy uses a beam of light to heat up the small veins, effectively destroying them. This treatment does not cause damage to the skin surrounding the treatment area, and requires little-to-no down time after the procedure.
What Causes Spider Veins to Form?
Veins are the pathways for de-oxygenated blood to return to the heart. In the legs, the veins have to fight an uphill battle. As we age our vein walls and surrounding tissues, which all work together to push the blood upward, weaken and can allow the blood to pool. This is usually the cause of varicose veins (which are the larger veins that bulge through the skin) and some larger spider veins.
Most small spider veins form due to a variety of factors:
- Weight gain and loss
- Hormonal changes
- Activities/occupations that require prolonged sitting or standing.
How Do Cutaneous Lasers Remove Spider Veins?
First, we apply a numbing agent to the skin above the veins to be treated. Next, we set the laser wavelength to match the color of the targeted vein. The pulse of laser light then penetrates the surface skin and is absorbed by the blood in the vein below. The light energy converts to heat, and the heat coagulates the blood inside the vein. This causes the vein walls to collapse, sealing off the vein. In most cases, the vein is immediately less visible, but over the course of the next two weeks the body will scavenge and absorb the vein and it will totally disappear.
Sclerotherapy vs Laser Therapy for Spider Veins
Both sclerotherapy and cutaneous laser therapy are non-surgical treatments used to alleviate spider veins. Sclerotherapy is issued through an injection of a solution that dries out and collapses spider veins, while laser therapy uses lasers to eliminate the veins. While both treatments are effective, sclerotherapy is often used to treat bulging leg veins where cutaneous laser therapy is used for more superficial veins on the face.
Cutaneous Laser Therapy Before and After Photo
Ideal Candidate For Cutaneous Laser Therapy
This type of surface laser treatment is best for spider veins and tiny varicose veins that are just under the skin’s surface. On the face, these can also be known as facial telangiectases (small dilated blood vessels). Laser therapy is the best solution for these.
Lasers are better than sclerotherapy (injection of a saline solution directly into the vein to close it off) for webs of small veins. Lasers are also much more efficient at treating a larger area with many veins. But if your veins are larger and deeper in the skin, surface laser treatments are not effective. In these cases, endovenous laser treatments work better.
Advantages of Using Laser Vein Therapy
There are really no risks involved with these treatments, whereas methods such as sclerotherapy can cause slight bruising and patients can sometimes have a reaction to the saline solution. We find lasers to be a better option on facial spider veins, where the skin is more delicate. Lasers also are faster and more efficient when treating larger groups of spider veins.
Benefits of Laser Therapy for Spider Veins
Cutaneous Laser Therapy is a very efficient solution to superficial spider veins. This procedure has many benefits, include the fact that it is:
- Fast recovery
- A quick and effective treatment
- Generally painless
It should be noted that this treatment is effective only for superficial spider veins that appear on the surface of the skin. This treatment does not treat more severe, underlying issues. Be sure to speak with you doctor about all of you options.
Does Laser Vein Therapy Hurt?
Surface laser vein treatments at Vein Center Houston are mostly pain-free. When the laser is pulsed, there may be a slight tingling sensation, but most patients don’t equate this with pain. We numb your surface skin, plus the laser systems we use have a cooling function to keep them comfortable on your skin.
How Long Does a Laser Vein Session Last?
The length of your visit depends, of course, on the number of veins being treated. Generally, most sessions last just 10-20 minutes.
Laser Spider Vein Therapy Recovery
These spider vein procedures are totally non-invasive. There isn’t any recovery necessary, and you can return to work or other activities immediately.
How Long Does It Take for Spider Veins to Improve?
In most cases, spider veins respond well immediately, lessening in color and visibility. Some disappear instantly; others may take a couple weeks for the body to absorb them. Larger spider veins may require a second laser treatment.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are suffering from spider veins, Cutaneous Laser Therapy may be a good option for you. To find out more information on this treatment, contact our office at (713) 349-8346 to schedule a consultation at Vein Center Houston.