Benjamin Franklin once said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. But there’s one more thing that’s certain — or almost certain — and that’s spider veins. Nearly everyone will have at least one of these visible, threadlike veins by the time they reach middle age.
For many people, spider veins don’t cause any physical symptoms apart from their unattractive appearance (and its effect on self-confidence). But when spider veins happen in clusters, they’re often associated with symptoms like itching, burning, or aching.
In Washington, DC, our board-certified dermatologists help patients at Metroderm DC: Medical, Laser, and Aesthetic Dermatology Center find solutions for their spider veins, eliminating both their unsightly appearance and the uncomfortable symptoms they can cause.
Here’s how our team can help you find a solution for your embarrassing spider veins and feel more confident, too.
Spider vein basics
Also called telangiectasias, spider veins have a threadlike appearance that, when grouped together, can resemble a web, earning them their creepy nickname. Like their larger cousins, varicose veins, spider veins are blood vessels that no longer function the way they’re supposed to.
Spider veins are often associated with inflammation, along with years of wear-and-tear that interferes with normal circulation. Over time, these changes can lead to veins becoming darker and more visible through your skin.
Spider veins tend to appear most often on your legs and feet, but they can show up on your arms and even your face. While most people have at least a few spider veins at some point, they’re more common among:
- People with a family history of spider veins
- People who spend a lot of time sitting or standing
Obesity and hormonal fluctuations also increase your risk.
Treating spider veins
We offer two approaches for spider vein treatment: sclerotherapy and Sciton® laser therapy. While sclerotherapy is best suited for smaller spider veins, Sciton laser treatment is appropriate for larger veins.
Sclerotherapy is a time-tested method that’s been used to treat spider veins for decades. In this treatment, we inject spider veins with a special chemical solution.
This solution irritates the vein lining, causing swelling that shuts down the vein and prevents blood flow. Over time, the vein dissolves and is absorbed by your body, while circulation is rerouted to neighboring, healthy veins.
Sclerotherapy takes just a few moments to perform, and afterward, there’s no downtime. You might need to wear a compression bandage or compression socks to keep minor swelling at bay and promote more rapid healing.
Sciton laser therapy
The Sciton laser system uses highly focused beams of light energy to destroy spider veins. During treatment, the laser beam is focused on the diseased vein.
When the laser fires, the blood inside the vein absorbs the laser energy, heating up and damaging the vein so the flow of blood is blocked. As with sclerotherapy, your body absorbs the vein material and reroutes blood to other veins.
Sciton laser treatment is completely noninvasive. The focused nature of the laser beam means only the veins are targeted, while surrounding tissue is left unharmed.
Find a solution for your spider veins
Even though they’re tiny, spider veins can take a big toll on your confidence and your quality of life. If spider veins are making you feel self-conscious, call 202-659-2223 or book an appointment online with our team at Metroderm DC today.