Spider veins are also commonly known as thread veins or surface veins. They occur on the legs and on the face. They typically range in colour from red/pink to dark blue/purple.
They are small blood vessels just below the skin surface which have become visible.
They affect 75% of adults and occur equally in men and women, and typically run in families. As women shave their legs, they are often much more prominent. When on the legs, they are usually associated with underlying larger vein problems. Pregnancy and use of oral contraceptives are associated with the development of new spider veins, and also with worsening of existing spider veins. A history of leg trauma is also an association.
Initial assessment of spider veins involves a symptom check and leg examination. If there are signs and symptoms of problems with the underlying larger leg veins, an ultrasound study will be needed to determine whether or not they are working normally. If there are any underlying larger vein problems, these will need to be treated first – usually with large-vein laser or similar techniques.
There are two options for spider vein treatment: microsclerotherapy and our Vascular laser from Cutera. Our SVH surgeons recommend the Cutera Laser as the gold standard treatment for spider veins on either the face or body.
Cutera laser is a Vascular laser used to treat many vascular conditions including spider veins. Excel V and Laser Genesis from Cutera are the latest cutting edge Aesthetic technology made in the USA. We use the Cutera laser to reduce, improve and soften many vascular conditions. Compression socks are not required to be worn after each treatment.
Microsclerotherapy involves injecting a small amount of a vein-narrowing chemical, using a very small needle. About 80% of patients notice improvement after 6-12 weeks. Some patients require more than one treatment session if their spider veins are extensive. Once treated, the spider veins will generally fade, but further development of new spider veins is very common. Compression socks must be worn for up to one week after microsclerotherapy.