Three Dermatological Spider And Varicose Vein Treatments

Veins contain valves that aid with proper blood flow. Heredity, obesity, trauma, or hormonal fluctuations can damage valves. As a result of a valve not working properly,  blood will pool within vessels and varicose and spider veins may form. With either condition, the outline of veins can be seen through the skin and you may notice discolorations in your skin tone that may be blue, purple, or red.

A Dermatologist's Assessment

Varicose and spider vein treatment options that a dermatologist may perform include sclerotherapy (laser therapy), endovenous laser ablation, and radiofrequency ablation. A physical assessment is conducted during an office visit.

A dermatologist will examine the regions where varicose and spider veins are located and inquire about a patient's past medical history. They will want to know if an individual is experiencing any limitations due to the protruding veins. Although most varicose and spider veins do not cause moderate or severe discomfort, it is common to experience occasional tenderness.

Depending upon the size of a vein and its location, a dermatologist will recommend a treatment option that will minimize the appearance of veins or eliminate them altogether. Varicose veins are most prominent in the leg region. Spider veins usually appear on the legs and the face. 

Procedure Expectations

Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins and small varicose veins. A salt solution is injected during this treatment. The solution will cause the walls of a vein to collapse. The blood will eventually clot and scar tissue will form. As a result, blood will no longer flow through the vessels that were treated and will be redirected to healthy veins. Sclerotherapy may be performed on multiple occasions until a series of problematic veins are no longer visible. Compression gear will need to be worn after each treatment.

Endovenous laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation are two treatments that will require direct access to veins. Endovenous laser ablation is usually performed on spider veins and small varicose veins. Radiofrequency is performed on large varicose veins. During endovenous laser ablation, a dermatologist will make an incision near the vein that is being treated. A laser fiber releases bursts of light, which will gradually minimize and destroy veins.

During a radiofrequency ablation procedure, a dermatologist will insert a catheter near each vein that is being treated. Heat will be directed toward a vein. The heat is used to destroy the walls of a vein. Upon receiving either endovenous laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation treatments, compression garments may need to be worn for several days.