Our vein doctors often answer common questions about treatments for spider veins. Many people with red or blue squiggly spider veins on their ankles, face or elsewhere on their bodies are curious about transdermal laser treatment. Here, our doctors answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this safe and effective treatment for spider veins.

Frequently Asked Questions about Transdermal Laser Treatment

Does transdermal laser treatment actually use a laser?

Yes! Transdermal laser treatment uses the power of pulsed light to treat spider veins.

How does the spider vein treatment work?

Energy from the laser heats the vein. This heat disrupts the fibers of collagen that make up the walls of the vein, which causes the vein to collapse. In time, the treated vein breaks apart. Nearby tissue absorbs the leftover pieces of the vein, leaving behind healthy looking skin.

Are there other treatments for spider veins?

Yes, vein surgeons have used sclerotherapy to treat spider veins for decades. To perform sclerotherapy, the venous doctor uses a needle to inject a chemical that irritates the vein, which then sticks together and closes forever. The treated vein breaks apart and nearby tissue absorbs the remnants.

How should I prepare for treatment?

Do not apply lotion to the treatment area on the day of your appointment. Otherwise, there are no special preparations for this treatment. You should, however, have already talked with the vein doctor about your health history and provided a list of medications, supplements and over-the-counter medications. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions if you must stop taking certain medications or make other special preparations.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing that makes it easy to expose the skin on the intended treatment area.

What should I expect?

During treatment, you will rest comfortably with the treatment area exposed. You will wear special sunglasses to protect your eyes from the laser.

Does it hurt?

The treatment may cause some discomfort as the laser passes through the skin to the target vein. Some patients describe the sensation as being similar to a light snap of a rubber band against the skin.

What should I do during treatment?

Lie still and relax. Tell your doctor if you experience serious discomfort or have other concerns.

How long does this spider vein treatment take?

Each transdermal laser treatment takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Will one session be enough?

Depending on the severity of spider veins, several sessions may be necessary.

How long should I wait between sessions?

Most vein doctors recommend patients wait at least six weeks between sessions. This resting period gives the treated area time to heal.

Can I resume normal activities right away?

Yes, you can get back to work, taking care of your family and enjoying your favorite hobbies immediately after transdermal laser treatment. You will want to avoid the use of sunscreen on the area and stay out of hot baths for about a week or so after treatment. Do not scratch the treated area.