Vein Specialties | St. Louis Spider Vein Treatment
Spider Vein Treatment in St. Louis, MO
Spider Veins - What Are They?
Spider veins (also known, as telangiectasias) are small dilated blood vessels that appear near the surface of the skin. Spider veins tend to be red or blue in color, and can be painful, itchy, and potentially bleed.
Spider veins are generally caused by an increase in pressure in veins close to the skin from increased pressure in the deeper veins. (other causes include hormone changes, overexposure to sun, and other injuries). Their presence may suggest a greater venous insufficiency as the underlying cause. This insufficiency will need to be addressed by a physician prior to treatment of the spider veins and you may need an ultrasound.
The most important consideration in the treatment of spider veins is to make sure these tiny surface veins are not being supplied by larger "feeder" veins (reticular veins) from below.
This is determined by using "trans-illumination", a very strong light which penetrates the skin to show the deeper "feeder" veins below. If indicated by symptoms such as pain, swelling, leg heaviness, leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, an ultrasound study may be performed.
Ultrasound allows the surgeon to evaluate the very deep veins that could be the cause of these spider veins and reticular veins.
Treatment of spider veins is by either sclerotherapy (injection), laser or a combination of both.
Our center uses Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate exclusively for vein injections which is FDA approved and has minimal complications. Other solutions such as concentrated "saline" have more side effects and are generally more painful.
Sclerotherapy Spider Vein Treatment:
Sclerotherapy vein treatment should not be painful and if done correctly and should be permanent. In some people with strong family histories of vein problems, new veins may appear in the future. The initial course of vein treatments may take 3 – 5 sessions, depending upon how your particular veins respond. This is variable. People will often come back in the future for "touch up" vein treatments. Treatments are usually 3-5 weeks apart.
Sclerotherapy sessions address specific areas and are based upon SAFE amounts of sclerosing solutions depending upon size and/or number of veins treated or strength of solution used.
After treatments veins may have cotton dressings over areas injected. Medical grade compression stocking are worn for 72 hours. These are not your "grandmother's stocking" but quite elegant. This ensures that the solutions stays in contact with the vein wall and isn't "flushed" out by your circulation.
Smaller surface veins are treated with laser. To simplify this, it can be described as a focused beam of light energy through various types of crystals. This causes some heat and damages the vein wall. The skin is pre-cooled before the veins are treated and again afterwards. Minimal discomfort is experienced. Laser vein treatments can be used in difficult areas such as ankles, facial veins and other areas on the body.
Facial Spider Veins:
Veins of the face and nose can be caused by long standing sun damage, wind damage and family background (such as German and Irish).
Veins on the nose and face can be very distressing to patients and are often mistaken for over-indulgence of alcohol. Both men and women suffer from these often large and unsightly veins.
The preferred treatment of these smaller veins is by laser in the hands of a practitioner with experience and training. Our physicians and nurses use the Cutera Xeo laser.
Results vary but are almost always excellent. One or two touch-up treatments may be required to eradicate most veins. It is important for patients to use SPF 30 – 35 (UVA and UVB) sun protection daily. This should be applied more often if exposure is prolonged with or without sun presence. Prior to treatment with laser, sun exposure should be avoided for 3 – 6 weeks depending upon skin type and depth of tan.
Larger facial vein such on the temples or forehead may be cosmetically removed or injected depending upon the size and the site with excellent results.
Facial vein consultations are complimentary.
Want to learn more about spider vein treatment? Call our St Louis, MO office at (314) 993-8233 today!