[if gte mso 9]>Spider veins are to the vascular system what wrinkles are to the skin: signs of time’s effect on our bodies. The skin has a vast network of microscopic blood vessels just below the surface. When these vessels work properly, you cannot see them.  But when they become dilated and blood pools in them, they become visible as thin red, blue, or purple lines on the skin. The medical term for these dilated veins is telangiectasia, but commonly called spider veins.

My first line of treatment for most spider veins is sclerotherapy.  Using a tiny needle, a special medicine is injected into the unwanted veins, which chemically damages the inner lining of the vessels and causes them to close down.  Over the next several weeks and months, the body absorbs the spider veins and they fade away.  I prefer Asclera  (polidocanol) because unlike hypertonic saline it does not sting or burn. Sclerotherapy is useful because it can be used to treat the larger feeder reticular veins as well.

Laser therapy is also useful method to eliminate spider veins. The laser energy is absorbed by the red blood cells, which heats the veins.  This causes the veins to close down and the body gradually absorbs them.  Laser therapy is used on facial veins and leg veins that are resistant to or too small for sclerotherapy. 

Remember that eradicating spider veins takes patience and persistence. It can take months for spider veins to disappear after successful treatment. And successful treatment frequently requires more than one treatment session on the same area.  But when treated properly they do not come back.

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