Leg veins contain one way valves which prohibit back flow of blood. Spider veins (also known as telangiectasia) occur when these one way valves become faulty allowing blood to pool within the superficial veins. These veins are often dark red, purple or blue in colour and resemble spider webs or tree branches. They most commonly appear on a person’s face or legs and can encompass small or large areas. If left untreated, over time the veins can become distended forming varicose veins. There are a number of factors which contribute to the formation of spider veins including hereditary influences, obesity, medication, hormones, regularly standing for long periods, trauma and UV exposure.
Laser treatment is the most effective option when treating leg veins. The specific laser wavelengths are used which are attracted to haemoglobin (red pigment) in the vessels. The laser light causes the vessel and blood to coagulate instantly, causing the vessels to shut down. The expert Dermal clinicians at Melbourne Laser & Aesthetic Centre use state of the art chilled tip laser technology allowing for comfortable yet effective treatments.
A follow up appointment is generally scheduled for 3-4 weeks post treatment to review the area, at which time other spider veins or any remaining veins may be treated. The number of treatments will vary depending on the extent of the spider vein network and location. Typically, 1-3 treatments are recommended for leg veins (again depending on the extent of the vascular network). Other factors affecting the number of treatments include colour and size of the veins. Leg veins and spider veins that are brightly coloured often respond faster than those that are faint.
The laser treatment causes the leg veins / spider veins to shut down, after which they are gradually removed by the body’s natural immune processes. Following laser treatment, mild inflammation of the vessels and skin can be expected. The inflammation resolves within a few hours to a few days. The treated vessels initially appear reddened or darkened, and begin to disappear over the following days to weeks (depending on their location). The Laser treatment does not stimulate new vessel growth nor does it prevent new ones developing. In fact, individuals who have developed spider veins/ leg veins are likely to be predisposed to this problem and can expect new spider/ leg veins to develop with time. Typically, clients may find that they need to treat the area every 12-24 months to maintain leg vein/ spider vein clearance.