Laser Spider Vein and Capillary Removal FAQ

What is a Laser Spider Vein Removal?
Laser spider vein and capillary removal treatments are a non-invasive and virtually pain free treatment designed to remove veins using a highly concentrated beam of light.

What can a Laser Spider Vein Removal treatment do for you?
Here at Skin Clinic Laser Spider Vein removal treatment will diminish and/or eliminate spider veins and broken capillaries.

What are the benefits of Laser Spider Vein Removal?
The laser is used to selectively target and destroy the coloration of the spider veins, which are usually close to the surface of the skin, without damaging the surrounding tissue. The treatment is relatively quick, and no numbing is needed. After treatment, the skin can be noticeably more uniform and natural in appearance.

Keep in mind that the Laser Spider Vein Removal treats only those veins that are currently visible; it does nothing to permanently alter or prevent new veins from surfacing in the future.

Can you tell me about the actual Laser Spider Vein Removal procedure at Skin Clinic and how it works?
First, the veins to be treated are identified. Spider veins smaller than 3-mm in diameter can be removed using a laser.
Protective goggles must be worn during the treatment to protect your eyes from the light of the laser.
Using a small hand held device, the laser is directed at problem areas.
The laser pulses on and off while targeting the vein. Wavelengths of light emits a specified dose to the vein, targeting blood vessels without damage to the surrounding tissue. The light heats the vein and causes the blood to clot. Laser light energy passes through the skin and is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood causing it to break down the blood vessel. Through the body’s natural healing process, the body will eliminate the clotted vein over the course of time.
The spider veins may appear darker immediately after treatment, but will gradually fade away over the next two to four weeks.

How long after a Laser Spider Vein Removal treatment before I can return to normal activities?
Immediately, though you should avoid direct sunlight in the treatment area.

How many Laser Spider Vein Removal treatments are needed?
On average 3 -6 treatments are required and results will be seen in 3-4 weeks. Treatment time usually varies between 10 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the area being treated, as well as the severity of the problem. Usually, more than one treatment may be needed to achieve the desired results.
These treatments may be in three to four week intervals.
New spider veins may develop over the years and laser treatments may again be performed to remove them.

How long does it take to heal?
Typically 3 – 4 weeks.

What is the cost of a Laser Vein Removal treatment at Skin Clinic?
The cost of the treatment depends on the size of the area being treated. Laser Vein Removal packages are available.

Is a Laser Vein Removal treatment painful?
This treatment is virtually pain free. The laser heats the vein, which sometimes causes temporary discomfort. This can be minimized by the use of ice rollers after the area has been treated.

Who is a Good Candidate for Laser Spider Vein Removal?

  • Smaller leg veins (up to 3 mm—about 1/8 inch) respond well to lasers. Women of any age may be good candidates for Laser Vein Removal. In some women, spider veins may become noticeable very early on – in the teen years. For others, the veins may not become obvious until they reach their 40s.
  • Spider veins in men aren’t nearly as common as they are in women. Men who do have spider veins often don’t consider them to be a cosmetic problem because the veins are usually concealed by hair growth on the leg. However, Laser Vein Removal at Skin Clinic is just as effective for men who seek treatment.

In general, the best candidates for laser removal of spider veins:

  • Persons who want to improve their appearance
  • Have superficial spider veins that will respond to laser treatment
  • Have fair skin or the appropriate skin tone for the type of laser used
  • Are not taking Accutane, nor have taken it for the previous 18 months
  • Do not have and are not prone to unusual scar formations, such as keloids
  • Are physically healthy and psychologically stable
  • Do not smoke

Who is NOT a good candidate for a Laser Spider Vein Removal treatment?

  • Clients with very large vessels (veins more than approximately 3mm) or varicose veins cannot be treated using this method. Some deep lying or blue veins may require more treatments than smaller red veins. If there are any areas of broken skin, the treatment should be delayed until the area has completely healed.
  • Contraindications include: acute vein or blood clotting disease, pregnancy, and nursing.
  • If you have been exposed to any sun, tanning beds, or self-tanners, you will need to wait to receive the treatment. During the client consultation, the technician will determine the length of wait time needed before receiving treatment.
  • Many find that winter is an easier treatment time, when skin is not exposed to the sun.

What Are the Possible risks or side effects of a Laser Spider Vein Removal treatment?

  • Short-term side effects may include a reddening of the skin over the treated vessels or local swelling which typically lasts less than a day, although it may infrequently last for a few days.
  • Serious medical complications from Laser Vein Removal are rare when a qualified practitioner performs the procedure. However, the following complications may occur:
  • Semi-permanent or permanent skin lightening may occur in the treated areas. The skin may also become hyperpigmented (darker) immediately following the treatment. This usually resolves after several months.
  • Darkened skin can often be successfully treated with a bleaching cream. Lightened skin tone can be more problematic. In this case, most patients elect to live with the lightened area.
  • Heat from the laser may cause burns or injuries. To reduce the risks involved in this procedure, carefully follow all the instructions, both before and after the procedure.
  • Blistering and/or bruising may occur, but will generally heal within a few weeks with no long-lasting side effects. If the treated area blisters following treatment, it generally will resolve within a week or two with Aquaphor. It is important to avoid scratching or picking scabs or blisters as this could result in scarring. Very rarely, scarring may occur.

What should I do to prepare for my Laser Spider Vein Removal treatment at Skin Clinic?
Clients should avoid strong sunlight during the course of treatment – 2-3 weeks before and for at least 3-4 weeks afterwards. It is recommended that an SPF 30 is used on treated areas. Tanned skin cannot be treated and patients must not use any tanning products 6 weeks ahead of and during the entire treatment period.
Prior to Laser Spider Vein Removal treatments, you should avoid certain medications. Talk to your doctor about all medicines (including over-the-counter drugs, herbs and dietary supplements) you are taking before the treatment. It may be recommended that you avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (for example, Advil, Motrin and Nuprin) or other anti-inflammatory medications for 48-72 hours before treatments.

What results should I expect from Laser Spider Vein Removal treatments?
Although laser removal of spider veins may not erase all imperfections in the skin, most patients at Skin Clinic are satisfied with the results. Laser treatment may cause minor bruising, which usually improves within a week, but often, recovery is immediate. Generally, immediately following treatment, the veins may appear redder or purple for several weeks. Makeup may be applied to help camouflage the area.
Following treatment, the unsightly red veins are significantly diminished and the skin is returned to a more natural, uniform state. It is important to remember, however, that laser removal does not alter the normal effects of aging and that treatment does not prevent the occurrence of new spider veins.

What Happens After a Laser Spider Vein Removal treatment?
Some redness and swelling of the treated area may occur, which should disappear within a few days. Generally, the veins will turn a purple color that resembles a small bruise, and then gradually fade within 5-10 days. Ice packs are usually recommended to reduce the swelling. Frozen Aloe Vera gel or Aquaphor are also commonly used.
Immediately following your laser treatment, spider veins will be darker and more visible. Over two to six weeks, your spider veins usually fade.

How Should I Care for My Skin After Laser Spider Vein Removal?

  • Recovery times depend on the extent of the treatment and the individual’s capacity to heal. Some redness or purple discoloration may persist for several weeks, or longer. The redness will gradually lighten to a pink tone, and then to a lighter, more natural color.
  • Immediately after treatment, the veins may appear darker and more prominent than before. Don’t be alarmed, as this is typical.
  • You can return to normal activity right after treatment.
  • Healing skin may tingle or itch, and it is best to avoid scratching or rubbing the area to ensure proper healing and avoid infection. The treated skin should be as free from any friction as possible.
  • Blistering or scabbing wounds are possible after laser treatment. Avoid makeup until the skin has healed. Apply medicated anti-bacterial ointment to avoid infection, and to accelerate the healing process.
  • Any skin area treated with lasers becomes significantly more sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) rays. If complete avoidance of UV exposure isn’t possible, apply sunscreen protection. Sun exposure poses the risk of permanent hyperpigmentation (dark or light discoloration), among other obvious risks.
  • Pain after laser vein removal should be minimal to none, but can be treated with over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Although rare, the most common side effect is bruising around the treated area. This will disappear within days of the treatment
Clients should avoid strong sunlight during the course of treatment and for at least 3-4 weeks afterwards. It is recommended that an SPF 30 is used on treated areas.

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