Have you started to notice tiny networks of blue and purple veins, creeping across your legs or even your face? Spider veins! As if real spiders weren’t scary enough, the ones that make us want to cover up are appearing just below the skin. These superficial blood vessels are typically not painful, just unsightly. So is there anything you can do to shoo those pesky spiders from your face and legs? Great news: there is. Let’s find out more.
What Causes Superficial Blood Vessels to Appear?
Our beautifully complex circulatory system includes veins that act as pathways for deoxygenated blood to return to the heart. Because this is an uphill journey when coming from the legs, these veins fight extra hard against gravity. And as we age, day after day, year after year, these vein walls can weaken and allow blood to pool - you may know this type of condition as varicose veins. While they can cause some pain and discomfort, the majority of cases are mild and are purely a cosmetic concern.
Smaller spider veins can be caused by a number of factors. Prolonged sitting or standing, weight gain/loss, hormonal changes, and pregnancy are common causes. When we’re talking about spider veins on your face, the most likely culprit is sun exposure. Sun damage causes fibroblasts to produce less collagen, ultimately causing thinner skin. This means that blood vessels that were once under a thicker layer of skin can become visible. Yet another reason to apply sunscreen daily and wear a hat that shades your face!
Treatment of Superficial Blood Vessels
Laser treatments are a very effective solution for reducing the appearance of or even eliminating these blood vessels. The extremely precise laser targets the pigment in the blood and heats the small vein, coagulating the blood and causing the vessel to collapse and seal. Laser technology is amazing - because the beam is so precisely focused, surrounding skin and tissue are usually not affected. Within about 4-6 weeks, the damaged vein is reabsorbed by the body - it disappears!
This is a quick, easy, and relatively painless procedure. Some patients report mild discomfort and a topical anesthetic can be applied for these cases. Most often, our patients report a tingling sensation at the site of treatment. You will wear opaque protective goggles during the treatment to protect your eyes from the intense laser beam. The procedure normally takes about an hour, so you can be in and out pretty quickly, but may require repeated treatments for maintenance.
Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Treatment?
If you are noticing tiny networks of veins on your face, just below the skin’s surface, laser therapy may be a good option for you. If the veins are mostly on your legs, cause discomfort or pain, or are very large and bulbous, you will need to explore other options. Consult your doctor in these cases, as enlarged varicose veins can sometimes be a serious medical concern.
Risks of Facial Laser Skin Treatments
While it is always best to have an in-person consultation with your doctor regarding your particular skin type, age, issue, and expectations, we can cover a few common risks. Fortunately, they are generally mild and include redness or swelling at the treatment site, as well as some itching. Acne breakouts are possible and, very rarely, infection, change in skin color, and scarring are possible complications.
Benefits of Facial Laser Skin Treatments
The incredible technology of laser skin resurfacing produces undeniable and lasting results. Many people seek these treatments to achieve a look of rejuvenation or to correct embarrassing issues like discoloration, age spots, acne scars, or visible superficial blood vessels. The precise targeting of problem areas make laser treatment a great option as damage to surrounding tissue is rare. The skill of your physician will be a factor, so be sure to ask for before and after photos and patient testimonials, no matter where you go for treatment.
Recovery from Laser Skin Treatments
Because this type of treatment uses the non-invasive technique called “non-ablative laser treatment,” your recovery and downtime will be minimal. You will be able to resume your normal skin care routine within a few days. During recovery (and always) you will want to protect your face from the sun and from any extreme weather. For the first few days following your treatment, you will want to avoid any strenuous activity that may raise your temperature as this can cause discomfort in the skin that was treated.
Is Laser Skin Treatment for Superficial Blood Vessels Right for Me?
You’re seeing tiny spider veins creep across your face and you’re tired of covering up those pesky veins with makeup every day. You’re embarrassed by these visible signs of aging and you want to explore laser skin treatment options. You are in the right place!
If you would like to learn more about whether laser skin treatment would be a good option for you and your spider veins, please contact us. Click HERE to learn more and to schedule your private consultation.