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American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Leg and Facial Vein Laser Therapy

Spider veins on the face and legs bother millions of people. At UPMC Hamot Plastic Surgery, our advanced laser technology is state-of-the-art and can remove spider veins anywhere on the face or body.

We can safely, easily, and effectively treat visible veins in the:

  • Leg
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Face

Frequently Asked Questions About Leg and Facial Vein Therapy

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers about laser therapy for spider veins.

What are spider veins and what causes them?

A large percentage of men and women will deal with visible and unsightly spider veins on their legs and face.

Spider veins are red, bluish, or purple veins that can result from:

  • Sun exposure
  • Use of oral contraception
  • Hormone therapy
  • The aging process
  • Heredity

Smaller leg veins are often called spider veins and are caused by the dilation of a small group of blood vessels near the skin's surface. They often look like red, blue or purple lines, sunbursts, or web patterns.

When spider veins occur on the face, they are called telangiectasias. These abnormally dilated vessels very close to the surface of the skin tend to occur on the nose or cheeks of fair skinned people. Telangiectasias may be related to chronic sun exposure or exposure to extreme temperatures.

Both types of vessels respond very well to modern laser treatments.

How does laser therapy help treat spider veins?

With a beam of light, the laser can deliver a prescribed dose of energy to the spider veins.

The light passes through the skin, "selectively" heating up the blood in the problem veins causing thermocoagulation of the vessel. The body then absorbs the clogged vessel.

After treatment, the vessels will slowly and naturally disappear.

How many laser treatments will I need to remove spider veins?

Typically, we recommend one to two treatments. You may need four to six treatments to achieve your desired result.

Although each person is different, the majority benefit from laser spider vein treatment and see results within four to eight weeks.

Is spider vein laser treatment difficult or painful?

No. This noninvasive treatment process takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on your situation.

There is some minor discomfort associated with this laser spider vein treatment. Most patients describe the sensation as a series of rubber band snaps to the skin. We can often reduce or eliminate this by cooling the treated area with an air-cooling device.

Treatment may also cause minor bruising, which usually improves within a week.

After laser spider vein treatment, we recommend that you avoid physical activity for 24 hours. After that, you can resume all of your normal activities.

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