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Spider veins: How are they removed?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spider-veins/AN02027
- With Mayo Clinic dermatologist
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence Gibson likens bad health information on the Internet to food poisoning.
Consumers, he says, need to be aware and will find reliable information at MayoClinic.com.
Dr. Gibson, a Covington, Ky., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1986 and is board certified in dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology. He is a professor of dermatology at Mayo Medical School and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Gibson has served as the fellowship director for dermatopathology and as chair of the Laboratory Division in the Department of Dermatology. He is especially interested in inflammatory disorders of the skin, including vasculitis, and in lymphoma affecting the skin.
"Electronic information has become a staple in the diet of a health conscious society," he says. "It's important to avoid misinformation and provide a credible source for health information. Using this analogy, it's critical to avoid 'indigestion' or, worse yet, 'food poisoning' by the ingestion of tainted information."
Spider veins: How are they removed?
I have spider veins on my legs. What options are available to remove them?
from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
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Several options are available to remove spider veins — thin red lines or web-like networks of blood vessels that appear on your legs and feet.
Spider veins are usually harmless, though they can sometimes cause aching, burning or pain, especially when standing or sitting for long periods of time.
If you experience symptoms or are concerned about the appearance of spider veins, treatment options include:
- Sclerotherapy. In this procedure, your doctor injects the veins with a solution that scars and closes those veins, causing the blood to reroute through healthier veins. In a few weeks, treated spider veins fade. Although the same vein may need to be injected more than once, sclerotherapy is usually effective if done correctly. Sclerotherapy doesn't require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor's office. Side effects include swelling, itching and skin color changes in the treated area.
- Laser surgery. Laser surgery works by sending strong bursts of light into the vein that make the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are used. The treatment is often less effective than sclerotherapy and can have side effects, including redness, bruising, itching and swelling in the treated area. Complications of laser surgery include blistering of the skin. When the blisters heal, they can leave permanent scars.
After treatment, blood vessels gradually fade over several months, but they may not disappear completely. Also, new spider veins can develop in the same area that could warrant additional treatments.
- Greenberg DL, et al. Laser and light therapy of lower extremity telangiectasias, reticular veins, and small varicose veins. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 1, 2011.
- Spider veins. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/spider_veins.html. Accessed Sept. 1, 2011.
- Below-the-belt dermatological conditions. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/conditions/below-the-belt-dermatological-conditions. Accessed Sept. 1, 2011.
- Varicose veins. Society for Vascular Surgery. http://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/Pages/varicose-veins.aspx. Accessed Sept. 1, 2011.