At Dr. Beaty’s we love our lasers for all they do for our patients. We use lasers to remove tattoos, permanently get rid of unwanted hair, treat acne and other skin conditions, and for skin resurfacing.
But one area our patients particularly like is zapping spider veins. You know, those clusters of purple, blue, and red veins on your calves and ankles. We put our lasers to work getting rid of them and allowing you to break out the swimsuit or shorts with confidence once again!
Spider Vein and Varicose Veins Causes
Veins are the highways for de-oxygenated blood to make its way back to the heart to get some more oxygen. The problem is that in the legs the veins fight an uphill battle, kind of like the uphill portion of the roller coasters at Six Flags or a big RV climbing up the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our muscles and tissues act to help push the blood through the veins, but as we age these tissues lose some of their strength, so they don’t support the vein walls as they did in younger years. Plus, the vein walls become weaker. This combination sometimes allows blood to flow backwards, where it pools and pushes the vein walls outward. This is how varicose veins and spider veins form.
Other factors can lead to the formation of these veins: pregnancy, heredity, weight fluctuations, hormonal changes, and activities/occupations that require prolonged sitting or standing.
Varicose Veins vs Spider Veins
While these veins form the same way, varicose veins are generally larger than spider veins. They are the veins that push outward on the skin surface. Spider veins usually form as small clusters on the thighs, ankles, and calves. Dr. Beaty uses lasers to treat smaller varicose veins and spider veins.
Laser Vein Removal Treatment
You may have heard of sclerotherapy for spider veins, but Dr. Beaty finds laser energy to be just as effective, without the injections. First, we use a local anesthetic on the area of the spider veins. Next, we set the laser wavelength to match the color of the targeted vein. The laser light energy penetrates the skin surface and is absorbed by the color of the vein beneath. When the vein absorbs this energy, it converts to heat energy. This heat coagulates the blood inside the vein, causing the vein walls to collapse. This seals off the vein; any blood that was routed through the vein is rerouted to a neighboring, healthier vein. Once the vein is shut down, the body begins to scavenge the vein, removing it completely in time. But there is an immediate dramatic lessening of the vein’s appearance at the time of treatment.
And then you’re ready to show off that new swimsuit or golf skirt and head to Kiawah or Hilton Head for the weekend!