Treatment options range from self-care to minor surgery. A dermatologist may use one or more of these treatments:
Self-care: Your dermatologist can give you tips to improve your circulation. These tips include:
Elevate your legs
Sit for long periods? Get up and walk around every 30 minutes
Stand for long periods? Take a break every 30 minutes
Avoid soaking in hot baths for long periods of time
Self-care tips can help prevent new varicose and spider veins but cannot get rid of existing ones.
Compression stockings: These stockings apply steady pressure to help move the blood back to your heart. The steady pressure also lessens swelling in your lower legs and reduces the risk of getting a blood clot. You’ll still have visible leg veins, though.
If you need compression stockings, a dermatologist can examine you so that you get the proper size and right amount of pressure.
Sclerotherapy: This is the most common treatment for leg veins. Over the years, dermatologists have improved sclerotherapy to make it safer and give patients better results. Today, dermatologists use it to treat spider and small varicose veins.
If you have sclerotherapy, this is what happens during treatment:
Your dermatologist injects a chemical into the spider or varicose vein, which irritates the wall of the vein. Different areas of the vein are injected.
After the injections, your dermatologist may massage the area.
A compression stocking is then placed on each leg.
You will be observed for a time and then be able to go home.
To help prevent possible side effects, you will need to take daily walks and wear the compression stockings as directed. Most patients wear the compression stockings for 2 to 3 weeks.
You can return to work and most activities the next day.
Sclerotherapy causes the walls of the vein to stick together, so the blood cannot flow through it anymore. This improves circulation in the treated leg and reduces swelling.
Spider veins usually disappear in 3 to 6 weeks. Varicose veins take 3 to 4 months.
To get the best results, you may need 2 or 3 treatments. A dermatologist can perform these treatments during an office visit. No anesthesia is needed.
Laser treatments: Dermatologists use lasers to treat spider veins and small varicose veins. During laser treatment, your dermatologist directs the laser light at the vein.