Small red or blue spider veins on the face and legs can be treated with the ND:Yag laser.
Veins must be smaller than a piece of spaghetti and never painful. Face veins usually just disappear, but leg veins often bruise for 3-6 weeks before they resolve. Elimination of these veins often only take one treatment, but new veins may surface every year or so (as the skin thins)
What this laser can do for you?
The Cynosure laser not only removes hair but significantly diminishes the unsightly appearance of small spider veins. Drawn to the color of the veins— heat from the laser coagulates small amounts of blood in the vessel –the body slowly reabsorbs the blood. Afterwards, expect a bruised appearance for about 2-4 weeks. Most veins require about 2 or 3 treatments. Works well with fair to medium skinned clients. Then enjoy vein-free legs and face.
What does the treatment procedure involve?
Arrive a few minutes early to complete paperwork—medical history, current meds and contact information.
Consultation is the starting point
A Registered Nurse (RN) will sit down to discuss the results you would like to achieve. She will review history forms, consent for treatment as well as a written price quote before the procedure begins.
The best treatment course is then decided and shared with you. Next, the nurse will take photos to document a treatment starting point – photos help us record the severity of your condition and monitor improvement.
Our nurses will review the pre and post treatment instructions and precautions. A treatment plan will be designed for your specific needs. The price quote outlines both the costs, discounts and expected treatment time line.
What to expect during treatment
When treating facial veins
Nurses remove all makeup, moisturizers and sunscreen prior to treatment. Clean skin improves treatment effectiveness.
The good news–
Facial veins often completely disappear and without a prolonged, unattractive healing time. We help you protect your eyes by offering a pair of occlusive metal glasses worn during treatment.
Short-term redness and welts may appear once the veins disappear.
How long does it last?
A short period of time–welts usually disappear in about 2 hours or less—redness less than 2 days.
The area feels tight and clean just after treatment
To soothe the skin, we apply tea tree oil, aloe vera or Vitamin E. A regiment that decreases inflammation and revs up the healing process. Use cosmetics only when skin is unbroken and the area is not radiating heat.
Skin feels hot?
That means hold off with cosmetics. It is normal for this area to feel warm or hot for several hours after treatment.
When treating leg veins—
The procedure can be intense and uncomfortable for blue-colored veins or when veins cover legs extensively.
Relief is in the air
Icy cold air directed at the treatment site helps cool the skin prior to treatment and throughout.
What to expect after the treatment
Redness and welting may present after treatment. Throbbing is also reported among clients and may last from 2 to 4 hours. Bruising is normal. Leg veins can take 4-6 weeks before bruising resolves.
Tylenol taken before treatment helps minimize discomfort. If you have some prescription pain medication, such as Vicodin or Percocet, you can take that instead if you feel it may be needed (if you have a lot of leg veins or deep blue veins). If you are only doing facial veins, you should not even require the Tylenol. Prescription pain medication may be taken 30 minutes before treatment–but please, arrange a safe ride home.
Requirements for treatment
Small veins work best. That means no bigger than the width of a pencil lead. Larger veins require a more invasive technique such as sclerothearpy, which is done at a doctors office, not in our clinic.
Fair to medium skin tone shows promising results
Blood coagulation requires high intensity light. Darker skin tones would require even more intensity—but that would produce unwanted blisters and scars. Clients must be within level 1-4 according to the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale, which registers up to level 6.
Avoid tanning, sun exposure and lotions
Do not expose treatment area to the sun or a tanning bed or booth at least 4 – 6 weeks before treatment. Tanned skin may cause blistering and possibly hypo pigmentation, identified as white spots, lasting for several months.
Avoid tanning lotions and creams around the treatment area for at least 10 days before treatment.
Taking high doses of iron other than a regular multi-vitamin?
It may increase susceptibility to hyper pigmentation, characterized by increased pigment or brown spots. If pigmentation is affected, it’s usually temporary.
Clients with poor circulation (i.e. diabetes), taking blood thinners (Coumadin, Warfarin, daily aspirin, etc.) may have poor or delayed healing if treated with the laser for leg veins.
Cold packs ease any temporary discomfort. Tylenol is recommended for discomfort if necessary.
Care should be taken to prevent trauma to the treated area for the first 24 hours following treatment. Be careful shaving. Be aware of products with abrasive cleaners that could interrupt the natural healing process. Avoid any strenuous workouts, hot tubs and spas for 48 hours after treatment.
At home treatments
If the skin is broken or a blister appears, apply any topical antibiotic, such as Bacitracin or Neosporin. Want more protection? Keep the affected area covered and avoid direct sunlight while experiencing these symptoms.
Remember—stay away from sun or tanning booth until the treatment area completely heals.
Stay upbeat—healing takes time
Spider veins often appear worse before they appear better. If the vein disappeared during a laser session and it reappears later, it may look darker in color. If this occurs it should slowly reabsorb by your body within 1—2 months.
If subsequent treatments are needed, wait at least 2 months before the next treatment.