Spider veins are small, enlarged, superficial blood vessels that commonly arise on the legs but frequently occur on the face or other parts of the body. The appearance of spider veins varies widely from patient to patient. They can be red or blue and they may look like a spider web or a tree with branches. The veins may be short, unconnected lines, each about the size of a large hair or they may be connected in a matted “sunburst” pattern. Additionally, the veins can be small and inconspicuous or cover a large area of skin. Regardless of their appearance, they can affect a person’s confidence and cause uncomfortable itching, cramping and heaviness in the legs. Spider veins are most commonly due to heredity, extended standing (such as during work), weight, hormonal changes and blood clots. Several different forms of treatment exist for spider veins, and Dr. David J. Congdon and Cedar Valley Center ASCENTS offer two of the most-advanced procedures for patients in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area to address this condition, including laser-focused treatments.

Spider Vein Treatments

Various spider vein treatments exist, from lifestyle modifications such as weight loss and the use of support stockings, to salt and radiofrequency injections into the vein, to surgery. Two more recent treatments utilize lasers to target and eliminate problem veins through targeted heat that penetrates the surface of the skin and causes problem blood vessels to collapse, close and naturally disintegrate, preserving surrounding structures. These treatments are the IPL Photofacial and YAG laser procedures:

How to Prevent Spider Veins

While spider veins cannot always be prevented, the following steps have proven to be beneficial for those dealing with rosacea:

  • Practicing good sun protection to limit the number of unwanted vessels on the face
  • Wearing support hose to help minimize unwanted blood vessels from developing on the legs
  • Engaging in regular exercise
  • Keeping body weight at a normal level

Case Study

This patient received four IPL treatments to treat spider veins.