What are the most successful treatments for spider veins?

(Photo courtesy of an Angie's List member in Redmond, Wash.)

(Photo courtesy of an Angie's List member in Redmond, Wash.)

Spider veins are small, visibly dilated blood vessels near the skin’s surface. The two typical types of treatment are sclerotherapy or laser therapy.

“Sclerotherapy is a safe procedure involving injecting the superficial vessels with a solution that’s designed to irritate the vessel lining and cause closure,” says Dr. Robin Travers, a highly rated dermatologist with SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Although more than one session is often required, sclerotherapy is the most common treatment. “It’s still considered the gold standard for most spider veins,” says highly rated Dr. Robert Strimling, owner of Strimling Dermatology, Laser & Vein Institute in Las Vegas. “Several sclerosant solutions are available, including Asclera and hypertonic saline solution,” Strimling says. “Asclera is said to be less painful, but my preference is saline, which works more consistently.”

Prices for sclerotherapy vary by region and can depend on the severity of the spider veins. On average, each session can cost between $200 and $400.

Travers says laser treatment often works beautifully on the face, but less well on the legs. While small patches of fine vessels may respond well with these lasers, she says larger areas and varicose veins, which fill with blood and bulge, are best treated with other modalities, like surgery. Costs can range between $400 and $1,200 per laser session, depending on the patient.

In all instances, a physician should provide you with the number of treatments required and cost during the initial consultation.

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