Spider veins are swollen, twisted veins that extend along part or all of your legs, often as a result of pregnancy or long periods of standing. They form when the valves that help keep blood flowing to your heart are weak or damaged, causing blood to pool in your veins.
Most anyone can develop spider veins, but certain factors raise your risk, including older age, obesity and family history of the condition. If you hold any of these risk factors, then spend plentiful time standing or become pregnant, symptoms become more likely.
Lifestyle steps, such as losing excess weight, elevating your legs when you’re sitting or resting and avoiding lengthy periods of standing, can help prevent spider veins from worsening. If they cause pain or you simply want to reduce their appearance, your doctor may recommend medical treatment to remove them. While surgery may be an option, Dr. Seltzer uses Gentle YAG lasers to conveniently and permanently reduce or eliminate spider veins.
Laser treatments use highly concentrated beams of light to target varicose veins. Heat from the laser damages the vein, which stimulates scar tissue. This tissue closes off the vein’s blood supply, causing it to disappear over time. Many people prefer laser therapy because it’s a lot less invasive than surgical removal of varicose veins.
Laser therapy is generally considered safe and a lot less risky than surgical procedures. Like most medical treatments, however, it may cause side effects. Most likely, you’ll feel a mild burning sensation afterward, similar to a sunburn. Less common side effects include discolored or burned skin, burning, pain or prickling from nerve damage and blood clots. Severe complications are extremely rare.
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