Tiny veins (less than 1mm in diameter) visible on the skin surface are commonly called “spider veins”. The name “spider vein“ refers to the web-like appearance of these veins when clustered together. Most of the time spider veins are asymptomatic (or minimally symptomatic) and are primarily of cosmetic concern. To schedule your cosmetic consultation, click here.

closeup view of spider veinsTypically patients with spider veins can be reassured that their problem is not limb-threatening. Consideration can be given to cosmetic therapies such as injection sclerotherapy or transcutaneous laser.

Symptoms of Spider Veins

Although most patients with spider veins report no significant symptoms some patients with spider veins do report symptoms of tingling, burning or localized discomfort.

Spider veins are more likely to be symptomatic when multiple spider veins are present when the spider veins are closely clustered, or problems are present in the larger underlying veins.

Diagnostic Workup

Most patients with isolated spider veins do not require extensive diagnostic testing.

In some situations (especially if the spider veins are combined with larger varicose veins or if significant symptoms are present) diagnostic ultrasound testing may be indicated.

Spider Vein Treatments

At Vascular Solutions, spider veins are treated with sclerotherapy or laser leg vein treatment.

Sclerotherapy

  • Sclerotherapy involves an injection of medicine into skin surface veins that causes the veins to contract and fade over time.
  • Sclerotherapy is commonly performed for cosmetic reasons, but sometimes sclerotherapy can be used to help alleviate symptoms of itching, burning, and discomfort.
  • Sclerotherapy is ideally suited to veins measuring 1-3mm in diameter, but can also treat larger veins. Sclerotherapy can also treat tiny veins (measuring <1mm in diameter) but in this situation, cosmetic laser treatment may be a better option.

Laser Leg Vein Treatment

  • Laser leg vein treatment is a purely cosmetic procedure that uses a hand-held laser device to eliminate small skin surface veins.
  • Laser leg vein treatment can be used to target any skin surface vein measuring less than 3mm diameter but is ideal for tiny veins less than 1mm diameter. Cosmetic laser leg vein treatment is not indicated for the treatment of varicose veins, or any vein larger than 3mm in diameter.
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