Spider veins require professional treatment to completely disappear. There are many home treatments that promise to get rid of spider veins, but there’s little research to back them up.
Spider veins (telangiectasia) are visible, damaged blood vessels that look like branches or webs of purple, blue or red.
While spider veins are typically harmless, some people want to remove them for cosmetic reasons.
There are several ways to get rid of them or prevent them from forming in the first place, including in-office and at-home treatments. Here’s what to know.
There are several professional treatments that may be effective for reducing the appearance of spider veins or removing them altogether, including the following:
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that involves injecting a liquid (typically a saline solution) into the spider veins. The affected veins will become inflamed and irritated, sticking together and preventing blood flow to them.
Without blood, the veins will shrivel up. Keep in mind that it may take several sessions to completely get rid of spider veins with sclerotherapy.
Closure system therapy
Like sclerotherapy, closure system therapy involves injecting a substance into the spider vein. But instead of a saline solution, it uses a thick, sticky substance to seal off the vein from blood flow.
Eventually, the vein will shrink and fade. As with sclerotherapy, it may take a few treatments before you achieve your desired results.
Laser treatment is especially effective for tiny veins that are closer to the skin’s surface, such as on your face.
The laser light is beamed into the affected veins, causing them to clot and eventually dry up.
Unlike sclerotherapy or closure system therapy, laser treatment is considered a noninvasive method. However, it may not be an effective option for larger spider veins.
Endovenous laser therapy
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), also called endovenous laser ablation, is typically used to treat varicose veins, but it might also be an option for larger spider veins.
It involves inserting a laser fiber into the affected blood vessel through a small cut. Due to the heat from the laser, the vein will gradually disintegrate. It might take several months before it disappears altogether.
Because a clinician needs to cut into your skin, EVLT is considered more invasive than other methods and usually involves local anesthesia.
If you’re trying to get rid of spider veins, you’ve probably come across countless home remedies or products that promise to remove spider veins. However, there’s little to no research to back up these approaches, and some may do more harm than good.
Here’s a look at some common home treatments you might encounter:
- Blue light therapy: Blue light therapy is typically used to treat conditions on the skin or just below the surface, such as acne. Some people say that at-home blue light pens can penetrate and remove spider veins, but there’s no research to support this claim. While some people who try these pens say they notice a slight improvement in the appearance of spider veins, most report no effects at all.
- Saline self-injections: Be wary of any claims that you can inject saline solution or other substances into spider veins yourself at home. Doing so carries a high risk of infection and other potentially serious complications.
- Natural remedies: Apple cider vinegar, horse chestnut, and herbal supplements are just a few of the natural remedies said to treat spider veins. While some natural remedies may provide short-term relief from any discomfort caused by spider veins, they won’t actually get rid of spider veins.
There are many ways to prevent new spider veins from forming or existing veins from worsening, including:
- Wearing compression socks: Compression socks apply pressure to the calves, which helps promote blood flow and prevent spider veins from developing. You can find these at the drugstore, or more specialized ones via a prescription from a healthcare professional.
- Wearing sunscreen: Regular use of SPF can help prevent the breakdown of collagen and capillaries, which can help reduce your risk of spider veins, especially on your face.
- Getting exercise: Any kind of physical exercise, whether it’s doing some gentle stretching or going for a hike, can help get your blood flowing and promote strong, healthy blood vessels.
- Maintaining a moderate weight: Maintaining a moderate weight can reduce stress on your blood vessels.
- Avoiding excessive heat: Extremely hot showers or other sources of excess heat can cause blood vessels to swell and potentially burst.
- Elevating your legs: Elevating your legs when lying down or sitting might help improve blood flow.
Spider veins emerge due to weakened or damaged blood vessels. They usually aren’t a cause for concern, but some people might want to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons. Since they don’t seem to cause any adverse health effects, they’re considered a cosmetic concern.
Sclerotherapy is currently the most popular and effective treatment to remove them, but there are a few options to consider.