Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are small, thin blood vessels visible beneath the skin. They commonly appear on the face or leg, in a shape similar to a spider or a spider web, in either red or blue. In most cases, spider veins are unsightly, causing no other issues. Some patients, however, may experience aching, burning, swelling, and cramping from spider veins.
Sclerotherapy is the standard treatment for spider veins, as well as varicose veins. During sclerotherapy, a sclerosing solution is injected into the affected veins, causing them to gradually disappear. Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), more commonly used on large spider veins, uses a catheter to pass a laser fiber directly into the vein. The laser seals off the affected veins and redirects blood flow to surrounding healthy veins. EVLT is especially effective when used to treat veins just under the surface of the skin.