Spider Vein Treatment in Philadelphia, PA

At The Lumen Center, we have proven treatments to remove those unsightly spider veins on the face and legs. The methods are safe, effective and relatively painless so you can look and feel your best. Procedures are quick with no downtime and no surgery.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins (or telangiectasias) are small, dilated veins less than 1mm in diameter, occurring near the skin surface. They may be red or purple in color and may look like tree branches or spider webs. They can develop anywhere on the body, but common areas include the face, cheeks, nose, legs and chest. Spider veins are caused from genetics, aging, sun exposure, pressure from too much standing, hormonal changes and weight gain.

Reticular veins are the slightly larger, slightly deeper, blue veins that feed into the spider veins. They are smaller and straighter than varicose veins and run under the skin surface, rather than sticking out. They are treated in a similar fashion to spider veins. Treating the reticular veins brings more success in eliminating branches of spider veins. 

Spider Vein Treatments

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the gold standard treatment for spider veins with studies showing that 50%-80% of injected veins may be eliminated in each session.

During the treatment, a micro-sized needle is used to inject a chemical agent (called a sclerosant) into the vein. It causes damage to the vein lining and closes. Blood in the spider and reticular veins is then redirected to other healthy veins. The damaged veins are eventually reabsorbed by the body.

At Lumen, we primarily use two FDA-approved sclerosants: Sotradecol, best for large veins, and Asclera (polidocanol), used for small and moderately sized veins.

Transdermal Laser Therapy

Transdermal laser therapy is primarily used to treat spider veins on the face, usually on the cheeks or around the nose. It can also be used to get rid of unwanted blue, reticular veins of the face that centralize around the eyes and temporal region. Transdermal laser therapy is completely non-invasive and uses an external laser to heat the veins, causing them to close. The procedure is relatively painless and may feel like a small rubber band snapping against the skin.

Transdermal laser therapy is not effective for spider veins in the legs due to the extensive networking. However, it may be used as a supplemental treatment with sclerotherapy or if you have a few discrete spider veins in isolation.

Repeat sessions may be necessary depending upon the baseline pressure of the treated veins and potential refill. It may take several weeks after treatment for the veins to completely fade away.

Frequently Asked Spider Vein Questions

The appearance of spider veins usually does not mean that you have a more serious vein issue. However, if they develop predominantly along the inside of the legs, or inside the ankles (called corona phlebectatica), they can indicate a problem with valves inside of the leg. If this occurs, more investigation is needed, usually with ultrasound.

Spider veins are thread-like, as they occur with capillaries that branch off from larger vessels. They are red, blue or purple in color, and they usually appear in clusters and lie flat against the skin. Varicose veins develop in larger blood vessels, so they are large in appearance (usually the size of a garden worm) and protrude on the skin. They are squiggly and blue or green in color. Sometimes they can look like a simple, soft bump in the skin. Varicose veins can cause severe discomfort, heaviness and pain.

Results are permanent – the treated veins will never return! However, over time, you could still develop new spider veins.

For leg spider veins, this depends on the extensiveness of the vein networks. A “mild” spider vein patient will require 1-3 sessions, “moderate” 3-5 sessions, and “severe” 5-10 sessions. Sessions are usually spaced 2-4 weeks apart.

It can take up to several months for the veins to “fade” to a point where they are no longer visible. Smaller veins may take 1-3 months to go away, moderate veins 3-5 months, and large veins, up to 1 year. In the interim, the veins may change in color to a light grey or light brown, with gradual dissipation.

Typically, any superficial vein in the body can be sclerosed due to the extensiveness of the superficial network in conjunction with the underlying deep venous system. This means that unsightly veins of the breast or other veins of the upper torso can be injected, or other veins of the upper torso. Hand veins are the most popular region for sclerotherapy outside of the legs, and they respond very well to sclerotherapy given adequate compression. Blue reticular facial veins around the eyes and temporal region respond well to transdermal laser therapy.

The spider vein treatment is performed as an outpatient procedure in the Lumen Center office in Bryn Mawr, PA.

Treatments for spider veins are typically considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance. However, financing is available through CareCredit. Patients can complete an easy application to pre-qualify.

"I’ve been going to Dr. Kwak for several years for filler and help with veins. The staff is always so nice, and I never have to wait for my appointment. I have always been very happy with the results and I highly recommend him."
Stephanie V.

The Recovery Process

After sclerotherapy, bruising is typical in the first 24 hours. Compression stockings need to be worn after treatment to help the body start the process of reabsorbing the now unused veins. To prevent discoloration, direct exposure to sunlight needs to be avoided for 48 hours after treatment. Strenuous activity, such as exercise, is restricted for 72 hours.

Lumen Center patients are carefully monitored post-procedure and at regular checkpoints for up to a year. 

Is Spider Vein Treatment Right for You?

The first step is to schedule a free vein screening with Dr. Kwak to discuss your goals, concerns and questions. He’ll perform an examination, determine if you are a good candidate and review what you can realistically expect. We’re here to help guide you every step of the way.