Are treatments for abnormal veins just on the legs?
Dr. Blumenthal explains the types of vein treatments that can help the appearance of abnormal veins on various parts of the body.
Abnormal veins can be treated on almost any area of the body. Just about every vein that we see through our skin, whether they be on the legs, or on the face, sometimes on the chest, can be treated using various methods. Certainly the most common abnormal veins are what we call spider veins, which can occur on the legs most often, and the best way without question to treat spider veins is using sclerotherapy. And that is injecting a chemical into the vein causing the vein to scar inside and then the vein is reabsorbed and it goes away. It is the gold standard for the treatment of typical spider veins. Varicose veins can also be treated using sclerotherapy. No matter how big a vein is it can be sclerosed, or caused to scar inside with a result of it being absorbed.
Veins on the face are often problematic, abnormal veins. Some people get veins that you see in the temple area or underneath the eye and they are usually tributaries of larger vein that we like to leave alone, but we can certainly get the tributaries to go when they are big enough using sclerotherapy. That's something not many people in the country do. I happen to have been doing it now for years because once you learn sclerotherapy well you feel confident treating those abnormal veins on the face.
The tinier veins called telangiectasias usually occur on the cheeks, about the nose, sometimes on the chin, and they are best treated using a laser. Laser has no effect on spider veins of the legs. That's been proven over and over and over and yet some people still use lasers on spider veins of the legs. It is a waste of time and money. It hurts more than injecting them, and it doesn't work. But on the face it does work, and there is a number of different lasers that can treat tiny broken blood vessels we call them or broken capillaries that occur on the face. Using one of several different lasers that cause the vein to heat up and be "killed" if you will, without hurting the surface of the skin. And all these different modalities we have at The Vein Center & CosMed and have been applying them for over 25 years.
Sometimes a vein needs to actually be taken out, if you will, operated on. If it is a big enough vein, usually in the leg that's too big to be injected, to remove one branch of a vein is relatively simple under local anesthesia, but it will leave a scar and it will leave some discomfort.
Another vein that we treat at The Vein Center & CosMed, which I believe relatively few people do in the country, that is the treatment of large, ropy, ugly, old-looking hand veins. Most women who develop these veins can't stand the looks of them because it does make their hands look old. They're usually normal veins, but especially in women as time goes on our skin gets a little thinner and you can see through the skin better. And the veins definitely do makes the hands look older, and most people say that you can tell someone's age by the looks of their hands. So they can be injected the same way a varicose vein can using a little bit different solution, different concentrations. It may take several times, but we get great results in getting rid of those ugly veins on the backs of the hands, which we don't need even though people think we do. We can live a normal life without any of them.