Saratoga Dermatology and Medical Spa
54 Seward Street
Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
tel: (518) 581-2860
fax: (518) 581-7358
Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Spider Veins vs. Varicose Veins
Spider and varicose veins are both types of dysfunctional blood vessels that bother our patients from Albany, Schenectady, and around Saratoga Springs, but the conditions are different.
- Spider veins are tiny, tend to occur as clusters or branches, and can be red, dark purple, or blue.
- Varicose veins are larger, they can be blue or red (and sometimes flesh-colored), and are raised. They often look like bulging and twisted cords and usually appear on the legs. They differ from spider veins because they are more likely to cause discomfort. And, unlike spider veins, varicose veins may lead to more serious health issues, such as skin ulcers, bleeding, or blood clots.
Spider veins close to the skin’s surface that branch along the thighs and lower legs can cause you to be self-conscious. Fortunately, sclerotherapy is an effective and safe treatment with a proven track record of excellent results when performed by a highly trained provider, such as Dr. Buhac. During the minimally invasive treatment, Dr. Buhac injects a solution that damages the cells lining the inside of blood vessels. Ultimately, the targeted veins collapse and are replaced by healthy tissue.
Sclerotherapy is best-suited for smaller, uncomplicated spider and reticular (“feeder”) veins, although it’s also an option for smaller varicose veins, too. Dr. Buhac uses Asclera® for sclerotherapy at her Saratoga Springs practice. A typical sclerotherapy session lasts between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on the extent of the treatment needed. Patients need to wear compression stockings or support hose at all times for the first 2 to 3 days after the procedure, and then during the day for the following 2 to 3 weeks.
Some patients may require follow-up treatment sessions, which we schedule about 1 to 2 weeks later.
Laser Vein Removal
We can also treat spider veins and some varicose veins with medical lasers such as the Vbeam laser we use for skin rejuvenation. Lasers typically treat small to medium-sized veins, including those that occur on the face. If you have facial spider veins (also called telangiectasias), we protect your eyes before beginning the treatment.
The most advanced treatment for larger varicose veins is called endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), which involves threading a laser fiber through a thin tube and into the vein. This is a breakthrough procedure that has essentially replaced the more complicated and painful vein stripping treatment that was used in the past to remove varicose veins.