Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor:
- If I'm unhappy with laser spider vein removal, can I get other procedures (like sclerotherapy) afterwards?
- If I have had sclerotherapy in the past, but am looking to treat newly formed spider veins, is it safe to switch to lasers?
Pre-procedure prep for laser spider vein removal: Stay out of the sun for at least two weeks before your treatment. Many physicians will not treat patients with a tan due to the increased chances of discoloring the skin.
On the day of treatment: Wearing a skirt or loose pants (if you're treating veins on your legs) may be more comfy than jeans. You may also be instructed to shave the treatment site, since dark hairs that grow above the skin's surface can absorb the laser's energy and channel heat to the surface of the skin - burning it.
What To Expect
Your eyes will first be shielded with goggles or other protective covering of sorts. The laser energy is typically delivered with handheld device. Afterward, your skin may be noticeably red and dry.
The skin surrounding your veins may look red and scratchy for the next two days. The veins themselves may expand before deflating and, ultimately, disappearing.
Who should do it: Many states allow non-medical personnel to receive laser certification, so make sure that you look for a board certified doctor. Improper use of these laser devices can leave your skin badly burned and scarred.
Duration: Small spider veins take 15 to 20 minutes to blast. If you have spider veins aplenty, your session could last up to an hour.
How Painful Is It?
Lasers feel like a rubber band snapping against your skin over and over. Remember, the longer the wavelength, the deeper the laser's reach - hence, the harder the "rubber band" snap!
Options for anesthesia: If you have a low pain threshold, take a mild pain medication before treatment.