Spider Veins

Spider veins (medical name: Telangectasia) are small dilated red, purple or blue veins seen on the surface of the skin usually measuring between 0.5 and 1 millimetre in diameter. They can develop anywhere on the body, but are commonly seen on the face around the nose, cheeks, and on the legs.

When seen on the legs, underlying venous reflux or “hidden varicose veins” is often present (at least 25%), especially when they are found on the upper thigh, below the knee joint, and around the ankles.

Whilst generally considered a mere cosmetic concern, up to 50% of patients will have unpleasant symptoms of pain, heat and discomfort related to the spider veins (particularity if adjacent refluxing feeder vessels are present). Some extensive patients may also experience significant embarrassment and limitation of lifestyle. In either of the above situations, spider veins treatment is worthwhile considering.

If planning to treat spider veins, it is important that underling reflux is either excluded (usually with a Doppler examination) or eliminated prior to treatment. If treatment is undertaken without eliminating feeder veins (reticular veins and larger varicose veins), poor results often occur, such as matting and new vessel growth. These feeder veins lie beneath the skin and may not be visible to the naked eye or effectively treated with laser applied to the skin surface.

Microsclerotherapy is universally accepted as the first line treatment by vein specialists around the world. Supplemental treatment with fine heating needles and surface laser can have a role in treating very small vessels resistant to sclerotherapy.

Patients need to understand that despite their small size, spider veins are in fact the hardest type of abnormal vein to treat. Treatment is successful in about 85% of patients, but complications of pigmentation, matting and stimulation of new spider vein growth can occur.

No two patients with spider veins will have the same type, distribution or number of abnormal veins, nor will they respond the same to treatment. We therefore cannot give an accurate price for treatment over the phone without our full assessment.

We take spider veins seriously, and unlike some cosmetic clinics, we will not simply inject them without a thorough search for an underlying cause, detailed consultation and frank discussion of likely chance of success and risks of treatment. Sometimes, this means saying that we don’t think treatment will result in a good outcome for you.

If you’re price shopping for the cheapest spider vein treatment, you should probably look elsewhere. If you’re looking for the most thorough and scientific approach to treating your spider veins and understand that our focus is to get the best results possible with the least chance of harm, we are happy to see you.

To find out if treatment is a good outcome for you or to discuss your spider veins, book an appointment online.

Marked improvement in spider veins following our three stage treatment protocol

59yr old woman with symptomatic venous reflux (great saphenous vein) and cosmetic spider veins.

Symptomatic improvement and great cosmetic result following our three stage treatment protocol.

  1. Treatment underlying major refluxing veins with endovenous laser
  2. Treatment of branch veins and “feeder” veins with ultrasound guided sclerotherapy
  3. Treatment of surface veins with microsclerotherapy
  • University of Melbourne