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Do you hate having those unsightly oversized veins that look like spider webs crawling across your skin? Unbeknownst to many, there is more than one type of vein that bulges and appears on the skin. Fortunately, there are multiple cosmetic solutions for them, one of which is laser vein removal.

Why do these veins appear? And what are the treatments dermatologists use to get rid of them? Find out here.

What are Those Large and Bulging Veins?

Large and bulging veins are most prevalent around the ankles, knees, and thighs; however, they also appear on the face in some cases. Their appearance may be caused by accidents, sun damage, or unfortunate genetics. However, they are most frequent among overweight individuals and pregnant women.

The most common large and bulging veins are varicose veins and spider veins. The differences between the two are slight; spider veins are only smaller than varicose veins. Both are twisting and turning and are easily visible through the skin; they are also red, blue, or purple.

The Journal of the American Heart Association reports that as much as 23% of all adults globally have varicose or spider veins. It also notes that as many as one in four American adults lives with the condition.

Although varicose and spider veins seldom have adverse effects on health, they are severe when complications arise. If varicose or spider veins cause bleeding, ulcers, or swelling due to blood clots, you should contact a medical professional immediately. Other less severe varicose and spider veins complications include aching legs and swollen ankles.

Why Do Varicose and Spider Veins Appear?

Varicose and spider veins appear when blood flow is hindered due to the valves in the veins not operating as well as they should.

The natural treatments for the pain associated with varicose or spider veins are exercise, leg elevation, and compression socks. However, they will not treat the root cause of the pain.

How Do Dermatologists Treat Varicose and Spider Veins?

What treatments do dermatologists use to remove varicose and spider veins? Here’s a list to help you.


Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose or spider veins. The provider injects a solution or foam into the rogue veins in this procedure that will form a scar within the veins.

The veins will die within a few weeks due to lack of blood flow and eventually vanish. The body will naturally absorb the dead veins.

Although virtually painless, sclerotherapy has side effects like cramping, stinging, or burning sensations around the injection site due to the sclerosing solution. The procedure can become painful if the sclerosing agent leaks into the surrounding tissues outside the veins. Brown spots, swelling, bruising, discomfort, and tiny blister-like dots around the injection region are common side effects.

The more severe side effects of sclerotherapy include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Ulceration
  • Blood clotting
  • Inflammation

Ligation and Stripping

Another minimally invasive treatment, ligation, and stripping, involve creating tiny incisions around the offending vein and pulling it out. After making the incision near the rogue vein, the doctor cuts the blood supply into the rogue vein by tying the blood vessels right where it leads into the varicose or spider vein. Then, they will thread a thin and flexible wire along the vein and pull it out.

While the procedure may seem intimidating, it’s minimally invasive and is easily doable in a clinic. However, ligation and stripping have side effects, the most notable of which are bleeding, bruising, and pain. The more severe side effect is deep vein thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots within the deep vein.

When blood clots form within the deep vein, they will stop blood flow to the extremities of the body, such as the legs or feet.

Radiofrequency Ablation

This treatment is somewhat a combination of the two previously discussed treatments. Like the ligation/stripping treatment, it begins with a small incision at the varicose or spider vein entrance, followed by the insertion of a catheter. The catheter is a narrow medical tube that the operator inserts along the vein with the help of an ultrasound scan.

Lastly, the professional inserts a probe through the catheter that emits radiofrequency. The radiofrequency heat the vein, effectively causing its walls to collapse. And just like sclerotherapy, blood will no longer flow through the vein, causing it to die and eventually be absorbed by the body.

This treatment requires anesthesia. Its side effects include bleeding and/or irreversible neurologic damage due to damage to the surrounding tissues outside the vein. Neurologic damage may result in permanent numbness or tingling around the treated region.

Is There a Non-Invasive Way to Treat Varicose and Spider Veins?

Yes, there is! Laser vein removal is just as effective as the other treatments discussed but with fewer risks. Here’s everything you need to know about laser vein removal.

What is Laser Vein Removal?

Laser vein removal emits a laser that targets the veins. Like radiofrequency ablation, the laser will heat the veins and cause scars to form within the veins. The scar tissues block the blood, choking the veins until they die and the body absorbs them.

Why is Laser Vein Removal Preferable to the Other Vein Removal Treatments?

The laser vein removal technology that Catara Medical Spa uses is preferable to the other treatments discussed above. It is better because

  • Laser vein removal does not require anesthesia
  • Laser vein removal is non-invasive
  • Laser vein removal does not leave scars
  • Laser vein removal is safer and needs little to no downtime
  • Laser vein removal costs less than surgical treatments

Catara Medical Spa: The Best Medspa for Laser Vein Removal

Catara Medical Spa uses only the best medical technology to treat varicose and spider veins. The GentleMax Pro laser by Candela is the safest, most comfortable, and most effective laser vein removal technology. It is the gold standard for treating unwanted leg veins.

Contact Catara Medical Spa today through our Contact Us portal. You can reach our Chicago office at (773) 630-6000 and our Algonquin office at (847) 658-1300 or email Our address in Chicago is 67 East Oak St. Suite 5W, Chicago, IL 60611, and our office in Algonquin is at 308 South Main Street, Algonquin, IL 60102.

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