The best ways to treat spider veins

Ask the doctor

Published: March, 2016

Q: I have developed numerous small, thin veins over my legs. I would like to get rid of them. What is the most effective treatment?

A: Dilated superficial veins, known as reticular or "spider" veins, are a common problem as men get older. The preferred treatment is sclerotherapy, but laser therapy is gaining popularity. Sclerotherapy involves injecting fluid into the veins with a small needle. This liquid causes irritation and inflammation of the vein, leading to its collapse. Laser therapy uses intense pulsed light to cause heat-related damage to the veins. Both treatments involve some discomfort. Wearing compression stockings afterwards appears to help improve outcome.

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