#AskCharlotte: Can scelrotherapy treat facial thread veins?

Charlotte's Book Premier Provider Dr. Julie Karen explains the best treatments for facial spider veins.

Thread veins are tiny red veins that you can see through the skin, most commonly on the cheeks and nose or scattered on your legs. They are also referred to as spider veins, capillary veins and “broken” veins, which isn’t truly accurate because they aren’t technically broken, they are dilated. Normally, these tiny veins are invisible, but if they expand enough, they can show through your skin. So what causes thread veins to dilate? The usual suspects: too much sun exposure, pregnancy, estrogen treatments, or your mom, as they may be inherited. More good news: Like all of the other lovely signs of aging, they can become more apparent as you get older, because your skin becomes thinner with time, hence more transparent.

To answer the question on how to best treat facial thread veins, one of the most delicate matters to deal with, we went to Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider Dr. Julie Karen,who’s one the top the cosmetic dermatologists in New York City for all things vein related. Here’s what she has to say:

“While sclerotherapy can be used for the treatment of facial veins, laser treatments are a very safe and effective alternative. Unlike vessels of the lower extremities [legs], facial vessels are smaller in diameter, more superficially positioned within the skin, and not subject to elevated pressure. Therefore, these vessels can be safely and effectively eradicated with laser treatments such as the pulsed dye laser, KTP laser or  intense pulsed light (IPL), with minimal risk of scarring,” explains Dr. Karen.

Learn more details about vein treatments in The Arsenal:

When researching which doctor you should go to,  make sure he or she is an actively board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). Plastic Surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Both of those boards are part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. Consult the Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider directory to find a doctor who meets these standards. If we don’t have an expert listed for your city, follow the same Credentials We Abide By when doing your own research.

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  • Natsuki Kiriyama

    Sclerotherapy works awesome for veins on the legs (my mom had it done with Dr. Ava http://www.avamd.com and it turned out amazing, the veins are gone and my mom is much happier) but I’ve heard that you should never do it on the face but use lasers instead. I don’t know anyone who’s had laser treatments specifically for veins but I do know people who swear by them for dark spot removal, so I believe that they’d work well for veins too.

  • sarah james

    This is really helpful & have passed on the details to one of my family members who suffers from this. Thank you so much.

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