Laser leg vein treatment is a noninvasive procedure that uses targeted laser light to minimize the appearance of leg veins, such as spider veins and reticular veins up to 4-mm diameter (not varicose), with minimal discomfort and zero downtime. During treatment, a focused beam of laser light is applied with a range of wavelengths, pulse widths, and fluences to selectively heat and collapse the veins without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. Over a period of four to six weeks, the vein is reabsorbed by the body until it disappears.
One of the most common lasers used to treat leg veins is the Nd: YAG Laser system. This is a handheld device that has a cooling tip to minimize any discomfort during treatment. The Nd: YAG laser works by piercing the skin and penetrating the superficial blood vessel with targeted heat so the blood inside of it coagulates, causing the vessel to collapse and seal. Over the next few weeks, the vessel will gradually disappear and the blood will be removed by the body’s scavenging cells. Another trusted device for leg vein removal is the Palomar Icon, which combines both steady laser light and intense pulsed light (IPL) technology to achieve the same aforementioned causes and effects. Both of these devices are designed to produce vein-specific wavelengths and are therefore most effective for treating small leg veins, and veins found on other parts of the body, as well.
Leg vein laser treatment is ideal for those looking to reduce the appearance of unsightly, unwanted leg veins. While this treatment is safe for all skin types, it is not recommended for people with darker skin tones because it shows ineffective or may even bring reverse effects.
Certain medical conditions and medications may increase risk of side effects, so it is very important to talk to a trusted doctor about your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment.
Typically, there is mild to no discomfort associated with leg vein laser treatment; however, your doctor may apply a topical anesthetic 20 minutes prior to treatment depending on your pain threshold.
Protective eyewear is worn by both you and the doctor during leg vein laser treatment. The doctor applies a handheld laser to target area while a built-in cooling system eliminates any discomfort beyond a warm, tingling sensation.
A leg vein laser treatment session can take less than 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area and amount of leg veins being treated.
Pricing is dependent on how many veins are being treated. Expect $200 – $1,000 per session
You can resume all of your normal activities immediately afterward leg vein laser treatment; however, there may be visible redness and bruising and minimal pain that can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Right after treatment you may feel a slight bump on the skin, which should disappear in 2 to 4 hours. The skin above the veins may also have a reddish, cat-scratched appearance; this generally disappears over the next 2 days.
Mild swelling, bruising, and redness at the site of treatment will typically resolve in one month, and healing may be accelerated by wearing support hose. There is also the rare possibility of the following symptoms: clotting, scarring, lightening, or darkening of the skin, crusting, ulcers, and scabbing.
Final results from leg vein laser treatment are not immediate and may not be apparent for up to several months. The results are gradually revealed; the vessels underneath the skin will progressively change from a dark blue to light red color, then eventually disappearing in 4 to 6 weeks.
Although leg vein laser treatment does not prevent the development of new spider or reticular veins, the removal of existing veins can drastically improve the appearance of the affected area, providing a more youthful, healthy look and an even coloration of the skin. Because spider veins are recurrent, additional treatments may be required in the future.
While dramatic and permanent results can be achieved with only one treatment, a series of leg vein laser treatments may be required to reduce the appearance of leg veins completely.
Should more than one treatment be necessary, it is recommended that the treatments be spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. If new veins appear, additional treatments are recommended for optimum results
Only aboard-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in leg vein laser treatment should administer this treatment. Board certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), American Society Of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), or the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) ensures that the doctor meets nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills to safely and effectively administer this treatment.
Try your best to avoid taking really hot baths or showers and refrain from vigorous exercise for at least 2 weeks after treatment.
On the day of treatment avoid applying any lotions, creams, and sprays of any sort to the area being treated.
Remember to wear loose, comfortable clothing to your leg vein laser appointment…unless you go el commando, you’ll want to allow for easy access to the treatment area.