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Why IPL Might Be the Answer to Getting Rid of Your Spider Veins

Why IPL Might Be the Answer to Getting Rid of Your Spider Veins

Spider veins are corrupted versions of capillaries, which are the smallest veins in your body. While spider veins can show up anywhere on your body, they are most common and visible on the face and lower legs.

At New Image Medical Spa in Fremont, California, Dr. Surinder Sandhu uses intense pulsed light, or IPL, to help reduce the visibility of spider veins on the face and restore your complexion. Here’s what you should know about spider veins and how IPL works.

Causes of spider veins

Your blood pumps in the same direction out of the heart and back into it, in a continuous, closed loop. Veins have tiny valves that only allow blood to travel one way, but if the valve gets damaged for whatever reason, the blood can leak backward and pool up in the capillaries, causing them to become visible through the skin.

There are many reasons for spider veins. Some people have poor circulation, or high blood pressure, causing blood flow to be compromised and valves damaged. Conditions like diabetes or a spinal injury can also contribute to spider veins showing up. 

Spider veins in the legs are commonly exacerbated by being overweight or having a job that requires sitting or standing all day. Larger veins in the legs can also be affected, leading to the more dangerous cousin of spider veins, known as varicose veins.

Spider veins in the face are often a sign of extreme sun damage, but can also be a side effect of rosacea. They can be made worse by alcohol use. Women who are pregnant may also develop spider veins in their face and/or legs. 

Getting rid of spider veins

For spider veins in the legs, Dr. Sandhu uses sclerotherapy, injecting a sclerosing agent into the leg veins to collapse them. This forces the blood flow to reroute into healthier veins.

For facial spider veins, the preferred treatment is intense pulsed light, or IPL, to shrink spider veins. The process is non-invasive; short pulses of intense light are sent through a cooled glass applicator directly into the skin over areas with spider veins. 

We’ll apply a cooling gel first, and you shouldn't feel anything more than a light buzzing or stinging, like a rubber band snapping against your skin. 

You’ll probably need 3-5 treatments to treat all of your facial spider veins, and it will take some weeks after your final treatment to see full results, as your body flushes out the remains of the damaged capillaries. 

One of the big advantages of IPL is that it can succeed when other methods have failed. This might be your best option for getting rid of stubborn facial spider veins. 

To learn more about treating spider veins with IPL, contact our office for a consultation. You can reach us at 510-269-2324 or request an appointment online today.

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