DrOrdon's Blog

Spider Veins

Hello Friends,

There is a lot of interest in the non-surgical treatment for spider veins. In days past, surgery was the only option for larger veins. Smaller veins were electrocuted by hyfrecation. A needle was placed in the vein and electrified for a moment, and the current would shoot down the vein for about one centimeter and replace the vein with scar.

Later, sclerotherapy came along, which is the injection of a solution such as hypertonic saline, which makes the lining of the vein stick to itself and shut down. No blood in the vein means no color in the vein. Then, our favorite therapy came along at last: the laser. A laser can be dialed to the specific color of the patients’ veins and does not irritate the surrounding tissues. Nowadays, lasers are the way we handle 90 percent of the unsightly red or blue veins that we encounter.

Spider Veins:

  • The veins are called spider angioma
  • Often radiate outwards like a spider's web
  • For spider angiomas on the face, techniques such as electrodesiccation and laser treatment can be used
  • Spider angiomas are commonly found on the face, neck, upper part of the trunk and arms
  • Women using hormonal contraception, have spider angiomas, due to high estrogen levels in their blood
  • People with hepatic disease also show spider angiomas; their liver cannot detoxify estrogen from the blood, resulting in high levels of estrogen

There isn’t a home remedy for spider veins, but a trip to your doctor can help you decide your options. As always, prevention is the best medicine, so try these tips to prevent the veins from forming in the first place:

  • Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen to limit spider veins on the face.
  • Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.
  • Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.
  • Do not cross your legs when sitting. However, try to elevate your legs when resting.
  • Do not stand for long periods of time. If you have to stand for long periods of time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you have to sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk approximately every 30 minutes.
  • Wear elastic support stockings, but avoid clothing that is too tight or that will constrict your waist, groin, or legs.
  • Make sure to include high-fiber foods in your diet since constipation can contribute to varicose veins. High fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Control your salt-intake. Salt, or sodium, can cause you to retain water or swell.


Dr. Drew Ordon

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Hi Dr Ord,

Thanks for the info on Spider Veins. I have them up and down my legs. They started when I was pregnant 27 years ago and now continue to turn up. ( like a bad penny) Are you planning a show around this? I would love to be a candidate for removal. They are very unsightly.



Hi why is it so sensitive around these spider veins...I can't even touch those areas because it is so sore...and what can one do for pockets of fatty tissue on your  legs these hurt alot when touched...I never had them before till i lost alot of weight now i can feel these tiny lumps...also what can i do to lose the weight from my hips and thighs ..no matter what i try my thighs just won't slim down...the rest of my upper part loses the weight but not the bottom part...and will you be airing a show on these type of lumps people get into their legs and maybe a home redmedy without costing alot of money to make them go away..without removing them surgically...

thank you


Linda Rodgers

Hi watched the show on Wednesday Jan 21, 2009, in which a woman asked about Spider angioma.  I have this on my face and would like to know if there is anything I can use to help this.  I usually use make-up to cover it up, which it does nicely, but I am not a person who always wears make-up, I was curious if there was any lotions or creams that could rid me of some of this problem. 


Thank You


I was so pleased to see this appear on the show! I am 18 and I have little broken veins around my nose and have been self-concious about them for years. I wear alot of makeup to cover them up, and they do not make me feel pretty at all. I have alot of self-esteem issues and the veins don't help at all. I've tried some creams and what not to help reduce the redness of them at the least but nothing has worked. I do not have the money for any surgical procedure, and for that, I am afraid to ask my doctor about it without hearing a large price. Is there anything that will help without the huge dollar sign? Thanks!


Hi, i have noticed the small veins on my face lately too, as the lady on the show today. Just wondering also, what is good for the brown spots, on a face at such a young age of 47?. thanks. As ever, sandra


How do you know if it's Spider Angioma or Rosecea?  I was told along time ago I had rosecea.  It's not just the spider veins, but blushing.  I was told by an Opthamologist that it also effects my eyes.  I have it on one side of my neck and also at my neckline.  I try to cover it with makeup, but my neck and chest are the most difficult to cover.  I don't usually like to wear makeup.  Is there anything new on the marked that I can use?  I used to use a prescribed gel, but it didn't work all that great.


I have the spier viens on my face around my nose. I can't afford to have laser for it. Is there some other way to help it? I really need your help. I am 61 years of age. These things are ugly.


I too have red viens covering my nose and cheeks. I have had it for years and they appear to be broken blood vessels. As well I am quite red in the face but do not have Rosecea.


I have tried every cream and lotion out there - right down to using a green base under thick foundation. Nothing covers it. I find too that as my skin has more wrinkles, lines and sagging, that this issue has become worse.


I can only hope laser treatment is not the only answer. The cost here in Canada is astonishing. I am constantly embarrassed by my skin. Are there any other safe treatments? And has anyone who has commented on this segment found other remedies?


Cheers from Canada.




Do you have anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area or San Jose in whom you have confidence for the treatment of spider and varicose veins? Price is an object. What is considered a reasonable range in the San Francisco Bay Area?


Also, what are the determining factors for sclerotherapy vs. laser vs. ultra sound?


Thank you for your time.



See www.phlebology.org for accurate and up to date information


Specifically, what type of laser works?   My experience has been lasers look like they work when the patient is in the office, but when they get home, the vein is open and often looks worse.  IPL show promise on the face. Sclerotherapy is considered the gold standard ny most every vein specialist.


Richard Grisoli, MD




I've had a problem with varicose veins since college; I now stand all day at my job.  I wear compression stockings while working and am not over weight.  Is there an ideal time to have a procedure done?  Can exercise improve already problem areas or is it only a preventative treatment?  Thanks for any additional information.   


I am going to spare everyone by Medical background; it has not been good experience the last 9 years.  What I would love to discuss is the difference between the success of these vein procedures and testing for Pelvis Congestion Syndrome.  I have spoke to two women who found out they have this Medical Condition; were treated and feel like they are young again.  I did have a hyterectomy and asked that they remove my right ovary; knowing there are veins attached.  This did help with the swelling in my feet.  I have been told, by a Doctor, that when you have these vein procedure the blood just moves to another vein until that one fails.  It seems to me it will never end.  I have done a lot of research and it seems to me to the treatment needs to start where the problem initially existed.  For me, I think in my pelvic area because of the terrible birth experience I had 15 years ago.

What do you all think?  By the way, I do realize it is very difficult,for a Doctor, to diagnose an issue when a woman comes in with a pelvic issue.  A Doctor needs to make a determination when a lot of plevic medical conditions have the same symptoms.

Thank you,



It is important to make a distinction between spider veins on the legs and facial spider veins.  Facial spider veins respond well to IPL, pulsed dye laser, or Nd-YAG laser.  Leg veins do not.  Sclerotherapy with polidocanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, glycerin, or hypertonic saline are all more effective than lasers for spider veins on the legs.  With the possible exception of hypertonic saline, lasers are also more painful than the tiny needles used for sclerotherapy. Newer devices like Veinwave and VeinGogh are most useful for only the tiniest spider veins and are also more painful than injection with a 32 guage needle.  Another important factor for leg veins is that in about 50% of patients, the spider veins are just the tip of the iceberg.  They may be secondary to a much gretaer problem with the larger veins in the leg.  If this is the case, the larger veins should be treated first.  Lots of places advertise treatment of spider veins, but if you can't tell the experts from the charlatans, I would recommend checking out this site.  http://www.americanboardofphlebology.org/find_a_physician.asp

There are only 520 physicians in the U.S. who have taken the exam for board-certification in Phlebology, the sub-specialty devoted to the treatment of vein disease.  Certainly there are other physicians experienced in vein treatment but it can be difficult for a patient to determine which clinic treats veins full-time and which ones do it occasionally to boost their cash flow. The 520 physicians on this list have had to document both training and experience in not only vein diagnosis and treatment but also use of duplex ultrasound for venous disease and it's interpretation.

Peter Benson MD FAAFP

John Carter

Hi, I had laser surgery for my spider veins last year, it worked great! And as the article suggests you really should try to prevent the veins from occuring in the first place, especially if you have it in the family.

- John



I like how exercise is a preventitive measure for just about every health issue :S


Generally, legs, stomach, arms and breasts found, however, for women are highest in men than they are. Those who are more up on their job all day. Because the pool of blood in the lower body. very good information blog.. Varicose Veins Miami


I had spider veins before and I got the traitement varice here in Montreal clinic since I am living and working here in Montreal. I had a surgery few months ago and now I can already wear mini skirts and sexy dress.


I started getting varicose veins when I got pregnant with my first child. About 6 months in I started noticing them. They started giving me quite a bit of pain not long after that, so I started doing some research about how to get rid of them, and the treatment options. These days there are so many treatment options. I did not want to get surgery, so that was out of the question. I actually ran across USA Vein Clinics and noticed they had really good reviews, so I made an appointment about 3 months after giving birth. The procedure used a laser and only took about 20 minutes. I did not experience any pain at all and I did not have to have any down time which was great for me seeing I had a baby to take care of. Best of all my veins are completely gone now thanks to USA Vein Clinics. The staff and doctors were very helpful and supportive. It's been a year now and still no veins have shown back up! I would recommend them to anyone. Here is their website to check out if you are interested! usaveinclinics.com


Really this post is nice and its gave lot of knowledge about spider veins.Basically Spider veins are small-dilated veins near the surface of the skin and measure about 0.3 to 1.5 millimeters in size. They may be red, blue, purplish, or greenish in color.

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