Light Relief

Look to laser therapy or IPL to treat spider veins

Article by Maggie Staszcuk
This article appears in the September | October 2020 issue of ASCP Skin Deep magazine

Often just a cosmetic issue, unsightly spider veins are one of the most common cosmetic complaints among adults. Also known as telangiectasia, this red or purple web of veins can show up anywhere on the body, including the face. However, the lower body is most often affected, and nine out of 10 women over the age of 25 have some form of visible leg veins.1 


Spider veins are simply enlarged veins that become dilated due to increased pressure. Blood pools in the veins and causes them to push up to the surface of the skin.2 These enlarged veins can develop or become worsened by prolonged sitting, standing, and even from pregnancy. However, genetics is the most important factor in developing spider veins. According to Alison Tam, MD, “Millions of women work on their feet or sit at desk jobs, but they do not develop spider veins; millions of women get pregnant and do not develop spider veins; millions of women gain weight or have venous disease in their legs, but do not develop spider veins. It is the interplay of genetics, environment, and how you care for yourself that dictates whether you develop spider veins, at what rate, and what age they appear.”


There are many ways to treat and cover up the look of spider veins, from DIY cosmetic camouflage products to outpatient surgeries, depending on the severity of the bulging veins. Sclerotherapy is still considered the gold standard for treating large, bulging veins on the body, but for treating clients with small, superficial spider veins (both on the face and the body), laser therapy or intense pulsed light (IPL) are the best choices. Diode lasers with varying wavelengths between 532 and 1,064 nanometers can be set to any diameter to target pigment in the veins, cause coagulation, and destroy them. The treated veins will darken for several weeks and then vanish entirely as the body reabsorbs the blood cells.4 Side effects of laser therapy include erythema or redness, crusting, swelling, and blistering if the laser is not set to the correct parameters.5

Read more about laser light therapy and its affect on spider veins!


ASCP Skin Deep magazine

The award-winning ASCP Skin Deep magazine is the premier estheticians' source for the latest trends, techniques, products, and news from the biggest names in the industry. In this issue:
     • Devices Worth the Money: A deep dive into the latest esthetic treatment devices
     • Peels for Darker SkinsPeeling darker skin tones can result in a healthy glowing complexion... as long as special considerations are made
     • Body Exfoliation Protocols: Renew your clients (and your business) with stress-reducing body exfoliation treatments


Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance for laser therapy protects you in case a client sues. ASCP members have access to optional Advanced Modality Insurance coverage for spider vein removal and other advanced modalities like body contouring and radio frequency services. More information about advanced modality coverage that protects you and your esthetics practice, including the steps for applying, is available at Pricing for spider vein removal insurance ranges from $1,161 to $1,403 for the year, and you can bundle that coverage with other advanced modalities to save more.



  1. Liz Ritter, “Why Some People Get Spider Veins and Others Don’t,” NewBeauty, February 26, 2016, accessed August 2020
  2. Danielle Fontana Dooley, “4 Expert-Approved Ways to Handle Visible Leg Veins,” NewBeauty, August 21, 2018, accessed August 2020
  3. Liz Ritter, “Why Some People Get Spider Veins and Others Don’t.”
  4. Danielle Fontana Dooley, “4 Expert-Approved Ways to Handle Visible Leg Veins.”
  5. Luis C. U. Nakano et al., “Treatment for Telangiectasias and Reticular Veins,” Cochrane Database System Review 2017, no. 7 (July 2017): CD012723

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