Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT AREAS OF THE BODY CAN BE TREATED?
All parts of the body can be treated with the Cutera XEO CoolGlide™ laser.*
WHAT IS THE COST OF LASER SPIDER VEIN TREATMENT?
Cost may vary depending on the density of veins and size of area. However, as an estimate, you may expect
$199 per treatment area. Consultations are free and you will receive a firm cost during your consultation at
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
It depends on:
desired degree of blood vessel reduction
The area being treated
Medications, (prednisone can increase superficial blood
Typically, one or three treatments are needed for significant improvement of spider veins
Treatment can be done every 6 weeks on the face, and every 2-3 months on the legs. Cherry
(red dots on the body) usually only require one or two treatments.*
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR REMOVAL OF UNWANTED, UNSIGHTLY SPIDER VEINS WITH
The unique design of the CoolGlide™ laser, and the long wavelength, allows treatment of people with all skin
colors. A smaller number of treatments are needed when the skin is light colored. We do not treat patients
with a fresh suntan.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK MYSELF WHEN CONSIDERING LASER SPIDER VEIN
HOW MUCH ARE YOU EMBARRASSED BY UNWANTED SPIDER VEINS?
HOW MUCH ARE YOU BOTHERED BY THE TIME YOU SPEND CONCEALING
YOUR UNWANTED BLOOD VESSELS?
Do your unwanted blood vessels (for example, on you
legs) inhibit your choice of clothing or limit the activities that you engage in (for example, swimming)?
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON TREATMENT DAY*?
Other than your regular skin care routine, there is no standard preparation for this procedure. There are no
restrictions on what you may eat or drink prior to your appointment. Many people like to take 2 - 3 Advil
(200mg. tablets) to prevent or reduce discomfort.
Please shave the areas to be treated before you come in for treatment. Excess dark hair above the surface of
the skin absorbs and wastes laser energy, and reduces the amount of energy that reaches the undesired blood
vessels. Excess hair above the surface of the skin also increases the chance of burning or irritating the
When you come for treatment, it is important not to wear any makeup over the area being treated because
makeup can absorb laser energy. This could interfere with treatment, or even cause overheating of the skin
surface and blistering. Makeup can be re-applied immediately after Cutera CoolGlide™ laser
After all of your last minute questions have been answered and paperwork handled, the areas you wish to have
treated will be cleansed and pre treatment photos may be taken. Everyone in the treatment room must wear
protective goggles when the laser is turned on. The length of the procedure itself can range from a few
minutes for a few spider veins to an hour or more for very extensive blood vessels on the thighs and lower
WHAT IS THE LASER TREATMENT PROCEDURE?
Immediately before the laser is used on an area, a thin coat of clear gel is lightly smoothed over the skin,
and then the laser pulses are quickly and evenly applied to the unwanted spider veins. The cooling head of
the CoolGlide Excel may be applied to the skin immediately before and after each pulse of the laser, to
further protect your skin and prevent or reduce any discomfort.
DOES IT HURT?
The laser emits only light. You may feel a tingling or snapping sensation like a rubber band. There is no
bleeding and no open wound is created. Some people find the FIRST laser treatment more uncomfortable than
subsequent treatments. Maybe this is because there are more blood vessels which are destroyed during the
first treatment; and perhaps also because some people are more apprehensive during the first treatment,
because they are not sure of what to expect.
While some areas of the body like the nose are more sensitive than others, many patients report little or no
discomfort. If there is unusual discomfort, please let us know so that we can apply more cooling or adjust
the settings on the laser.
Most people find it helpful to simply take two or three Advil (200mg tablets), 2 hours before coming in for
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER TREATMENT OF SPIDER VEINS WITH LASER*?
Redness often has faded greatly by the next day. It would not be uncommon for the skin to be slightly drier
that evening and to require more moisturizing cream.
The treated veins, in particular on the legs, may appear slightly more obvious or a bit darker for the next
week or two, but this is seldom a major cosmetic problem. Occasionally on the legs, less frequently on the
face, there can be isolated superficial bruising which generally is a nuisance and resolves within a week or
two on the face, or several weeks on the legs without needing any treatment.
WHY DO THE BLOOD VESSELS SOMETIMES LOOK MORE OBVIOUS FOR SEVERAL WEEKS AFTER
After the blood vessels are treated with laser energy, they sometimes swell up slightly, and the body moves
in to begin the job of removing the treated vessels.
Sometimes portions of the vessels will seal off immediately, and a bit of blood stays behind in the treated
vessels, causing temporary red or purple coloration. If this happens, the blood in the vessels is usually
reabsorbed along with the vessels themselves by the body over a period of several weeks to a couple of
months on the legs, without needing any additional treatment.
Because the CoolGlide™ laser can produce a longer, gentler pulse there is much less chance of bruising
compared to treatment with first and second generation lasers. Patients who have previously been treated
with dye lasers are always impressed by the fact that they look good immediately after CoolGlide™ treatment,
with little or no discoloration of the skin.
Are there any restrictions on my activity after treatment of spider veins with
Since the laser does not burn or cut the skin in any way, no bandages are necessary. You can return to work
the same day and resume all your regular activities. To reduce the chance of uneven tanning in the treated
area, you should minimize sun exposure and tanning for a week or two after treatments.
Consultations about Cutera CoolGlide laser removal of hair and spider veins can usually be arranged within a
few days simply by calling 718-313-0094. Treatment can usually be done on the same day as the
- Please try to minimize tanning and self-tanning creams for a week or two before treatment. A fresh tan
can interfere a bit with the effectiveness of the CoolGlide Laser treatment, though this is less of a
problem than with older, short wavelength lasers.
- Please do not wear makeup on the areas to be treated. Makeup absorbs laser energy, and less energy
reach your unwanted blood vessels. Blistering may also occur.
- Please shave the areas to be treated the day before treatment or on the morning of treatment. Excess
hair above the surface of the skin absorbs and wastes laser energy, and reduces the amount of energy
reaches the unwanted blood vessels where it is really needed. Excess hair above the surface of the skin
also increases the chance of burning or irritating the skin.
- Some people find it helpful to take 2-3 Advil, (200mg. tablets), 2 hours before coming in for
- Redness often has faded within a day or two. It would not be uncommon for the skin to be slightly
that evening and to require more of your favorite moisturizer. The treated spider veins may appear
slightly more obvious for the next week or two, but this is seldom a cosmetic problem.
- Try to avoid tanning for two weeks after treatment, because occasionally the tan could be somewhat
irregular (lighter and/or darker in the treated areas.) If you plan to be exposed to sun use SPF25 or
higher sun block.
- You do not need to purchase support stockings or special creams, and there is no special routine for
- Blistering or scaling after Cutera CoolGlide™ laser removal of blood vessels is very rare, but usually
resolve over a few days or a week with a bit of Polysporin several times a day. Please call us if this
happens, or if you have any other problems or questions.
CAN I BE TREATED IF I’M PREGNANT?
Treatment is not recommended during pregnancy or while the mother is breast-feeding.
ONCE TREATED, WILL&NBSP;MY&NBSP;VEINS REAPPEAR?
We cannot treat your predisposition to develop varicose or spider veins, so new veins may reappear in the
same area or in other areas within next few years. Usually a touch-up treatment to remove new veins will be
needed every 1-3 years.*
WILL MY INSURANCE REIMBURSE ME?
Spider, reticular veins and telangiectasias are considered cosmetic problems and are not covered by most of
the medical insurances.
WHAT CAUSES SPIDER & VARICOSE VEINS?
Heredity, or genetic predisposition to weak vein walls and vein valves, is the main reason why varicose and
spider veins develop. This means that there is a 60-80% chance that someone in your family already has vein
problems. There are also contributing factors that can accelerate the progression of the disease, including
pregnancy, birth control pills, lack of exercise, prolonged sitting or standing, and even obesity. The aging
process increases the likelihood of varicose and spider veins.
*Results can vary based on individual conditions