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 StudioMD.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR REMOVAL OF UNWANTED, UNSIGHTLY SPIDER VEINS WITH LASER?
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.
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 skin.
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 treatment.
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 legs.
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 treatment.
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 TREATMENT?*
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 LASER?
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 consultation.
WHICH ARE THE PRE-TREATMEMT INSTRUCTIONS?
- 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 will 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 that 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 treatment.
WHAT ARE THE POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS?
- Redness often has faded within a day or two. It would not be uncommon for the skin to be slightly drier 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 you to follow.
- 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 MY 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 AND 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