Does Light Therapy Help With Spider Veins?

The appearance of blue, red or purple veins around the legs may not be a serious health concern but for many people with spider veins, this condition can cause them to be highly self-conscious.

Treatments such as red light therapy have been developed to alleviate the appearance of spider veins.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small red or blue veins characterized by a spider web or tree branch look that are visible on the skin surface. These veins usually form on the legs, calves, things, and face too. It is common for some pregnant women to have spider veins around their backside.

Did you know celebrities have spider veins too?

This condition can be caused by damage to or weakening of the vein valves. Veins, which carry blood from the body to the heart, have valves that keep blood from flowing backward. If these valves are weakened or damaged, blood can follow back to the veins where it collects. Veins can become varicose if this back flowing blood causes bulging.

In addition to blood backflow, injuries, sun exposure, and hormonal changes can cause spider veins too.

What Causes Spider Veins?

Other factors that can increase a person's risk of developing spider veins include:

  • Age:
    Veins may become weak as you get older.
  • Genetics:
    Some people are born with weak valves. Spider veins can also be passed on from one family member to another.
  • Obesity:
    Excessive weight can damage or weaken your veins due to the extra pressure put on them.
  • Sedentary lifestyle:
    Your heart may need to work harder if you typically stand or sit for long periods of time without any movement.

Does Light Therapy Help With Spider Veins?

For a lot of people, having visibly red or blue veins on their legs or face can have a huge impact on their professional and personal lives.

Sclerotherapy is commonly used to treat spider veins. This method works by using a sclerant that helps to close damaged or weak veins so that they are no longer visible through the skin.

Light therapies are typically recommended as an alternative to sclerotherapy. Light therapy entails exposing the vein to heat in an effort to seal it and prevent blood flow, therefore making the veins invisible.

Depending on your situation, your physician may see it fit to combine sclerotherapy with light or laser therapy to completely get rid of the spider veins.

Also, depending on the severity of the spider veins, treatment with light therapy may take a while before you can see significant results. Your physician may use a variety of laser treatment options such as YAG lasers, diode, alexandrite and more. Different light therapy devices of varying intensity may also be used.

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How Light Therapy for Spider Veins Works

In light therapy, a handheld device delivering energy in pulses is exposed to the affected area. The veins and blood absorb the light energy which results in blood clotting. The clotted blood is absorbed into the body causing the spider veins to become less visible.

In some cases, an exact amount of light energy is delivered to ensure that it reaches the affected blood vessels.

If your spider veins are painful before or during the light therapy treatment, a topical anesthetic is applied to the affected area to ease the pain. It is common to experience a tingling feel during the treatment.


Light therapy may deliver significant results (when used over a period of time) in the treatment of spider veins. Varicose veins may need other types of treatment to completely eliminate the appearance of swollen veins on the skin surface.

It is recommended that you consult with a medical professional before using light therapy to treat spider veins. In some cases, a combination of sclerotherapy and light therapy may be necessary to effectively treat spider veins.