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Spider veins are found in almost 50% of the adult population. With such a large impacted group, it is not surprising that many with spider veins choose to undergo treatment to reduce or remove their appearance on the skin. Here is a basic outline of what spider veins are, what treatment options exist for those who want to get rid of them, recovery periods following potential treatment and more.  

What are spider veins?

Spider veins, also known as “thread veins” or telangiectasias, are small veins visible through the skin. While varicose veins may jut out from the skin, spider veins are often flush, only distinguished by the spider web-like red, purple, and/or blue lines they make on the skin’s surface. They are most frequently found on the legs and face and are largely asymptomatic, meaning they don’t cause significant pain or discomfort.  

What is cosmetic spider vein treatment?

Cosmetic spider vein treatment encompasses a range of treatments used to minimize or completely remove spider veins. One treatment involves injecting an FDA-approved medication called polidocanol or sotradecol into the vein, which causes the vein to disappear after repeated injections. This brief procedure does not require anesthesia, and most patients see results in just two or three treatments.  Numerous options exist for those interested in cosmetic spider vein treatment, including Varithena and treatment through the use of medical adhesive technology like the VenaSeal procedure. A comprehensive list of cosmetic spider vein treatments, including their side effects, recovery time and more, can be found here.  

Is it possible to treat spider veins at home?

In short, no. Spider veins take time to develop, and getting rid of them isn’t as easy as applying a topical cream. If spider veins are causing pain, there is the potential for certain at-home treatments to bring about temporary relief. For example, soaking your legs in cold water or applying an ice pack to the area experiencing issues has a naturally anti-inflammatory effect. Similarly, a correctly-sized dosage of ibuprofen can do wonders for aches and pains stemming from spider veins. In researching this piece, we found stories from across the internet claiming essential oils and apple cider vinegar can be used to treat spider and varicose veins. This is absolutely untrue, and using these items in this way can actually harm more than it helps; for example, a topical application of undiluted apple cider vinegar can severely irritate the skin. For real relief, stick to ice.  

What is the recovery period for cosmetic spider vein treatment?

Recovery time following cosmetic spider vein treatment is often incredibly fast, lasting from a few hours to two or three days depending on the procedure. In some cases, such as following treatment with polidocanol, you might be required to wear compression stockings for 24 hours, followed by another few days of wearing compression stockings only during daylight hours. In other cases, such as following a VenaSeal treatment, no compression stockings must be worn.  No matter what procedure is undergone, discomfort is only brief, and those treated can frequently return to work the next day or even the same day. Minor bruising may form, but it will dissipate within a few weeks. This is a broad overview; to get a better idea of the full recovery period, contact a physician.  

Is cosmetic spider vein treatment covered by insurance?

Depending on the nature of the spider veins and which treatment is required, your spider vein treatment might be covered under insurance. For example, the aforementioned VenaSeal procedure is currently covered by Medicare and may be covered by private insurance. However, as most spider vein treatment is cosmetic, they are thus not covered by private insurance.  


While these are some options for those who already have spider veins, it’s important to remember that both spider and varicose veins can be prevented. However, if they’ve already made their way to the surface or just below the surface of the skin, treatment is both possible and easy. As experts in the field of vein treatment, we’ve developed a free virtual vein consultation for those interested in treating their cosmetic spider veins. Use our simple tool to find out which procedure might be perfect for you, and feel free to reach out to us if you are considering treatment or have any questions.