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What are the different types of vein treatments?

While varicose veins and spider veins occur more often as you age, they can appear at any time on anyone. Up to 80 million people in the United States have leg vein problems, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Both varicose veins and spider veins typically create cosmetic issues, though varicose veins can also cause physical symptoms such as leg aches, cramping, and swelling. In some cases, varicose veins can develop into a medical problem.

Vein treatments can improve the appearance and health of your damaged veins. These minimally invasive procedures offer effective alternatives to traditional surgical vein removal. They work by sealing off damaged veins and redirecting the blood flow to healthier ones.

These treatments achieve outcomes similar to vein removal, though with benefits that include less anesthesia, less surgical risk, and less time away from normal activities.

Vein treatment requires skill and accurate precision to avoid injury to the area surrounding damaged veins. Vein treatment specialist Mark Kim, MD, RVT, RPVI, of Eterna Vein & Medical Aesthetics, in Puyallup, Washington, has the training and experience to administer several types of cutting-edge vein treatments.

Dr. Kim considers the location and condition of your veins, as well as your physical health and treatment goals, to determine the most appropriate vein treatment for you.

Varicose vein treatments

Varicose veins often develop along the insides of the legs but can be seen in other locations as well. These swollen veins can appear raised, bumpy, and purple.

Varicose veins occur with venous reflux disease, a condition in which there’s a problem with the one-way valves inside the veins that keep the blood moving up the leg toward the heart. When the valves become damaged, blood flows back down the leg and pools in the veins, causing them to twist and stretch out of shape.

The following minimally invasive vein treatments can improve varicose vein health and appearance.


  • Treats varicose veins with an adhesive that closes off the damaged vein

  • Delivers the adhesive through a catheter attached to the vein

  • Uses ultrasound guidance to deposit adhesive at specific points along the vein

  • Requires anesthetic only at the point of the catheter insertion


  • Previously known as VNUS Closure

  • Delivers radiofrequency heat through a catheter positioned into your vein

  • Causes the vein to collapse, seal shut, and shrink

  • Uses local or regional anesthesia


  • Delivers FDA-approved microfoam through a catheter or by direct injection into the damaged vein

  • Microfoam fills and expands in the targeted section of the vein

  • Causes the vein to collapse and seal shut

  • Microfoam disperses after the procedure upon contact with healthy blood

  • Uses anesthetic only at the injection site

Spider vein treatments

Spider veins are usually red, blue, or purple, and smaller than varicose veins. Their appearance looks like tree branches or spider webs. You can see spider veins under the skin, but they don’t bulge out like varicose veins.

While they rarely cause the same types of physical symptoms associated with varicose veins, spider veins typically present embarrassing cosmetic issues. The following minimally invasive treatments can improve the appearance of spider veins.


  • Uses a procedure called sclerotherapy

  • FDA-approved injection causes spider veins to collapse and seal

  • Treats uncomplicated very small varicose veins

  • Effective for reducing the appearance of both facial and hand veins


  • Employs a procedure called thermocoagulation

  • Uses a thin needle to deliver a controlled dose of radio frequency energy from a generator device

  • Closes the damaged vein with heat from the radio frequency energy

  • Effective for treating facial spider veins

Laser sclerotherapy

  • Also known as laser vein therapy

  • Directs a targeted beam of light to irritate the walls of a damaged vein, causing the walls to collapse

  • Uses topical anesthetic

  • Effective for treating facial spider veins and veins too small for injections

Find out how vein treatments can improve the health and appearance of your damaged veins. Book an appointment online or call our office to schedule a vein screening.


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