There are different medical specialists that treat veins. The most qualified tend to be vascular surgeons because they specialize in the entire circulatory system of veins and arteries. There are also phlebologists who focus only on the venous system. However, searching the Internet for varicose vein treatment or spider vein treatment often produces results or adds by other types of providers like med spas or dermatologists. Dermatologists are specialists that focus on disease and treatment of the skin. But are they qualified to treat your veins underneath the skin like spider veins and varicose veins?
Can dermatologists treat spider veins?
The most common treatment dermatologists perform is sclerotherapy to remove spider veins. Sclerotherapy is a very safe procedure that uses small injections to target the networks of small veins close to the surface of the skin. Another treatment common to dermatologists is laser treatment which uses laser to close the smallest of spider veins without destroying the skin. Both treatments are very safe and well within the expertise and training for a dermatologist. In fact, a dermatologist who has many years of experience treating spider veins can become quite good. So yes, for spider vein treatment, a dermatologist can be a good and qualified option.
However, it is important to understand that spider veins can often be a sign of a more serious underlying condition called venous insufficiency. Spider veins will typically come back if the underlying condition is not treated. Be sure to choose a dermatologist who can perform a full evaluation and and an ultrasound to rule out the possibility of your spider veins being caused by venous insufficiency.
Can dermatologists treat varicose veins
Varicose veins are a more complicated disease that involves different networks of veins called reticular veins, superficial veins, perforator veins, and deep veins. Treatment requires mapping the patient’s unique vascular structure using ultrasound and choosing the best treatment for their condition. These include treatments like ablation or cyanoacrylate whatever as well as ambulatory phlebectomy and vein ligation. These procedures effectively remove diseased veins and redirect blood flow to healthy veins. They can usually be performed in the office but in some cases need to be taken to the operating room or outpatient facility. Dermatologists may be limited in this regard and special care should be taken to ensure the provider proper training, experience, has hospital admitting privileges, and is not limited to only one treatment option.
Is there an advantage to choosing one type of specialist?
Vascular surgeons specialize in all conditions of the vascular system which include arteries and veins. Their life’s work is treating conditions like aneurysms, varicose veins, spider veins, and arterial disease. The most basic case of varicose veins (and even spider veins) may be harmless, but in some cases, there are more dangerous underlying conditions. While a dermatologist can be a good option to treat cosmetic spider veins, for other vascular conditions, it is probably better to seek treatment by a physician who specializes in varicose veins.