These broken, dilated capillary veins just below the surface of the skin on your legs or face show up as fine blue, red, or purplish lines, most often in a tree-branch or weblike pattern. They're usually hereditary — and pregnancy, weight gain, and aging can also make you more susceptible.
One option is a procedure called sclerotherapy: Your doctor uses a fine needle to inject a solution into spider veins, causing the walls to collapse, release the blood, and close. A newer, faster, and less painful alternative: laser treatment. This can be more expensive, however, and many experts say it's not as effective as sclerotherapy. Both procedures require multiple sessions to banish spider veins and are not covered by insurance. Expect to pay between $300 and $400 for a sclerotherapy session and $300 or more per laser treatment.
Originally published on: May 1, 2008