Veins got darker after laser treatment

I received a laser treatment to get rid of some of my spider veins. It's been three weeks and I've noticed that they just got darker! Does this mean it isn't working or it is?

Doctor Answers 5

Venasmart compression after sclerotherapy

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If the veins do not resolve, then you may need a session of sclerotherapy to further eliminate the abnormal veins in your legs. Make sure to wear Venasmart compression stockings after the treatment. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Discoloration after cosmetic laser vein procedures

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This is a common finding after sclerotherapy or laser and I remind patients that "it will look worse before it gets better". Wear compression stockings for at least 2 weeks and up to 3 months and also use some adjunctive topicals like Melaquin or Scleroquin which you can purchase online. 

Vein Treatment

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Modern vein treatments involving closing affected veins and allowing them to absorb into the body through natural processes. It sounds like your treatment is working, though some veins require multiple treatments to remove. You should consult with your doctor about your concerns, but remember to be patient; the full results of your treatment will take longer to become apparent.

Eric Seiger, DO
Fenton Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Darkened veins

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Whether from laser or sclerotherapy, when a vein is closed a small amount of blood remains trapped in the vein, causing it to appear darker.  I warn all of my patients that the vein may appear darker and can even feel hard and lumpy after treatment but this should fade away in a 6-8 weeks.  If the vein does not appear to be lightening over time then you should have the area looked at again.

Lisa Perez, MD
Atlanta Physician

Laser treatment of spider veins

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Without knowing more information, like the type of laser used and the size, color and location of the veins treated, it is hard to say for sure, but I have a couple of comments:It often takes more than one treatment to get rid of spider veins (depending on the size and color).  I tell my patients to expect to need 2-3 treatments 4-6 weeks apart.The laser acts by targeting the 'color' in the veins and heats that area selectively.  It takes 4-6 weeks to see a final result from a single treatment as the area recovers from that very localized 'burn.'  The darkening you see may mean that the tiny veins have closed with a little blood trapped inside and it should fade over the next few weeks as the veins close completely.

Suzan McGary, MD
Williamsport Thoracic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.