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Blue light therapy is a popular alternative treatment for spider and varicose veins. But does it actually work?

How was it discovered?

In 1995 NASA  accidentally stumbled upon the idea that light therapy could help speed healing and be an effective treatment for ailments and the concept of blue light therapy was born. They discovered this whilst conducting experiments on light sources for promoting plant growth in uninhabitable environments.

How does it work?

NASA discovered that at certain wavelengths light penetrates the skin and gives the cells a boost.  This encourages rejuvenation through increased blood flow, collagen stimulation, and much more.
Light therapy isolates these waves from the light spectrum and shines them onto the part of the body being treated. This is particularly effective for conditions that are close to the surface of the skin such as spider veins.

Spider veins v Varicose veins

Spider veins are veins that have become widened and appear as thin, red lines of web-like clusters. They are most common on the face and legs, which if left untreated in certain areas can lead to varicose veins.

Varicose veins are swollen blood vessels that appear just under the surface of the skin in the lower part of your body, especially the legs. Symptoms include visible misshapen veins, pain, swelling, and heaviness.

Blue light therapy for veins

Modern day blue light therapy uses low-wavelength blue-colored light with a combination of heat to help stimulate the skin tissues, leading to improved skin elasticity and tone. This treatment boosts blood circulation and improves the appearance, texture, and tone of the skin.
Over time, the light reduces swelling and blood build-up with the aim of eliminating the veins completely.

Blue light therapy is not an invasive treatment therefore a medical professional doesn’t need to administer it. Spas can offer this treatment and there are also devices sold for home use.

Does it work?

Reviews and feedback from various sources differ, however, there does appear to be some evidence of positive results for treating spider veins on the face and feet only. Although you may need several sessions to achieve clear results.

The general consensus is that blue light therapy should not be used to treat varicose veins and these should only be addressed by a board-certified vein specialist. Treatments such as Sclerotherapy targets the diseased vein beneath the surface of the skin and can only be performed by a suitably qualified Doctor or Physician.