A new year is upon us, and with it comes an ever-popular new year's resolution- to look and feel our best in 2015. But for some, even the most successful diet and exercise plans won't bring the confidence to wear shorts this summer. Why? Spider veins. We've all seen them, whether on our own legs or those of our friends and family. They are blue or purple networks of fine veins just under the skin, often in a web-like pattern. Spider veins can be embarrassing to have, marring the appearance of our legs and making us self-conscious, holding us back from wearing the shorts or skirts we'd like to in the warmer months. The good news is our body doesn't need those unsightly spider veins for blood flow, so we can get rid of them! The bad news is treating spider veins can be a tricky and lengthy process. The goal of treatment is to get the vein to close down, but some spider veins are resistant any may require more than one treatment before closing down successfully. Compression stockings are often recommended after spider vein treatment to aid in the closing process. We also can't stop our bodies from forming new spider veins, even after existing ones are treated effectively. One way to treat spider veins is with heat. Laser treatment uses a focused light beam to direct heat at the spider vein. Radiofrequency treatment uses a focused electrical current to deliver heat specifically to the spider vein. In both cases, the heat administered will damage the spider vein, causing it to close down. Another treatment option is cosmetic sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is the act of injecting a solution directly into the spider vein. This is the only method used at The Vein Institute, as we have found it to be most successful and deemed the gold standard for treatment of spider veins. Instead of being closed by heat, the vein is closed by the injected solution. Some practices inject saline only. The Vein Institute uses a mixture of saline and a chemical irritant. The solution damages the vein from the inside out, causing it to close. While both treatment options have the same goal of damaging the spider vein so it closes down, you should speak with your doctor or a dedicated vein specialist about the treatment option that is right for you. Treating spider veins can be an ongoing process, as the body may create more. Full results also take time to realize, because our bodies need time to close the spider veins down completely. A treatment's effectiveness takes an average of three months to see. However, the results can be dramatic and give patients the confidence boost they need to bare their legs, making it much worth the wait. No matter what your resolution is, here's to a happy and healthy new year! View our Before & After Photo Gallery