Spider veins are small, blue or purple blood vessels that you can see through your skin. They usually appear on the legs or on the face, and they often look like they twist or turn under the skin. This condition is similar to varicose veins, but the veins are usually smaller and don’t protrude out from the skin.
The veins and blood vessels on the legs have valves that help to push blood toward the heart. If these valves weaken, blood can flow backward and pool in the vein, which creates the twisting blue or purple appearance under the skin. If you have a job where you’re on your feet all day or where you sit all day, there’s a good chance you’ll develop spider veins.
Genetics is another major cause of this vein condition. Some people are born with weaker valves in their veins, so they may experience vein issues from a young age. Women are also more likely to develop the condition than men, and the condition becomes more common with age.
Many people with a spider vein problem don’t experience any pain or discomfort, but some people may feel itching, burning, or tingling in the legs. Even if you don’t feel pain, it’s normal to want to get rid of spider or varicose veins because of how visible they are. Fortunately, there are several different treatment options available.
Spider Vein Treatments
Sclerotherapy is one of the most popular spider vein treatments. It has been used since the 1930s and is quick, safe, and easy. After the procedure, about 60 or 70 percent of the treated veins will disappear completely, and another 25 or 30 percent will fade.
During the treatment, your doctor will inject a solution called a sclerosant into the veins. This solution causes them to shrink up and stick together, which makes them much less visible. The number of injections you need will depend on how many veins you want to treat. At Advanced Vein and Laser Center, the doctors use the VeinViewer, an image guidance device, to make the procedure as fast as possible.
You should experience very little pain during the procedure, although you might feel some stinging during the injections. After your procedure, you should wrap your leg with a compression wrap for at least three days. You can visit your doctor again after two or three weeks to check the veins and make sure the procedure was successful. It usually takes a month or two to see the full results of the treatment.
Some side effects are normal with Sclerotherapy. If you had a larger spider vein or a varicose vein treated, the vein may become hardened or feel lumpy for a few months. This will eventually dissolve, though. You also may notice bruising or redness around the injection sites, but they should also disappear over time.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy is one of the other common spider vein treatments. During the procedure, your doctor will make tiny incisions over the spider veins, inject local anesthesia into the area, and surgically remove the veins. This treatment is minimally invasive and requires little downtime for recovery. You will have to wear compression wraps or stockings for a few weeks, but you should be able to return to most activities in just a day.
If you are a victim of spider veins, request your Vein Consultation with AVLC today. During your consultation, our vein specialists will meet with you to review your condition and the best spider vein treatment options for you. They can answer any questions you have about the condition and treatment processes.