What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are small networks of unsightly blood vessels visible just below the skin’s surface. In addition to being unattractive, spider veins can cause bothersome itching and burning. If you have spider veins, it makes a lot of sense for you to look for help getting rid of them. Like other varicose vein disorders, they don’t just “go away” or spontaneously improve. They get worse. We use sclerotherapy to effectively treat spider veins. The in-office procedure doesn’t require anesthesia. Sessions may be scheduled for 30 or 60 minutes. Patients are often self-conscious of their spider veins and hide them with makeup or thick stockings. Many just keep their legs covered all the time. Even in our South Carolina summer heat, they avoid wearing skirts, shorts, and bathing suits.
Causes Of And Risk Factors
Spider veins form due to a backflow of blood in one’s veins. As a result of damaged valves in the veins, this condition is known as “venous reflux.” The walls in these veins begin to distend as blood starts to collect. This causes the veins to grow in size and become visible under the skin’s surface. The development of spider veins may be due to:
- Hormonal changes
- Increasing age
- Sun exposure
- Lack of exercise
- Family history of spider veins
Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
While spider veins are a result of the same vascular malfunction as varicose veins, they are much less serious. When a vein becomes varicose, this means that the walls of the vein have thinned and blood has begun to pool. This results in the appearance of dark, palpable cords on the skin’s surface.
Are Spider Veins Curable?
We have no cure for spider veins but we can control them. Our most satisfied patients, like the one shown here (see below), are those who allow us to get their legs clear of unsightly spider veins and keep them clear with periodic “touch up” visits.
What is Venous Reflux?
Spider veins may be a sign of a more serious condition called Venous Reflex. We, therefore, perform an evaluation for Venous Reflux before recommending cosmetic sclerotherapy. Patients with venous reflux are usually more symptomatic and may require more invasive vein treatments to achieve their goals.
What about Laser Treatments?
Like most “vein specialists, we treat spider veins with sclerotherapy rather than laser for three reasons:
- Laser treatments hurt more
- Laser Treatments cost more
- Sclerotherapy works better