Everyone knows what spider veins are—those tiny, visible purplish-red veins that look like spider webs beneath the skin. No one likes to see them pop up, but unfortunately, the problem is quite common, especially among women and older people. The most common places for spider veins to appear are the legs and the face, and in many cases, they won’t go away on their own. But do you know why we get those pesky veins?
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins, and their close relative, varicose veins, are formed by dilated blood vessels, caused by weak and damaged valves in the veins responding to increased pressure. Spider veins are very small, superficial veins, while varicose veins are typically raised, twisted, blueish, and uncomfortable. Both problems are extremely common, and while they are generally no cause for medical concern, they can be very unsightly, causing self-consciousness among people who have them.
What Causes Spider Veins?
In many cases, the problem is simply hereditary. Spider veins often begin to appear during middle age, and patients can often trace the problem back on their family tree. Spider veins are also more common in people of certain professions that require a lot of standing, such as nursing, teaching, or factory work. Changes in hormones or weight often trigger spider veins in older people and pregnant women.
Are There Treatments Available?
Fortunately, there are effective methods available for treating spider veins and varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is a simple procedure that involves using a fine needle to inject a special solution that makes the vein turn white and disappear over a period of time. Very little recovery is necessary, though compression stockings must be worn following each treatment. This process typically takes at least two treatments, spaced a few weeks apart. Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment, but is often combined with YAG laser treatments for even better results. The laser targets and destroys the unwanted blood vessels, which are then absorbed by the body. Patients should be aware, however, that neither sclerotherapy nor laser treatments can prevent more spider veins from forming in the future.
Large varicose veins will typically not respond well to sclerotherapy, and may need to be addressed surgically for satisfactory improvement.
Can You Prevent Spider Veins?
Unfortunately, the hereditary aspects of spider veins can make them difficult to treat. That doesn’t mean there’s no use in trying, however. There are some steps you can take to help reduce the amount of spider veins that appear. You might try:
- Wearing support stockings
- Avoiding sitting or standing in the same position for more than 30 minutes
- Maintaining a healthy, low-salt diet
- Elevating your legs as much as possible
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding crossing your legs for long periods of time
Finding a Knowledgeable Provider
If you’d like to find a solution to your spider vein problems, then you’ll need to find a knowledgeable plastic surgeon to help you. You will want to go to a board certified expert, who can guide you through the process and help you determine which treatment will work best for your needs.
Dr. Haitham Masri at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery is highly skilled and experience, boasting decades of experience and attention to patients’ individual needs. If you would like to discuss your options for spider and varicose vein treatments, call us today at 866-487-3223 to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our experts.