More than 40 million people in the U.S. have them. You may have noticed them on your own body— or maybe on someone else’s.
Those purple-blue roadmaps that appear just under the skin that look like spider webs? Those are spider veins.
Spider veins occur in 30% of American women and 40% of American men. Usually, they are only a cosmetic problem, but sometimes they are a sign of abnormal underlying veins.
Getting them checked out at your annual physical is always a good idea. Most of the time, they won’t cause any harm. However, if the sight of them is keeping you from enjoying your life, here’s some excellent news! You can have them removed!
Want to know more about spider veins and treatment options? Read on! We’ve got answers to all of your burning questions!
What Are Spider Veins?
These small, damaged veins appear on the surface of the legs or face. They may have been around long before you noticed them if they are on the backs of your legs or somewhere else you don’t see very often because they usually cause no pain.
They can look like:
And they come in a range of colors, including:
You may also have heard them referred to as thread veins.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Feeder veins with poorly working valves cause spider veins. Typically, your veins move blood back toward your heart, but if a vein’s valves aren’t working properly, the blood will flow backward instead.
When blood flows in the wrong direction, it creates pools and dead-end veins. These pools and veins present as spider veins.
Where Can I Expect Them to Show up on My Body?
Spider veins are usually found on the face and legs. Occasionally, you may also find them on your chest or hands.
What Causes Spider Veins?
As far as researchers can tell, spider veins have several leading causes.
- Long periods of sitting or standing
- Radiation therapy or sun damage
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormone Treatments
- Excessive pressure in the face caused by coughing, sneezing, or vomiting
How Do I Prevent Spider Veins?
Excellent news! There are plenty of ways that you can prevent new spider veins from appearing or stop existing ones from getting worse.
Here are the top preventions.
- Wear sunscreen and use protective clothing when outdoors.
- Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the veins and keep blood flowing.
- Wear compression stockings.
- Keep moving and avoid sitting or standing for extended periods without taking a break.
- Avoid clothing that is too tight around the waist, legs, or pelvis.
- Avoid overusing hot tubs and saunas.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Exercise regularly to improve circulation and prevent blood from pooling in the legs.
- Elevate the legs to prevent blood from pooling downward in the legs.
- See a dermatologist to treat underlying conditions.
- Use make-up or self-tanning products to mask or minimize unsightly spider veins.
Are Spider Veins Harmful?
Spider veins may cause some discomfort, but they are usually not harmful or dangerous. Most people who choose to have then removed do so because they are unhappy with how they look.
I Hate How These Look. How Do I Get Rid of Spider Veins?
If covering the veins with make-up isn’t your style, you have a variety of options to get rid of them. Some of these options are used on their own, while some may also be combined to achieve optimal results.
Laser therapy is perfect for getting rid of small varicose veins. This in-office treatment involves a non-invasive procedure that uses long-wavelength light to eliminate spider veins.
After the pulsation of light energy destroys the affected vein, the body absorbs it and redirects the blood to other veins. Laser therapy is:
- Virtually painless
- Requires no injections
- Causes no bruising
This in-office treatment is also non-invasive. We will inject a solution into the damaged vein, which will cause blood flow to cease.
The cease of blood flow causes the vein to collapse, and the body then absorbs the vein. This quick and painless therapy removes unsightly veins, relieves any symptoms you may be experiencing, and leaves no scarring.
Sclerotherapy does have a few minor side effects that will resolve within a couple of weeks of treatment:
- Swelling at the injection site
- Swollen feet or ankles
- General discomfort
Is Surgery an Option?
Surgery is not a viable option, as they are so tiny surgery is not an effective treatment. However, surgery is sometimes used for larger varicose veins.
How Do I Choose a Treatment Provider?
No matter what treatment option you choose, spider vein removal requires a medical procedure. This means you need to find a healthcare practitioner with the same diligence as you would for any other medical procedure.
We Can Help!
Always consult a licensed healthcare professional, like us, who specializes in vein care, dermatology, or cosmetic or plastic surgery to treat you for spider veins.
If you’re ready to get rid of your pesky veins, we’re ready to help! Contact us for a consultation today!