What are Spider Veins?

At some point during our lifetime most of us will develop spider veins, those tiny little purple, red or blue web-like lines that are the result of twisted blood vessels. While they can develop anywhere on the body they most often appear on the legs.

What causes spider veins?

While anyone can develop spider veins women are far more likely than men to deal with this problem. There are certain risk factors that can make you prone to spider veins. These factors include:

Are spider veins painful?

Even though spider veins can be unsightly they are usually harmless; however, there are instances where someone with spider veins may experience aching, burning, or leg cramping.

Can you get rid of spider veins?

Varicose veins

If you are experiencing discomfort due to spider veins you may want to wear compression stockings, which can apply the ideal amount of pressure to the damaged vein to improve blood flow to the heart. Compression stockings are great if you are looking to improve blood flow while also reducing the aching or cramping you may experience as a result of your spider veins; however, compression stockings will not repair or remove spider veins.

If you want to have your spider veins removed then it’s time to turn to a dermatologist. There are two ways in which a skin doctor can treat your spider veins. The most common method is sclerotherapy, in which a special solution is injected into the vein. The solution will cause the vein to collapse, where the vein will then be reabsorbed by the body and fade over the course of a few weeks. Depending on the severity of your spider veins, you may require more than one sclerotherapy treatment.

Another treatment option is called endovenous laser treatment (ELT), in which a catheter is inserted into the vein. Inside the catheter is a laser that will heat up the vein to seal it. This will seal out blood so that the blood can be rerouted through healthy veins. This is an ideal option for those with smaller veins or those dealing with spider veins that are on the surface of the skin. Again, several treatment sessions may be necessary to see full results.

If you are dealing with unsightly spider veins then it’s time to consult your dermatologist to find out the best treatment options to match your needs.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

About Sean Branch

Dr. Branch is a dermatologist and the founder of Proper Dermatology, a practice located in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Read more
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