Spider Veins Treatment Overview
What Is the Definition of Spider Veins?
Spider veins are damaged blood vessels sprouting out from an overburdened feeder vein. When intravenous pressure builds in a weakened vein, these tiny thread veins branch out in little congregations of discoloration often seen on the legs. From a distance, they might look like bruises, but if you look closely, spider veins (telangiectasias) are groups of abnormal blood vessels, trailing out in various directions, much like thin spider legs. What causes the pressure in the feeder vessel? Often, it’s a problem called chronic venous insufficiency.
What Causes a Spider Vein to Form?
The veins located deeper beneath your skin transport most of your blood to your heart. But the veins just beneath your skin also share the duty. Small, one-way flaps, or valves, in each vein must seal shut after blood passes through, in order to prevent a reversal of blood flow. When they don’t, blood gradually collects below the faulty valve, increasing interior pressure on the vein. New spider veins “leak” out of the engorged vein, creating the red, blue, or purple lines you see at the surface of your skin. They’re quite small (usually 0.5-1.0 mm) but are still easy to see, due to their proximity to the skin’s surface and bold coloration. While spider veins can develop anywhere on the body, they’re more common on the legs because of the pressure that standing and gravity place on leg veins. Nearly 50% of Americans have either varicose or spider veins, both of which often stem from chronic venous insufficiency. This condition is underdiagnosed and might involve symptoms like cramping, swelling, heaviness, and discoloration. If your spider veins affect your confidence or produce unpleasant symptoms, visit our Texas vein clinic for a treatment consultation.
Continue reading if you want to learn more about spider veins or how to treat spider veins.
What Are the Risk Factors for Spider Veins?
Heredity, gender, hormones, weight, lifestyle, and aging all impose risk of developing spider veins. Genetics are profoundly significant, considering that 90% of people whose parents both have spider veins will also develop them. Two-thirds of patients see their spider veins appear before age 25, but the prevalence increases after age 30. Pregnancies, menopause, and hormonal contraception contribute to the elevated incidence in women, since each increases either internal or external pressure on veins. If your veins endured an injury or a blood clot, you’re also at increased risk of telangiectasias. Sitting or standing for more than four hours at a time on a regular basis further increases your risk.
Do Spider Vein Symptoms Require a TX Vein Clinic Visit?
If you’re lucky, your spider veins will be asymptomatic. The unappealing appearance of these vessels is often the main hurdle for patients to overcome. But some patients have bigger issues to contend with, like itching, tingling, swelling, burning, throbbing, and cramping. Some even develop serious venous ulcerations that don’t heal well, or rashes or hyperpigmentation. This is especially true for patients who have venous insufficiency, not just superficial damage. Our Texas vein clinic treats all types of spider veins, from the least problematic, to the most severe.
What’s Causing Your Spider Veins?
Patients develop spider veins for various reasons, including injury, sun damage, and blood clots. But the vast majority of patients acquire spider veins because they have chronic venous insufficiency. This buildup of pressure in the veins is incredibly common, and regularly treated at our state-of-the-art vein clinic in Texas. If you choose a vein clinic that just treats the veins you see, and not the venous insufficiency, spider veins will continually sprout out from the damaged feeder vein. Visit our award-winning vein specialists for vein treatment that actually lasts.
How Do Texas Vein Doctors Treat Spider Veins?
Don’t rush into treatment without consulting a qualified vein doctor in Texas. Some spider veins don’t need to be treated, but can be for aesthetic reasons. Others not only require treatment, but also signal a deeper issue like vein disease. That’s why it’s important to choose a vein specialist in Texas, not a dermatologist or esthetician, since they might not treat vascular disease. At our spider vein clinic in Houston, we prefer sclerotherapy for spider veins, following a thorough exam.If you aren’t in pain or experiencing notable symptoms, spider veins don’t necessarily require treatment. However, many patients still prefer to treat their spider veins for aesthetic purposes. In these cases, vein doctors offer simple solutions like sclerotherapy to eliminate the unwanted veins.
Which Vein Clinic Treatment Is Best for Spider Veins?
If you’re wondering what to do about your spider veins, you’ll be glad to know there are several safe and easy solutions. From lifestyle adjustments, to minimally invasive procedures, vein clinics in Texas have several options to choose from. The key is getting an actual medical diagnosis first. Otherwise, you might receive treatment that won’t work for your condition.
The spider vein treatment most commonly used in our Texas vein clinic is sclerotherapy. This simple technique involves an injection of a foam or liquid irritant into the vein to seal it shut. It’s completed quickly in-office without anesthesia and is remarkably effective against spider veins.
Also a thermal ablative technique, endovenous lasers work like radiofrequency, however they use light instead of soundwaves to generate heat. This is an outpatient procedure that only requires local anesthetics, but it’s more prone to discomfort and bruising than radiofrequency ablation.
This fast and comfortable procedure uses thermal energy, sourced from soundwaves (radiofrequency), to close a spider vein. With a tiny catheter, our vein doctors treat both surface veins and venous insufficiency in a minimally invasive manner.
Laser treatments through the skin’s surface (rather than intravenous) are only for treating spider veins cosmetically. They won’t prevent spider veins from recurring (especially if the patient has venous insufficiency). At our Texas vein clinic, lasers might be used in conjunction with, or instead of, sclerotherapy for veins that don’t stem from disease. But patients with certain skin types and sensitivities aren’t eligible for this treatment.
A first step to combating spider veins, and one that is required by certain insurance companies before they’ll cover vein procedures, is wearing support stockings. Like exercise, compression stockings won’t make spider veins vanish, but they might lessen symptoms like swelling and help prevent new spider veins. Compression apparel is only effective if you wear the right size to apply appropriate pressure on your veins. Our Texas vein doctors can fit you for the right ones.
Add exercise to your daily agenda. Muscle contractions help pump blood out of your leg veins, so the more you exercise, the more efficient circulation becomes. Add movement to sedentary tasks like typing, watching TV, or driving, especially if your job requires you to be stationary for more than four hours. Perform seated calf raises and ankle rotations when you’re stuck at your desk, and periodically walk to the breakroom or water fountain to break up inactivity. Elevate your legs while you relax, positioning your calves higher than heart level to help your veins pump blood against gravity. These tactics won’t erase spider veins but will help prevent them and ease their symptoms.