How to Treat Spider Veins

How to Treat Spider Veins

Spider veins are visible veins near the surface of the skin. They are usually blue or red in color and look like a spider’s web or little tree branches. Spider veins are commonly found on the legs and feet but can also be found in the facial area. The veins cluster together usually and don’t usually become too obvious until later in life. However, it is possible for them to be seen in younger people.

There are a few factors that may contribute to developing spider veins particularly in the legs. Sometimes hereditary factors cause them; but they can also be attributed to hormonal changes or fluctuating weight. Pregnancy can cause spider veins to develop and so can activities or occupations requiring long periods of time sitting or standing in one place.

Spider Veins Are Treatable

Symptoms of spider veins

The most noticeable sign of spider veins is their appearance on the skin. In most cases, there are no symptoms present and spider veins are considered to be harmless and not usually considered a health risk. But on occasion they have been known to have some minor symptoms which might include things like:

  • Restless legs or uncomfortable legs
  • A rash
  • Aching, cramping or throbbing legs
  • Itching around the vein sites
  • Skin ulcers
  • Swelling

It’s important to seek medical attention if the veins feel warm to touch or are tender; or if you develop ulcers or sores on the skin.

What causes spider veins?

Approximately 80 million people in the US have either spider veins or varicose veins

About half of the women who are between 40 and 50 years of age have spider veins; and 75% of the women who are between 60 and 70 years old have them. About half of the men over 70 have spider veins and one fourth of men who are between 30 and 40 have spider veins.

Spider veins result when the valves in the veins become weak or damaged. If the valves cannot or do not open up properly to allow blood to freely flow in and out, blood starts to back up and the veins will swell. There can be several factors that increase the risk of developing the condition. Examples include:

  • Getting older
  • Family history of spider veins
  • History of blood clots
  • Birth control pills
  • Pregnancy
  • Wearing clothing that is too tight
  • Obesity
  • Constipation

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Ways to Prevent Spider Veins

Spider veins are basically caused because of abnormal blood flow or weak blood vessel walls. Standing or sitting for long periods of time can cause them to appear. Two things that can be done to help prevent these small veins from occurring are wearing support stockings or support hose and maintaining a normal weight.

Will spider veins just go away?

Spider veins are not going to just go away on their own. Actually, when they are left alone they will just get worse once they develop. Gaining extra weight, not getting enough exercise, or living a sedentary life style can help with the progression of spider veins in some people.

Treatment Options for Spider Veins

You can ask about spider vein treatment in NJ and you will probably be offered a couple of different treatment options. Except for special circumstances, spider veins are usually harmless, but if you are bothered by their appearance there are some treatment options available. If you live in New Jersey there are many high quality vein specialists that tyou can consult with about ways to get rid of your spider veins.

· Laser Surgery – Laser surgery is one option for treating spider veins and it works through sending strong bursts of light into the veins in the leg. The pulses of light cause the vein to slowly fade away and eventually disappear.

· Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy is a procedure where the vein specialist injects a solution into the vein. The solution will cause the vein to scar and close off. They will eventually fade away.

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What is Laser Surgery?

Removing veins through laser surgery is a fast and easy way to treat these superficial veins. It’s been a viable and effective way to remove spider for some time now. There are different types of lasers and technology keeps advancing. Laser treatments use a focused beam of light where the light’s wavelength is targeted to the pigment found in the blood. The laser light sends heat to the small vein and basically destroys it. The vein is slowly reabsorbed back into the body.

How does the laser work?

The most common laser used in the treatment of spider veins is the Nd: YAG Laser system. It administers the laser through a hand held device. The Nd YAG laser goes through the skin to penetrate the superficial blood vessel. The laser generates heat that causes the blood to coagulate inside the vessel. When this occurs, the vessel collapses and seals. It takes a few weeks, but the vessel slowly disappears and scavenging cells in the body removes it and the blood. The precise nature of a laser delivers the exact dosage of energy to the blood vessel so that nearby tissues are not damaged or injured in any way.

Who is a candidate for laser therapy?

Vein specialists will evaluate each candidate closely before approving them for laser treatment options. There are not likely any symptoms associated with spider veins, which makes it a cosmetic procedure. If there are symptoms involved, the individual will have to be examined more closely. Laser therapy is appropriate for treating the smaller in nature spider veins but it is not advisable for use to treat larger, varicose veins.

When can I go back to work after laser therapy?

In most instances, individuals can return to normal activities immediately following the procedure.

How long until I can see the results of the treatment?

The results of laser treatments are not immediately obvious. It will typically take between two and six weeks to realize the veins are totally gone.

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What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is commonly used to treat spider veins seen in the legs and ankles. The treatment involves injecting a solution into the veins that are affected. It will usually require several treatment sessions to realize entire relief.

How does Sclerotherapy work?

This is a very common option for treating spider veins. Using a very fine needle, a solution is injected into the affected veins. This solution will irritate the inside of the vein and cause it to collapse and fade away. For those who have numerous spider veins, the solution will need to be injected into each of them. However, the number of veins that can be injected in each session will rely on the overall medical condition of the patient.

Who is a candidate for Sclerotherapy?

Anyone who is in general good health will probably handle the procedure fine. The vein specialist in New Jersey will examine your veins and determine if there are any obvious but underlying problems. Varicose veins are a deeper problem and require alternative treatment options. If there are more serious vascular problems identified, it may require further evaluation and other treatment options. Individuals who are bedridden or have had blood clots in the past may not be a candidate.

When can I go back to work?

Healing can take different amounts of time for each person. You will need to wear support stockings for three to six weeks following the procedure. During that time, you will also have to avoid squatting, running and heavy lifting. You will also be asked to refrain from sitting or standing in one spot for more than an hour or so. But you will be encouraged to walk some.

How long before I see results from this procedure?

Sclerotherapy can take a couple of months before results are visible. Usually, after a month the spider veins may look lighter even though they are still visible. After two months, the veins should not be noticeable at all.

Spider Vein Treatment Options

Which treatment option works best for you will be determined by your specific condition and preferences. Laser treatments typically have fewer side effects and are less painful than Sclerotherapy. However, Sclerotherapy works better in cases where the veins are a little deeper and the laser cannot be used. Recovering from laser treatments is immediate and there is absolutely no down time involved. Laser treatments can also be used on spider veins that occur in the facial area. But, laser treatments are often more expensive than Sclerotherapy.

Spider Veins After Treatment

It is important to note that these treatment options are simply treatments and not a cure for spider veins. The treatments can help get rid of unsightly spider veins, but they do not prevent more from occurring. Removing existing veins can bring an improved appearance of the area affected. However, spider veins are recurrent and it is highly likely that more treatments will be needed in the future.

Will insurance pay for treatments for spider veins?

Spider veins are considered a cosmetic condition and are not a health risk. For this reason, they are not typically covered under an insurance policy.