Spider veins are small veins visible through the skin. These veins can be blue, red or purple in color and are typically seen on a person’s face and legs.
For some people, the development of spider veins is hereditary. Others develop the veins by working in professions that require a lot of standing, such as teaching, nursing or waitressing. Health problems such as obesity or a history of blood clots could also cause spider veins to develop. Spider veins might also develop due to any of the following:
- Taking birth control pills
- Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy or menopause
- Hormone replacement postmenopausal
In general, spider veins are seen in women more frequently than in men. Because of their unattractive appearance, spider veins are typically considered undesirable and can make a person appear older. These veins also serve no helpful purpose in the human body.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Some people choose to have their spider veins treated by a medical professional in which there will be a proper diagnosis. In such cases, if there is venous insufficiency in patients with spider veins, treatments for the veins are unlikely to provide permanent results. Thus, a physician must examine the patient carefully before beginning any treatment plan. However, if the patient is determined by a physician to not have venous insufficiency, then the problem with spider veins is simply seen as a cosmetic problem. Treatment in such cases usually involves sclerotherapy or laser therapy.
- Sclerotherapy is a process by which a medical professional injects a detergent solution or a concentrated saline directly into the patient’s vein. This injection causes the spider vein to disappear within six weeks. The procedure is inexpensive and simple. Most sclerotherapy procedures can be given in an outpatient clinic.
Laser therapy will require a series of treatments for the best response. Laser leg vein treatment may be suggested for the treatment of very small spider veins or telangiectasia (very small vessels). In certain situations, the best results are obtained from a combination of the two techniques.
The presence of spider veins can cause irritation and make a person feel self-conscious because of the unsightly look of the veins. However, it’s important to realize that there are treatment options available for spider veins. For advice on treating your spider veins in Fairfax, Virginia, call 703-560-1075 to contact Virginia Heart & Vascular Institute.