What Are Spider Veins?
Spider Veins – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments
No one wants to look down at their legs and have tiny little red, blue and purple veins staring back at them. Those small, thin veins are commonly known as spider veins, and sometimes referred to as thread veins too. As both of those names suggest, these veins look like little spider webs or threads that branch out on the surface of the skin. Most of the time, spider veins will appear on the legs, but there are times that these little veins can pop up on the face, hands, or even the chest as well.
Spider veins are actually dilated capillaries that bring oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in the body and remove waste products. Sometimes, these veins can cause a bulge, or branch out and spread, which causes them to then become very noticeable — and not very pretty.
Regardless of where these annoying little veins show their ugly little faces, they are not wanted! Although spider veins rarely cause any pain and are not too harmful, they are a sign of poor circulation, and could lead to varicose veins down the road. Varicose veins differ then spider veins in that they are much larger, deeper, and can cause symptoms such as pain, itching, swelling, bleeding, achiness, and/or feelings of heaviness in the legs.
Many people prefer to have their spider veins treated and removed for this reason, to decrease their chances of developing those varicose veins, and for cosmetic reasons as well.
Thankfully, there are many ways to treat spider veins. Fox Vein & Laser Experts offers a wide variety of spider vein removal procedures that do the job safely, effectively, and quickly. With our vein experts’ help, you will be able to say goodbye to your spider veins in no time.
Symptoms of Spider Veins
Spider veins and varicose veins are two different forms of venous insufficiency. Although both of these medical conditions are a result of weak or damaged valves in the veins, spider veins do not cause the same kind of symptoms as varicose veins. They are not usually painful, however they may cause some discomfort.
The symptoms are mainly cosmetic, as the veins are visible on the surface of the skin. They may appear as flat lines, or could be slightly raised. The colors range from blue to red to purple, and as mentioned, they look like spider webs or branches.
However, you do want to pay close attention to any symptoms that start to become more noticeable, as this could mean that your spider veins are worsening. Symptoms to watch out for include more purple or blue color changing throughout the area where the spider veins are present, the appearance of twisted veins that start to bulge, any type of burning, throbbing or swelling, or itching of the skin around the vein.
Causes of Spider Veins
There are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing spider veins. It could be a genetic thing, as the majority of those with spider veins have family members who also have them. If you have had blood clots or vein damage in the past, the vein valves could still be affected and not function correctly.
It is also a common thing to happen to women during pregnancy. This is because of increased blood movement in the body, and more pressure on the leg veins due to the excess weight of the fetus. For some, the spider veins will disappear after pregnancy, but there is also the chance they could remain and be permanent.
Aside from affecting women who are pregnant, spider veins affect women more often than men in general. Hormonal birth control or other hormone treatments for menopause can increase the risk of spider veins due to the fact that the estrogen in these medications can cause the vein valves to weaken.
Spider veins affect older people more often as well. The valves in our veins weaken as we age, as do our muscles. If your calf muscle is weak, it may not do its job of supporting the leg veins and helping them pump blood to the heart as well as it should.
Obesity is another big risk factor. Having that extra body weight adds pressure to the leg veins. Any kind of pressure on the veins in general can increase your chances of developing spider veins. This is especially true for spider veins that show up on the face. For example, coughing or sneezing forcefully, vomiting excessively, or even pushing during childbirth can all cause spider veins. Another risk factor that is especially true for facial spider veins is sun damage. UV light can cause damage to the skin, which in turn can cause broken blood vessels and/or spider veins. Sun damage can cause broken blood vessels and spider veins on other parts of the body as well. Sunscreen is incredibly important for so many reasons!
Additionally, sitting or standing for long periods of time can result in the veins in the legs having to work much harder than usual in order to pump blood to the heart. If you sit at a desk all day or spend hours on your feet, it’s important to switch back and forth between sitting and standing every 30 minutes or so to keep the blood flowing and circulating properly.
Overall, the main cause of spider veins is the presence of pressure on the veins and lack of proper blood circulation.
How to Treat Spider Veins
Spider vein removal treatment options can vary depending on your personal desired results. If left untreated, there is always a chance that your spider veins can become painful varicose veins, and we don’t want that to happen.
Here are two of the best spider vein treatments we offer at Fox Vein & Laser Experts:
Visual Sclerotherapy: This is one of the least invasive, most comfortable, and safest treatments for spider vein removal. It’s also a quick procedure without any recovery time so it will not disrupt normal activity. The procedure involves an injection of a medicated solution directly into the affected vein. The solution disrupts the lining of the vessel, causes the vein walls to stick together and seal. The blood reroutes to a healthier vein, and the treated vein turns into scar tissue that the body naturally removes on its own, and then replaces with healthy, new tissue.
VeinGogh: This treatment uses special technology to get rid of spider veins without damaging or scarring the skin’s surface. It heats the targeted vessel, which causes the walls to collapse and reroute the blood to healthy veins, leaving the healthy surrounding skin unaffected. It’s fast, with immediate results and continuous improvement over several weeks as the treated veins are absorbed and removed from the body. The treatment can be done on its own, or combined with sclerotherapy if necessary.
Schedule Your Spider Veins Removal Procedure
Dr. Susan B Fox is a vein expert in Miami. She and her experienced medical team at Fox Vein & Laser Experts have been successfully treating spider veins for decades. With offices in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, we’re here to help patients from all over Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.
Call our office today at 954-627-1045 to schedule a consultation. We will go over your current and past health and medical history, and address any questions or concerns you may have about the process of treating your spider veins. When you book an appointment for spider vein removal treatments at Fox Vein & Laser Experts, you will be in the best hands possible.