Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are networks of red or blue lines that appear on the surface of the skin. The most common location for spider veins is the lower leg, but these veins can also appear on the thighs, face and abdomen. Spider veins are rarely more than a cosmetic concern, but some patients may experience physical symptoms like heaviness or aching legs, particularly at the end of the day.
There are a number of reasons why spider veins might develop, including a chronic condition known as venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency develops in the tiny valves inside the veins that are responsible for keeping blood flowing in a single direction to the heart. When those valves become damaged or wear out, blood does not flow as efficiently as it once did. That allows blood to pool inside the veins, resulting in swollen veins and the appearance of spider veins.
Other reasons that spider veins might occur include:
Spider veins caused by venous insufficiency are usually the veins most likely to be accompanied by physical symptoms. However, patients may seek treatment for spider veins for cosmetic reasons as well, particularly veins that appear on visible areas like the face.
There are minimally-invasive ways to treat spider veins today, allowing for elimination of unsightly veins with little disruption to your daily life. Dr. Woloson and Dr. Clark offer the following options in spider vein treatment:
Cosmetic Laser Therapy – This procedure uses laser energy to penetrate the outer layers of skin, affecting the veins underneath. Small, superficial spider veins, particularly on the face can be effectively treated using this procedure. Laser heat causes veins to seal closed and eventually be reabsorbed by the body. Blood is rerouted through healthy veins nearby. The procedure involves little or no discomfort, needles or recovery time.
Sclerotherapy – A sclerosing agent is injected into the affected veins, causing veins walls to seal shut. Veins collapse and are reabsorbed by the body over time, while blood is rerouted through healthy veins in the same area. Sclerotherapy takes just a few minutes to complete and patients may return to regular activities immediately afterward.
Treating spider veins is easier now than ever before. To learn more about spider veins or treatment options, contact Northwest Vascular & Vein to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Clark or Dr. Woloson.