What are Spider Veins?
Unfortunately, the term spider vein is no stranger to many, as it’s estimated that close to over half of adult females and nearly half of adult men suffer from some sort of vein problems, including spider veins. Pesky and unattractive, spider veins are truly cosmetic in nature, even though they can frequently be symptomatic of deeper issues, appear as thread-like red, blue or purplish veins and are commonly found on calves, thighs and ankles, and sometimes occur in clusters. They form from high pressure in the venous system, which, in turn, forces the thin-walled veins to expand. These engorged capillaries then expand to several times their normal size, causing spider veins.
Spider veins are associated with “feeder veins” or larger underlying reticular veins. Because of this, it’s imperative to identify and treat these underlying causative veins in order to prevent them from recurring in the same location. Clusters of spider veins, especially around the ankles, can be a symptom of a deeper venous problem, so a complete venous examination is recommended.
There are many ways to treat spider veins, but most important is to identify the cause of the spider veins to prevent re-occurrence. Once the source is found, treatment will begin and will take on average three to five sessions spaced about four to six weeks apart to clear your spider veins. However, some people are pre-disposed to having spider veins, so it is possible to develop new ones.
Risks for Spider Veins
- Heredity: The leading cause of spider veins, a family history of them will determine your predisposition to them.
- Female: Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from abnormal leg veins.
- Pregnancy and Hormones
- Standing or Sitting For Long Periods of Time
- Traumatic Injury to the Leg
Symptoms of Spider Veins
- Clusters of bluish-purplish threadlike veins
- Typically located on ankles, calves, thighs
- Itching, burning, throbbing
- Also found on nose/face, occasionally on chest or body
Spider Vein Treatment
Spider veins are best treated with a combination of sclerotherapy injections and superficial, or topical, laser therapy for the quickest, most thorough resolution. Be cautious of any physician who claims they can get rid of your spider veins via only sclerotherapy injections or only topical laser. Optimum long-term results are achieved through combining both treatment modalities. It is important to remember that spider vein treatment is a process generally requiring several months, and that they will look worse before they look better.* At Premier Vein and Body, we provide our vein patients with the most complete spider vein treatment available in the Kansas City area, which is all performed in the comfort and convenience of our beautiful Leawood office.
The gold standard in spider vein treatment, injection sclerotherapy is a relatively simple treatment that involves injecting an FDA-approved solution directly into the vein via a tiny needle. The sclerosant solution irritates the lining of the vein and causes it to collapse and seal closed. The vein is reabsorbed and fades over the course of four to six weeks. Most areas will require multiple treatments to achieve full fading. Even though it does involve the use of needles, most patients experience little discomfort.* Following treatment, I recommend patients apply Arnica gel, or our newest topical treatment, Dermaka, twice daily for bruising or pigmentation. Generally, normal activities can be resumed immediately after sclerotherapy, and “pounding” activities, such as running, can be resumed within a few days post-treatment. Medically prescribed compression stockings are worn for four to five days after each treatment session. Most patients require three to six treatments, but the actual number will vary with every person.
Topical Laser Treatment:
Superficial, or topical, laser treatment can reduce the tiniest of spider veins by using thermal energy to super-heat the veins, causing them to collapse and seal shut. This type of laser involves very little discomfort, and our patients love to watch them go before their very eyes!*
Vein Gogh – When Sclerotherapy or Laser are Not Enough:
This FDA-approved device provides a superior solution for the treatment of the finest of spider veins (telangiectasia), sometimes found across the cheeks, thighs, ankles and knees. These veins are too tiny to successfully be treated with sclerotherapy injections or laser, which are, generally, better suited at treating larger spider veins. VeinGogh delivers outstanding results using proprietary Microburst Technology™, which creates an effective, controllable heating of dermal vasculature without significant discomfort or damage to the surrounding tissue.*
Read more about Causes and Treatments of Spider Veins here
*Results may vary and are not guaranteed. Consult with Dr. Schwartz to see if you are a good candidate.