What are Spider Veins?
Spider Veins are small red or blue colored veins. That sometimes give the appearance of a spider web or tree branches.
These can be spotted under our skin, but unlike varicose veins, they do not bulge out. They most often appear on the face and legs, but can also present in most parts of the body.
Rarely they can be painful. There are effective, painless treatments available for them.
Spider Veins can often be easily be diagnosed visually with a physical exam.
How do they develop?
How these dilated superficial blood vessels (spider veins) are much like varicose veins, but smaller and closer to the skin’s surface. They can develop with age, be inherited, or be increased by over exposure to the sun.
How are they treated?
Most treatments involve removing or closing the varicose veins. The procedure ensures that your blood flow is not affected and other veins take up the job that your varicose veins used to perform. You may have to go through one of the procedures given below.
In this treatment, a chemical fluid is injected into your vein. This causes irritation and scarring inside the vein, thus forcing it to close and disappear. Sclerotherapy is a hugely successful treatment for smaller varicose veins and may require several sessions. You may have to go in for treatment at intervals of four to six weeks. After going through the procedure, you may experience a little discomfort as your legs will be swathed with elastic bandaging to help them heal and reduce swelling.
Endovenous Laser or Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy
In this treatment, varicose veins are sealed by producing heat with lasers or radio waves. What is the patient subjected to when he or she goes in for endovenous ablation therapy? A catheter is inserted into the vein by your physician. The tip of the catheter produces heat and closes your vein. The entire process takes a few minutes. Throughout the process, the patient is awake. Discomfort is eliminated with numbing of the area and sometimes with light sedation. The treatment is completed the same day.
This procedure is mostly used to remove varicose veins resting near the surface of the skin. Your skin will be subjected to tiny cuts near your veins. The veins would be stripped away by the doctor. The area around the veins is numbed and the patient is discharged from the treatment facility the same day.
Vein Stripping and Ligation
In an extreme case of varicose veins, the doctor may suggest vein stripping and ligation. Veins are tied shut and removed with the help of small cuts. While undergoing this procedure, the patient will be sedated and therefore, feel no pain. This is an outpatient procedure.
As the name suggests, these are small red coloured veins which give the appearance of a spider web or tree branches. These can be spotted under our skin, but unlike varicose veins, they do not bulge out. They usually appear on your face and legs. Though they may result in a feeling of unease but they hardly ever cause pain. Varicose veins are much more prominent than spider veins and are seen jutting out.
How can you make out?
Unlike varicose veins, there are very few symptoms related to spider veins except for their appearance. At times the person suffering from spider veins may undergo a feeling of discomfort or even a burning sensation. Spider veins are considered relatively harmless. However, medical help is always advisable. The doctor may suggest going through duplex ultrasonography. This test is painless and helps to find out your valve function and the amount of blood flowing back to your legs. It can also decipher if there are any blood clots beside the formation of the veins. This test helps the doctor decide on the course to follow.
The Healing Process
Though usually harmless, people suffering from spider veins want to get rid of their condition which besides marring their looks can cause discomfort. How can spider veins vanish?
Using Compression stockings or socks
Compression stockings or socks are beneficial as they exert pressure on your veins placed in the lower parts of the legs. This will improve blood circulation. They could also bring relief from swelling in the legs and ward off blood clots. There are various types of stockings one could go in for depending on the amount of pressure that is right for your veins. Light pressure is exerted if you use support pantyhose while gradient compression stockings and socks exert medium pressure in your feet, ankle and calves. If the doctor advises, you can go for prescription compression stockings, which puts stronger pressure on your feet and legs. These can be bought only with a medical prescription and comes in all sizes, including a footless version.
This is done under medical supervision. An irritant is injected into the affected vein. It helps to reduce swelling and makes the veins shrivel, bringing relief. One has to wait as the results are not instant. Several sessions may be needed before your spider veins disappear. Post-treatment, the patient, may be asked to put on compression stockings before your spider veins fade out.
You can get rid of minute spider veins, smaller than three millimeters lying near the surface of the skin through laser treatment. An intense pointed beam of light is used to dry up your spider veins. This treatment is more comfortable than Sclerotherapy as nothing is injected.
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT)
This is one of the latest medical procedures to help you get rid of spider veins using local anesthesia. In this procedure, a doctor makes a small cut in the vein requiring treatment and a laser fiber passes through. This laser generates heat causing the vein to close.
Manhattan Vein Center
At Downtown Vein Physicians we are focused on treating disorders of the venous system.….. Read More
Manhattan Vein Center
80 Maiden Ln #905B New York, NY 10038 (Maiden Lane & Gold Street)