When we talk about Spider veins, we’re referring to the thin, weblike blue and purple lines on the legs.
Spider veins most commonly occur due to heredity and venous insufficiency. In venous insufficiency, blood is not properly circulating back to the heart and results in blood to pool in the legs. As the pressure builds in the legs from poor circulation, spider veins develop on the skin. A similar process also occurs with the development of varicose veins, which left untreated can cause soreness and swelling in the legs due to inflammatory processes. The discomfort patients feel is due to the inflammation and is a signal from the body to seek out help.
What causes spider veins?
The most important risk factor and reason to be seen is venous insufficiency. A family history of varicose/spider veins is also a strong indicator you will be prone to spider vein formation. Other risk factors include being on your feet a lot (standing still without moving around), carrying excess weight, pregnancy, age, lack of mobility, leg injury, etc.
Are spider veins dangerous?
Spider veins themselves are not dangerous, however, the underlying venous insufficiency can be dangerous. Left untreated, varicose veins can cause a range of complications, some quite serious.
In order to treat spider veins, your vein doctor will have to consider if they are caused by underlying vein disease. This is critically important to reduce time and money on wasteful treatments. In the absence of any underlying vein disease, the best treatment for spider veins is cosmetic and can be achieved with either laser or sclerotherapy. If you also suffer from symptoms of vein disease, then the best treatments are planned sequentially for both medical and cosmetic conditions present.
Cosmetic Spider Vein Treatments:
Sclerotherapy for spider veins: This procedure involves a formulated liquid that is injected directly into the spider veins. The chemical will begin to irritate the walls of the targeted veins causing them to collapse and eventually be absorbed. After some time, the vessel will no longer be visible.
Laser Therapy for spider veins: This procedure directs a laser beam on the skin, just over the area of the spider vein. The heat from the laser is absorbed by the vein and leads to scarring within the vessel. Ultimately, the treated veins will also be reabsorbed until they are no longer visible.
- This procedure is better at treating larger spider, reticular and varicose veins that may be deeper within the skin.
- The success rate is high, with most patients needing 2-3 separate sessions for elimination.
- Pain is less in comparison to laser therapy.
Laser Therapy advantages:
- Tiny spider veins can be easier to treat with laser
- Much better tolerated for patients who like to avoid needles in all circumstances
- No risk of allergic reactions to the medications used in sclerotherapy
Spider Vein Treatment Procedures if You Have Vein Disease
If you suffer from both venous insufficiency and spider veins then sclerotherapy alone will be associated with early recurrences and continued progression of symptoms. Addressing the underlying cause is recommended prior to correcting the cosmetic appearance. The most important thing to be aware of is that venous insufficiency is the most common cause of spider veins and must be evaluated with the presence of any symptoms. Fortunately, treatment is far more straight-forward than in the past.
The newest treatment methods are non-surgical and minimally invasive:
- Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation
- Endovenous Laser Ablation
Best Vein Clinic for Spider Vein Treatment
At the Princeton Vascular Center, our patients are treated by local and nationally recognized leaders in the field. We offer a comprehensive clinic that manages both the most simple spider veins and also the most complex vein conditions, including May-Thurner Syndrome. Our doctors begin with a careful examination of your spider veins and search for underlying venous insufficiency using Doppler Ultrasound. Based on these findings, they individualize a treatment plan that’s specific to your goals. If you want to find the best treatment for spider veins, please schedule an appointment today