Spider veins are small blood vessels that can be seen through the skin. They often resemble a spider web and may be blue or red in color. Spider veins can appear on any area of the body but they are most common on the legs and face.
These unsightly veins are caused by faulty valves, which allow blood to flow backward in the vein. While they’re essentially a smaller version of varicose veins, spider veins don’t bulge out in the way that varicose veins do.
Spider veins are not usually harmful but they can sometimes cause discomfort. They can also be very disfiguring, especially on the face. For this reason, many sufferers opt for spider vein removal treatment.
What Are the Main Spider Vein Treatment Options?
There are various ways that spider veins can be treated medically. All of these methods involve closing off the vein so that it collapses and blood stops flowing into the vein. As these veins are superficial, this process doesn’t have any negative effects on circulation.
- Sclerotherapy involves injecting a substance such as saline or detergent into the affected veins. This irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to collapse.
- Endovenous laser vein treatment inserts a laser fiber directly into the vein and uses pulses of highly concentrated light to collapse the vein.
- Surface laser and pulsed light treatments use heat to destroy veins externally. This treatment tends not to be as effective, however, the advantage is that it is non-invasive and non-toxic. This type of therapy is commonly used on facial veins.
All of these treatments are performed as an outpatient procedure and you should be able to return to your normal activities immediately. Discomfort is minimal and the treatment is often completed in less than an hour. You may need several treatment sessions for the best results.
Risks of Spider Vein Treatment
The treatment options detailed above are considered very safe and effective. They have been carried out on patients for many years, with few adverse effects.
With laser treatment, you may experience some skin discoloration, bruising, reddening, or blisters. These effects should subside within a few weeks.
All medical procedures come with some risk of complications, which may include infection, scarring, allergic reaction, or skin damage. You can reduce your risk of developing these complications by choosing to have your treatment performed only by a skilled and experienced vein doctor, and by following the instructions and advice you are given to follow prior to and after treatment.
Can Spider Veins Go Away on Their Own?
Unfortunately, spider veins aren’t something you can treat at home. You may have heard of using at-home remedies like apple cider vinegar or essential oils, or you may have been tempted to buy a commercial cream advertised to remove spider veins.
Despite the claims, these treatments aren’t usually very effective at treating spider veins. There is some evidence that creams containing vitamin K or horse chestnut can help to temporarily minimize their appearance. However, as these creams work by reducing inflammation you’ll need to keep applying them every day and they won’t have any long-term effect.
In some cases, spider veins do go away on their own. This might be the case for you if your spider veins are caused by pregnancy. In this case, the hormones and excess blood flow that caused the condition return to normal after childbirth. If you’re lucky, the spider veins might disappear too.
However, most people (pregnant women included) find that they’re stuck with spider veins for good – until they seek out a treatment option such as those available from a vein specialist at Allure Medical.