Spider veins are small, damaged veins that can appear on the surface of the legs. They are usually not painful or harmful, but some people may wish to treat these leg veins for cosmetic reasons. Spider veins can be blue, purple, or red and may appear in the form of thin lines, webs, or branches.
In the legs, spider veins can occur when the valves inside the veins stop working properly. Veins carry blood to the heart. To prevent blood from flowing backward, they contain a one-way valve that closes once the blood passes through it. If this valve weakens or becomes damaged, the blood may struggle to flow in the correct direction, and it can begin to pool inside the vein. Over time, this can cause the vein to spread and branch out, resulting in spider veins.
Spider veins and varicose veins are different forms of a medical condition called venous insufficiency. In the legs, both conditions result from having weakened or damaged valves in the veins. However, the two issues have different symptoms.
Spider veins are usually small, thin lines that may be flat or only slightly raised. Spider veins are often the result of tiny blood vessels bursting, increased pressure, or even sun damage. Varicose veins are larger veins that are deeper than spider veins. They may also appear lumpy or twisted and are seen above the surface of the skin. Depending on their severity, varicose veins can cause a variety of symptoms such as pain, swelling, bruising and heaviness of the leg. Varicose veins may also increase the risk of blood clots and circulation problems.
As is the case with spider veins, heredity plays a big role in the occurrence of vein problems. Up to 90% of people with spider veins have a family history of them, and they tend to affect more women than men.
For those looking to remove unsightly veins quickly and simply, Allure Medical offers many different treatment options for patients. Sclerotherapy is a popular procedure that involves injecting medication directly into the spider veins with a fine needle. This sclerosing agent includes a chemical salt solution that causes the injected vein in the treatment area to swell, then close up. There is no pain associated with sclerotherapy treatment. Patients will experience a small poke with the tiny needle, but this treatment is tolerated very well by most patients. Once sclerotherapy is completed, the blood flow is restored to the treated veins, as previously affected veins dissolve.
Over time, the blood vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. The number of veins injected in one session of sclerotherapy will depend on the size and location of the spider veins, as well as the general medical condition of the patient. While a patient may need multiple treatments, a sclerotherapy treatment session only takes about 15-30 minutes. Side effects after sclerotherapy may include itching and mild bruising, but treated veins tend to disappear quickly (sometimes instantly).
Compression stockings are recommended after the treatment session in order to ensure the spider vein has closed properly.
Sclerotherapy is an outpatient, non-surgical vein treatment with very few if any side effects. Following the procedure, there may be some slight discoloration. This is common, and the treated area may feel sensitive. After sclerotherapy, patients are strongly advised to walk for 20 minutes three times a day upon completion of the treatment session. Since there is no downtime after sclerotherapy treatment, patients can resume their daily, normal activities; therefore, you may return to work, exercise and play sports as usual. However, healthcare providers suggest limiting excessive or extremely heavy workouts for at least one week.
Sclerotherapy is a safe, proven medical procedure that has been yielding successful results for years. The experts in vein treatment at Allure Medical are qualified, skilled, and professional specialists who insist on exemplary care for their patients. You can schedule your free leg screening by calling us at 866-212-8690.