Spider veins are small damaged veins that appear closely on the surface of the legs or face. They usually occur due to damaged or weak veins that allow some blood to pool in the veins. Increased pressure or sun damage can cause spider veins. Most people with spider veins Land O Lakes seek treatment for aesthetic reasons.
If you have spider veins, your healthcare provider may recommend one or more treatments.
Compression stockings or socks gently squeeze the veins in your legs; this pressure improves blood flow and prevents other spider veins. Wearing compression stockings can also bring down swelling and lessen the risk of blood clots in the legs. There are different types of compression stockings, including support pantyhose, gradient compression stockings, and prescription compression stockings. Support pantyhose provides the slightest pressure, and gradient compression stockings provide medium pressure around the calves, ankles, and feet; you can find them in pharmacies or specialist stores.
Prescription compression stockings are only available on prescription; they provide the most pressure to the feet and legs. They are available in different strengths, sizes, and styles. For example, some are knee-length, and some extend to the thighs. Others have an opening at the toes, and some are enclosed. Patients with health problems such as heart failure and other heart problems should not wear prescription compression stockings.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure whereby your healthcare provider injects a solution directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the vein walls, causing them to clump together and restrict blood flow into the area. Sclerotherapy can reduce swelling and cause the spider veins to fade or vanish over time. The spider veins may not disappear after a single treatment; you may need several treatments for optimal results.
Treatment can occur at your doctor’s office and usually requires no anesthesia. After sclerotherapy, you may need to wear compression stockings for several days or weeks; it may take up to six weeks and multiple treatments for the spider veins to disappear.
Endovenous laser therapy
Endovenous laser therapy is a newer treatment for spider veins and varicose veins. A healthcare provider cuts the affected vein to insert a laser fiber for this procedure. The laser applies heat to the vein, causing its walls to collapse and shut close. Results do not appear immediately; it may take several months or a year for the veins to disappear. Endovenous laser therapy uses local anesthesia.
Doctors also use lasers to treat spider veins; a laser device focuses a concentrated light beam on spider veins, causing them to clot and dry up. Treatment is best suited for people with small spider veins close to the skin surface. Unlike sclerotherapy and endovenous laser therapy, this treatment is less invasive since it requires no injection or incision.
Surgery is usually not an option with spider veins since they are small and respond well to the less invasive treatments above. Sometimes simple lifestyle changes like staying mobile, maintaining a healthy weight, and elevating legs are enough to treat spider veins.
If you have further questions about spider veins, consult your healthcare provider at Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates.