Spider veins occur when a vein in your body weakens. Blood then backs up and causes the vein to break off and form a sort of dead end. While it may not be a pretty sight, spider veins rarely cause anything more than cosmetic symptoms.
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins but are also smaller.
Where to look for Spider Veins
Spider veins present close to the surface of the skin and can resemble spider webs – thus the name. They are generally located on the legs and face and can be purple, red or blue.
What causes Spider Veins
Heredity and gender (they mostly occur in women) are both key in determining whether or not you will get spider veins. Standing on your feet for long periods of time can also play a key role. Any physical condition that compromises blood flow can cause spider veins. Obesity can be a major risk factor for spider veins. Hormones also can play a role in spider veins. In fact, they often appear during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
How to treat Spider Veins
Just because spider veins cause no pain does not mean that you’d rather not be rid of them. And there are several treatment options for these unsightly annoyances.
The most common treatment is sclerotherapy, which consists of several microinjections of an FDA-approved solution straight into the spider vein. This seals off the vein and prevents blood flow to the malformation, rerouting blood to healthy veins. Over time the spider vein disappears and is reabsorbed into the body.
Sclerotherapy offers only mild side effects (mild pain, swelling at the point of injection), and an extremely low risk of complication.
Longstreet Clinic’s board-certified vascular specialists trust in the effectiveness of sclerotherapy in treating spider veins. Studies show that laser vein therapy is a more expensive and less effective treatment.
Our on-site vascular lab and 50-plus years of combined experience means that you will receive comprehensive diagnostic testing in order to determine the best treatment options. We get to know you and work with you to decide on the best course of care.
For more information on spider veins, our vascular clinic or to schedule an appointment with any of our physicians or advanced practice providers, please contact us at 678-207-4000.