Identify the symptoms, treat the cause.
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WHAT ARE SPIDER VEINS?
Spider veins are tiny, thin veins that vary in color and that you can see just under the surface of your skin. They’re so named because they remind us of spider webs, and are also sometimes described as looking like marble.
SYMPTOMS OF SPIDER VEINS
Spider veins are a mild symptom of varicose vein disease. Aside from an unpleasant appearance, they can also cause a variety of symptoms such as itching, burning, heaviness, and cramping.
Use the guide below to recognize the signs and symptoms of spider veins:
Small thread-like; color varies
Usually legs veins, sometimes chest, facial or hand veins
Can vary from cosmetic to symptomatic affecting one’s quality of life
May cause discomfort
WHAT CAUSES SPIDER VEINS?
Spider veins in the leg, hand, and face are caused by unhealthy valves inside feeder veins, allowing blood to flow backwards instead of upwards toward the heart. Some of this backed-up blood can lead to non-functional, “dead end” veins that appear underneath the surface of the skin as spider veins. Watch the video below and learn more about spider veins and the available treatment options.
Spider veins are tiny varicose veins that appear as thin, squiggly lines just under the skin. They are common on the legs and the face, and most frequently affect women.Causes of spider veins
Spider veins occur when blood pools in veins near the surface of the skin. They can be caused by heredity, obesity, trauma, and fluctuations in hormone levels. In many cases, the exact cause is not known. They tend to become more numerous with age, and are common among people over 30 and in pregnant women. Menopause or birth control pills may increase the risk.Symptoms of spider veins
Spider veins may form a web-like pattern of red, blue or purple lines in the skin. They can also cause the skin to darken. People who have spider veins in the legs may feel a dull aching or burning sensation when they stand for prolonged periods of time. Some women may notice that their symptoms worsen during certain parts of their menstrual cycle.Treatment for spider veins
Most cases of spider veins do not require treatment, but there are many options for patients with cosmetic concerns or painful symptoms. Spider veins can be treated with compression stockings, laser therapy, or sclerotherapy. Regular exercise and weight control may help prevent the development and progression of spider veins.
WHO GETS SPIDER VEINS?
Many of us will eventually encounter vein health issues. It’s usually hereditary, so if your parents or grandparents have or had spider veins, you are more likely to develop them as well. If you become pregnant or have a job or lifestyle that requires standing for long periods of time, this may make them worse, or increase the probability of getting them.
COMMON RISK FACTORS FOR SPIDER VEINS
There are a number of factors that put people at a greater risk of developing spider veins.
The factors that put people at risk of developing spider veins are much like those for varicose veins disease, including:
- Obesity. Extra weight puts additional pressure on the veins.
- Age. Though spider veins don’t exist only in older people, the disease progresses with time. This is due to the fact that there is greater wear and tear on vein valves over time. This makes it more difficult for blood to flow properly, and can result in blood pooling.
- Pregnancy. In order to support a baby during pregnancy, blood volume nearly doubles, which leads to enlarged veins and potentially spider veins.
- Genetics. The chances of developing spider veins increases if others in the family suffer from them.
- Sedentary lifestyle. Sitting or standing for extended periods of time restricts blood flow and can lead to blood pooling.
- Gender. Due to hormonal changes women often experience during pregnancy and menopause, spider veins are more likely to occur in women.
SPIDER VEIN PREVENTION & LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Lifestyle changes to improve your spider veins.
Some spider vein risk factors cannot be avoided, but there are ways to lower the risk of developing them as well as ways to help decrease the symptoms associated with spider veins. Below are a few lifestyle changes to help with spider vein disease:
- Exercise. Movement helps promote healthy blood flow. Even something as simple as walking can improve vein health.
- Diet. By eating a diet full of fiber and low in salt, processed foods and sugar, vein health is able to improve.
- Changing position. Avoid being sedentary, or sitting or standing for too long, by switching up positions or taking a quick walk.
- Elevate legs. Raising legs above the heart aids veins in circulating blood by alleviating pressure and stress.
- Wear compression stockings. These socks help support blood flow while also decreasing pressure inside the veins, and ultimately relieve common spider vein symptoms such as discomfort.
SPIDER VEIN DIAGNOSIS
Diagnosis of spider veins happens with a simple physical examination by a vein specialist.
Because spider veins are visible at the surface of your skin, they can simply be diagnosed by a vein specialist during a physical exam. These veins can appear anywhere on the legs, the face, and the chest. They are purple, blue, pink or red and typically resemble a spider web and can be flat or slightly raised to the touch.
SPIDER VEIN TREATMENT
Some of our patients seek treatment for cosmetic improvement, and others are looking for relief from pain. The good news is that spider veins and their underlying cause are quite treatable, and our comprehensive approach at USA Vein Clinics handles the entirety of vein disease–not just the symptoms of it.
Spider vein treatments are performed in the office, each office visit is less than an hour. The treatment of choice for spider vein treatment is sclerotherapy in which a trained provider injects a solution into the vein, causing it to shut down. Once those veins are sealed, blood circulation returns to veins with properly working valves, and dead-end spider veins are eventually absorbed back into the body.
Spider Veins Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
DO SPIDER VEINS DISAPPEAR ON THEIR OWN?
Spider veins do not go away on their own. However, vein treatment can improve the appearance of spider veins, along with alleviating pain and discomfort from venous symptoms. While you may experience temporary relief from spider vein symptoms with lifestyle changes, the best way to get rid of spider veins on your legs is to obtain medical treatment from an experienced vein specialist.
WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE PHRASE “SPIDER VEINS” MEAN?
Spider veins, also known as spider telangiectasia, are thin, colorful, web-patterned veins located near the skin’s surface. Spider veins appear most often on the legs, face, and hands. While spider veins are a visible sign of underlying vein disease, they do not usually cause symptoms.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR SPIDER VEINS TO FEEL PAINFUL?
However, some patients do experience spider veins symptoms. For instance, you may suffer from painful or uncomfortable swelling, tenderness, itching, and leg restlessness. Vein treatment can help alleviate any pain and discomfort.
WHEN SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT SPIDER VEINS?
Since spider veins are a sign of underlying vein disease, it’s important to have them evaluated by a vein specialist. Whether your spider veins are bothersome due to cosmetic concerns or venous symptoms, it may be time to consider treatment.
DO SPIDER VEINS COMPLETELY GO AWAY AFTER TREATMENT?
Generally speaking, visible spider veins and spider veins symptoms go away after treatment. However, you may be predisposed to developing additional venous issues. Your vein specialist may recommend close, ongoing monitoring if you are at risk for vein disease. Early intervention can lead to the best health outcomes.