Spider Veins

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short jagged lines. They can be so close that they look “matted” and appear as a large bruise. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face. They can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.

What causes varicose veins and spider veins?

Just as with varicose veins, spider veins are caused by more blood (volume) in the underlying veins than the veins themselves can handle, so small amounts of blood “leak”, building tiny capillaries that then present themselves as spider veins. These can be influenced by hormones, larger veins with faulty valves, trauma/injury, age, overweight, hereditary factors.

How common are abnormal leg veins?

About 50 to 55% of American women and 40 to 45% of American men suffer from some form of vein problem. Varicose veins affect 1 out of 2 people age 50 and older.

What is the best time to treat spider veins?

Ideally, treatments for spider veins take place in the milder and cold weather months of the year. This is because to achieve an optimum outcome, you will need to wear compression stockings following treatment for a week. These are much more comfortable in the cooler weather months than in summer. Additionally, wearing pants following treatments is preferred by most patients. (Knee high, thigh high or pantyhose, as well as trouser socks and athletic socks are all available at our center)

Will sclerotherapy injections hurt?

Very little if at all. Most patients are surprised at their first appointment to find neither the needle (which is very tiny) or the solution cause any pain

Are injections a permanent treatment?

Unfortunately, the nature of venous disease is a progressive one. Spider veins and varicose veins rarely get better on their own (and usually only if there is a significant lifestyle change such as loss of weight). Any leg can develop additional vein clusters and complexes, depending on what is feeding the veins from underneath. By treating the “feeder veins” at The Advanced Vein & Vascular Center, we are able to reduce recurrence, often for many years.