Spider veins are a common problem, along with varicose veins. About half of the people who are 50 years or older suffer from either of the two issues. However, people often find it difficult to understand why spider veins occur and how to treat them. Nevertheless, spider veins can be quite unsightly on the skin.
Many individuals concerned about their looks have to change their wardrobe choices to keep the spider veins hidden. However, the advancement in medical technologies has made it possible to treat spider veins and get rid of the problem entirely. Here are a few things you might not know about spider veins.
Are spider veins and varicose veins different?
The most common misconception about spider veins is that they are the same as varicose veins. Although both of these are the result of damaged or weak veins, they still differ in several ways.
Varicose veins are smaller and therefore, less visible than spider veins. Varicose veins can twist and swell up and are usually purple. On the other hand, spider veins can be of various shades of red, blue, and purple.
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins are the branches of the veins lying right under the skin. Due to high pressure, these veins become more prominent than usual. Generally, valves in the veins help to pump blood to the heart.
When these valves fail to function properly, blood starts pooling in the veins and results in high pressure. The common causes behind spider veins are:
- Excessive weight gain
- Genetic problems
- Hormonal imbalances
Hence, it is evident that spider veins can originate from a variety of very common situations. This justifies why such a large part of the population suffers from spider veins. These veins usually develop near the ankles or on the backside of the legs.
Is the development of spider veins a severe health condition?
People usually consider spider veins to be more of a cosmetic problem. They are less harmful than varicose veins, which can cause a wide range of severe issues. The most common issue with spider veins is that they can harm the looks of your skin once they are prominent.
However, many problems may arise in case you develop spider veins. You may also consider these as potential symptoms if the condition is not visible yet.
- Heaviness or fatigue in the legs
- Swelling of legs or ankles
- Frequent muscle cramps
- A sensation of throbbing, itching, or burning in the legs
If you notice these symptoms and feel that you may have spider veins, you should consult a vein specialist at the earliest to get it checked. It would be much easier to treat the condition at an early stage.
How to treat spider veins?
Many people leave their spider veins untreated simply because they are unaware that treatment procedures are available. However, most people who get the condition treated do so for cosmetic reasons, although some also do it to get rid of the symptoms.
Although you can find out more about spider veins treatment here, but below are some of the best treatment procedures:
This is the treatment procedure that most individuals opt for. Sclerotherapy also happens to be one of the most advanced and effective treatments for spider veins and varicose veins. A practitioner injects a solution into the damaged veins. Very soon, these veins scar and the blood automatically starts flowing through healthy veins. Eventually, the scarred veins collapse and vanish.
Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) is yet another minimally invasive way to treat spider veins. In this case, the practitioner would heat the damaged veins using radiofrequency energy. The heat results in the formation of scar tissues and shuts off the veins, redirecting the blood.
Laser treatment is similar to RFA to some extent. Instead of radiofrequency energy, the laser is used for heating purposes. Eventually, the target vein would shut off and collapse.
A painless way to treat spider veins is to use VenaSeal vein glue. Once injected, the glue physically closes the damaged vein from the inside. VenaSeal treatment usually does not require any major anesthesia or regional nerve block.
Whether a specific treatment procedure is suitable for an individual may vary, it is always wise to consult a professional. He/she would be able to guide you based on the severity and any existing medical conditions.
Can you prevent spider veins from developing?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent spider veins entirely. With age, the chances of developing the condition increases. Spider veins are particularly noticeable among individuals who spend long hours standing, such as during work.
You may slow down the development of spider veins or decrease the severity by following a healthy diet, exercising, and not spending too much time standing or sitting constantly. Now that you know various details regarding spider veins, you can make better decisions about the treatment.