Spider veins are very small, thin clusters of red, blue or purple veins that lie close to the surface of the skin with tiny branch-like or spider web patterns. They can appear anywhere on the body but they are most commonly found on the face and legs.
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged or stretched veins located deep under the skin's surface or embedded in the muscles of the legs. Women are twice more likely to develop varicose veins than men.
What Causes It?
The exact cause of spider and varicose veins is unknown. Spider veins are formed by hereditary weaknesses in the walls of small blood vessels located close to the surface of the skin. In varicose veins, normal blood flow is disrupted by enlarged or twisted veins causing the valves to not function properly, permitting increased pressure in the veins. The valves become damaged, allowing blood to pool down in the vein.
Spider veins and varicose veins are very common. Heredity is the most common factor in the development of these conditions. Pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain and lack of exercise are also believed to be contributing factors. Prolonged periods of sitting or standing, sun damage, injuries and some skin diseases can also cause spider and varicose veins.
Most varicose veins are only a cosmetic condition, however, some varicose veins may cause ulcers due to poor circulation. If left untreated, people can be completely disabled by the condition.
What Can Be Done?
Sclerotherapy is a quick, safe and relatively simple procedure to treat unwanted spider and varicose veins. It can be performed in the office with minimal discomfort. We use a specially developed chemical solution called sotradechol, a sclerosing agent, which is injected into the affected veins with a very small needle.
The sclerosing solution causes damage to the inner lining of the veins forcing it to close up or collapse and become scar tissue that eventually is absorbed by the body. This procedure redirects the blood flow through healthier veins. Three or more sessions are usually necessary to achieve optimal results.
Laser treatments are also used for spider veins in The Laser and Rejuvenation Center.