If you don’t already know about these pesky aging signs, spider veins appear as small clusters of red, purple, or blue veins in web-like patterns that are visible through the skin. They can crop up just about anywhere, including the face, thighs, calves, and ankles, and they are very common in women of a more mature age. If you’re bothered by the presence of spider veins somewhere on your body, here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Nearly half of all women will experience spider veins during their lifetimes, a natural occurrence that has many causes.
The following factors may increase your likelihood of developing spider veins:
- Your sex. Being female increases your risks greatly.
- Your age. Spider veins are sometimes a product of growing older.
- Your heredity. If spider veins are common in your family, you are more likely to see them on your legs.
- Your occupation. Jobs that require long periods of standing can increase your risk: nurses, hair stylists, teachers, factory workers, and retail workers.
- Your weight. Obesity has been linked to a higher occurrence of spider veins.
- Your use of birth control pills.
- Your postmenopausal hormone therapies.
- Any history you have of blood clots.
- Health conditions that increase pressure on the abdomen: tumors, frequent constipation, and wearing girdles and corsets regularly.
- Pregnancy. Many women develop spider veins as a result of their pregnancies and they remain long afterwards.
- Previous injuries, specifically trauma to the skin, vein surgeries, and significant exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Keep in mind that spider veins are much different from varicose veins, a larger and darker vein that often appears rope-like. If you’re not sure which type of veins have appeared on your body, consult with a healthcare professional. Spider veins are a harmless symptom of the above risk factors, but varicose veins can be the sign of a more serious health problem and should be treated accordingly.
What Treatments Can Eliminate Spider Veins?
Although there are many ways that you can get spider veins, you won’t be able to get rid of them without making an appointment to consult with a plastic surgeon. They will not go away on their own and can’t be treated at home. However, eliminating spider veins is easy if you know where to start and who to ask. Currently, there are two main treatment options that are used by plastic surgeons to remove unwanted spider veins.
The first treatment option is sclerotherapy, which involves the injection of a medical solution deep into the vein. This solution works to displace the blood, clearing up the darkened color of the vein immediately. Secondarily, it will irritate the lining of the treated veins, causing them to eventually collapse. Under the right circumstances, sclerotherapy is the preferred choice of treatment for spider veins. It can be challenging to use sclerotherapy on very tiny veins, however, for other than a very skilled injector.
A second treatment option is laser vein therapy, which uses pulses of concentrated light to coagulate the blood inside the targeted vein. Blood flow becomes disrupted and the vein can no longer function. Eventually, it will be absorbed into the body. This treatment is ideal for spider veins present on the face or chest. Larger veins like those found in the legs, however, may be resistant to this type of treatment.
Am I a Good Candidate for Spider Vein Treatments?
In order to be considered for either one of the two spider vein treatments available, you should have at least one area where spider veins are present. Men and women of any age can experience spider veins, so those unhappy with their appearance can seek treatment. To be eligible for sclerotherapy or laser vein therapy, you should be in good physical health, have a good understanding of your chosen treatment, and have realistic expectations for your results. A plastic surgeon will assess your needs and eligibility during a one-on-one consultation.
Where Can I Learn More About Treating Spider Veins?
If you’re hoping to find out more about spider veins and find the right treatment for yourself, connect with a clinic that offers top-notch service and the latest technology in skin care treatments, clinical services, and anti-aging treatments. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ruth Hillelson, Director of Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics at American Self, to get started. She has an extensive background in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, as well as a commitment to implementing the latest medical techniques and technologies. Dr. Hillelson was among the first physicians to perform sclerotherapy and began in 1987 after extensive international training and teaching.
Dr. Terry Whipple is the Director of Orthopaedics and Fitness at American Self. He provides his patients with a range of other procedural options to help with fitness, pain management, and other health concerns. With both Dr. Hillelson and Dr. Whipple at the helm, American Self is a unique clinic for patients seeking procedures and treatments of all varieties. Contact their office, located at 9900 Independence Park Drive in Richmond, Virginia, by calling (804) 290-0060 to schedule your first consultation today.