You don’t have to wear long pants or colored hose all the time to cover up unsightly spider veins on your legs or apply heavy makeup if the skin discoloration shows up on your face. Instead, reach out to a vein specialist at Century Medical and Dental Center for treatment to get rid of those embarrassing red and blue lines. At the same time, because it’s a multi-disciplinary practice, you may discover that the cause of your spider veins is related to an underlying condition that can be diagnosed and treated at the same location, preventing further intrusions on your appearance.
A mild form of varicose veins, spider veins, clinically called telangiectasia, is a condition that leaves you with permanently dilated capillaries that appear just under the surface of the skin. These veins form a web-like pattern of thin red, blue or purple lines. Their appearance can range from obvious to barely noticeable.
Studies suggest that between 30 to 50 percent of adults suffer from spider veins to some degree. The percentage increases in tandem with age and seems to afflict more women than men. Spider veins don’t threaten your health, but their appearance may cause you to feel self-conscious and embarrassed, limiting your quality of life.
Spider Vein Causes
Like varicose veins, spider veins form when their internal valves begin to fail. These valves permit the one-way transmission of blood to the heart, but over time, they begin to allow the blood to flow backward and collect in the vein. Eventually, the extra blood puts pressure on the vein walls, causing them to swell. Spider veins can result for a number of reasons, including:
- Physical trauma
- History of blood clots
- Jobs that require prolonged standing or walking
- Prolonged sitting, especially with crossed legs
- Excessive exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light
- Pregnancy or other hormonal variations
- Birth control pills
- Tight clothes
- Family history of spider veins
- Advancing age
- Fluid in the abdomen
- Liver disease
- Previous vein surgery
- Topical steroid treatment
Spider Vein Symptoms, Diagnosis and Duration
Spider veins earned their name due to their web-like appearance. Symptoms usually consist of red, blue and purple lines on your legs, but they can also appear on the face, forearms and hands. Typically painless, in rare circumstances, they can cause mild discomfort or a burning sensation.
Your Brooklyn vein specialist at Century Medical and Dental Center usually can diagnose spider veins by a visual exam. Depending on the cause, your spider veins may be permanent or may disappear after a few months without treatment. Since your doctor is part of a multi-disciplinary team, you have access to specialists, such as physical therapists and dermatologists experienced in treating a wide range of underlying conditions causing your uncomfortable and unsightly veins.
Spider Veins Treatment
Treatment for spider veins can range from simple home care to minor surgery, and your Brooklyn vein doctor may use one or more techniques to treat them. Self-care options usually begin with improving circulation. Depending on your circumstances, your doctor may recommend:
- Weight loss
- Leg elevation
- Regular walks for people who typically sit
- Frequent sitting for people who usually stand
Dermatologists warn against taking long hot baths and often recommend using compression stockings. These stockings maintain pressure on the blood vessels in your legs, encouraging the blood flow back toward your heart. Your doctor can recommend the correct socks for your condition.
While home care therapies and lifestyle changes may prevent the appearance of new spider veins, they don’t make the existing ones disappear. Fortunately, there are safe and proven surgical treatments available that can make your unwelcome spider veins disappear, such as:
- Sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is the oldest and most common treatment for spider and small varicose veins. It has a successful track record dating back to the 19th century, and modern procedures now use ultrasound guidance for pinpoint accuracy. Your dermatologist can perform sclerotherapy in his office, and you don’t need anesthesia. The process involves injecting the vein with a chemical solution or foam, followed by light massage. You wear a compression stocking after the procedure for two to three weeks, but usually can return to work the next day. This process causes the spider veins to collapse and disappear within three to six weeks, though additional treatments may be necessary.
- Laser and Light Therapy. Your vein doctor can also treat spider veins with the newest minimally invasive technique available called endovenous laser therapy (EVLT). It’s similar in most respects to sclerotherapy treatments, except that local anesthesia is required. Instead of injecting a solution, your doctor makes a small incision into the spider vein and then inserts a laser fiber into it. This process collapses the vein through heat. Recovery and follow-up ensure that you’re following directions and include a recommendation that you walk daily to maintain sufficient blood flow.
You don’t have to live with the unsightly veins when exceptional, effective treatments are available at a Century Medical and Dental Center near you at one of three locations in Brooklyn. Your doctors in Downtown Brooklyn provides care and treatment designed for your specific needs. Contact us today for an appointment.