Leg veins range from tiny, superficial "spider veins" to large, blue "varicose" veins. Varicose veins are blood vessels that are abnormally dilated, appearing swollen, twisted and can be painful. They occur most commonly in the legs and feet. Spider veins (telangiectasia) are the smaller, flat, abnormally-dilated blood vessels visible on the skin. Varicose and spider veins appear as blue, purple, or red veins on the legs and calves.
Spider veins appear both in men and women and become visible only when there is a heavy pressure exerted on these veins. They appear most commonly in women because of hormonal imbalance during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Puberty, hormonal changes, weight gain, lack of physical activity, pregnancy, birth control pills, and sitting or standing for a long time are some of the factors that causes spider veins or varicose veins. They even occur when the skin is tied up tightly with any elastic band. In some cases, these veins occur on the face and cheeks of fair-skin people when they are exposed to the sun.
The actual cause for spider veins remains unknown. One of the probable cause is impaired circulation of impure blood. This is caused when the venous blood (impure blood) that flows through these veins get deviated. Due to this deviation, the circulation is interrupted or the blood flow gets restricted causing the vein to swell up. Spider veins are also caused due to weakness in the blood vessel walls that are close to the surface of the skin.
The treatment for spider veins on other parts of the body would be an injection procedure called sclerotherapy. This therapy is safe, simple, and quick. The sclerosing/irritant solution is injected into the target site, where the spider veins or varicose veins are present. The sclerosing solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing the vein to swell and stick together. Over time, the venous blemishes turn into scar tissue and may disappear.
The number of veins treated in one session will be decided by your dermatologist based on the size and location of the veins. There will be a two-week interval between first and second treatments and then a 1-month period to assess response.
Scelotherapy slowly clears leg veins and may be completely resolved in two to six months, depending on the vessel size. Spider veins on the face are treated with laser therapy.
Other conventional methods for treatment of Spider Veins would include:
- Avoid sitting or standing for long hours without taking a break.
- Physical activity should be included in your daily routine. This will help improve circulation in the veins.
- Obesity will increase the risk of pressure being exerted on the blood walls. Lose weight if you are obese.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes that may interrupt circulation.
- Avoid wearing high heeled shoes. Calf muscles put in a lot of energy when you try to walk in heels. Thus when the calf muscles are at rest the circulation will be improved.
Altus Coolglide™ is a new technology used to treat spider and varicose veins. Altus Coolglide™ uses wavelengths of pulsed light to destroy spider veins. It produces a high-energy flash of light that passes harmlessly through the skin with minimal surface damage. The light is absorbed by the blood and is converted into heat, which damages the underlying vein that is slowly absorbed by the body over a period of a few weeks.
HeartPlace Baylor Heart Hospital
HeartPlace Plano West