Spider Veins Treatment Overview
What are spider veins?
Spider veins, medically known as “telangiactasias,” are dense clusters of red, blue, or purple blood vessels that resemble spider webs, gradually expanding outwards. They usually occur on the lower extremities of the body, such as the legs and thighs, but they can also develop on the face and other parts of the body.
What’s the root cause of spider veins?
An underlying circulatory disorder known as chronic venous insufficiency (vein disease) is the primary root cause of spider veins.
The primary goal of leg veins is carrying blood up towards the heart, resisting the gravitational pull. This can be accomplished because of vein valves, flap-like components within the veins that act as one-way doors — they allow blood to flow towards the heart but prevent it from flowing back down.
Chronic venous insufficiency is a medical condition wherein the vein valves collapse and malfunction due to various factors, making blood flow backward due to gravitational force. Over time, blood continues accumulating in the leg veins, placing extreme pressure on the vein walls, eventually leading to spider veins.
Are there any symptoms of spider veins?
Spider veins are often asymptomatic, but they may cause slight discomfort, self-consciousness, and social anxiety, mostly due to their hideous appearance.
However, the underlying vein disease can cause numerous symptoms, including leg heaviness, restless leg syndrome, throbbing leg veins, frequent muscle cramps, aching, itching, and tingling sensations. These symptoms usually worsen at the end of the day or after long periods of sitting or standing still.
If left untreated, the underlying vein disease can also lead to skin changes, discoloration, non-healing leg wounds (ulceration), and deep vein thrombosis. As such, you must contact a spider vein treatment center in California at an early stage to diagnose the root cause of spider veins.
What are the risk factors for spider veins?
Genetic predisposition (family history) is the single greatest risk factor for spider veins. If your mother and father have a history of vein disease symptoms, there’s a 90% chance that you’ll eventually get spider veins, varicose veins, or other symptoms of vein disease.
Sex is the second biggest risk factor for spider veins — approximately 54% of women and 45% of men in the United States experience symptoms of vein disease. This is because higher levels of estrogen increase your risk of spider veins, which means you also have a higher risk if you’re pregnant, taking birth control pills, or undergoing hormone therapy.
Age is an important risk factor for spider veins — your vein valves weaken as you grow older, increasing the risk of spider veins and vein disease.
Other risk factors for spider veins include obesity, leg injuries, a history of blood clots, or a job requiring sitting or standing for long periods.
How do vein doctors in California treat spider veins?
Our vein doctors in California use cutting-edge diagnostic tools to identify and treat the root cause of spider veins. As mentioned earlier, spider veins are usually asymptomatic, causing nothing more severe than aesthetic problems. As such, it’s important to treat underlying venous insufficiency rather than simply focusing on spider veins.
Without underlying vein disease, it’s not necessary to treat spider veins, though you can still opt for sclerotherapy sessions to improve your legs’ cosmetic appearance.
However, if you have underlying vein disease, seeking prompt vein treatment in California is crucial. If you get spider vein treatments without addressing the underlying problems, you’ll probably experience a recurrence.
What are the best spider vein treatments in California?
- Daily Exercise: You can temporarily reduce the symptoms of vein disease by engaging in regular cardiovascular exercises, such as swimming, running, and cycling. These exercises lead to calf muscle contractions, pushing the accumulated blood towards the heart, thereby alleviating the pain and discomfort.
- Posture: If you have a job that requires sitting for long periods, you can elevate your legs over your heart’s level to facilitate blood circulation towards the heart. You should also avoid sitting or standing still for long periods. That should alleviate the discomfort, at least temporarily.
- Compression Stockings: Compression stockings are skin-tight garments that squeeze the leg veins, pushing the accumulated blood towards the heart to reduce the symptoms of vein disease. However, you should only wear custom-fitted and accurately-measured compression garments procured from reliable vein doctors in California.
- Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment for spider veins performed within your physician’s vein treatment center in California. The vein doctor injects a special medicine called sclerosant into the spider veins to fuse (and seal) their walls. However, sclerotherapy is a cosmetic procedure that only removes spider veins — not the underlying vein disease.
- Laser Therapy: Laser therapy is a cosmetic procedure that reduces the visibility of the smallest spider veins, making it a less-effective alternative to sclerotherapy. However, this method isn’t suitable for all skin types, and it doesn’t address the symptoms of vein disease.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: Radiofrequency ablation is the ideal in-office procedure for underlying chronic venous insufficiency. During an in-office procedure, the vein physician uses thermal energy to close the diseased vein, restoring effective blood circulation. It doesn’t cause any pain, discomfort, or downtime.
- Endovenous Laser Ablation: Endovenous laser ablation is similar to radiofrequency ablation — the vein doctor in CA uses laser energy instead of thermal energy to close the diseased vein. However, laser ablation causes more post-treatment discomfort and bruising.