Spider veins are very similar to varicose veins except they are smaller. They usually appear to be blue or red, and are closer to the skin surface when compared to varicose veins. This condition can appear on small and large areas of a patient's skin as spider webs with short jagged lines or tree branches.
What are the causes of spider veins?
Spider veins can be caused by venous insufficiency, a condition where vein valves acting as one way flaps prevent blood flow backwards while moving up the legs. Additional causes of spider veins include sun exposure, hormone changes, and inherited related factors.
How do you treat or remove spider veins?
There are several different treatment options available for patients with spider veins: phlebectomy, sclerotherapy or VenaCure® laser treatment.
Sclerotherapy is most commonly used to treat spider veins or smaller varicose veins. This procedure is done in the office. Time required depends on the extent of the veins to be treated.
What happens during sclerotherapy?
A fine needle is used to inject a sclerosing agent into the vein. This irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to distend and prevents the blood from flowing through this vein. The lining of the vein then collapses and turns to scar tissue, which is gradually absorbed by the body.
What happens after sclerotherapy?
Following the procedure, the leg must be supported with compression bandages or prescription stockings for several days to allow the vein walls the stick together.
Sclerotherapy is relatively painless, although patients commonly feel an itching sensation for several minutes after the treatment. Several sclerotherapy treatments may be required to treat a given region.