By Lisa Perez, MD, VeinInnovations Midtown
Spider veins are the least serious of the most common vein disorders. Spider veins are essentially smaller versions of varicose veins and are caused by blood pooling in the veins because the valves are not closing completely. Spider veins commonly appear as small red or purple clusters of veins that are near the surface of the skin.
The underlying cause can be any number of factors, including heredity or hormonal changes (including those caused by birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy). Anything that restricts circulation, including sitting or standing for long periods, as well as obesity and squatting to lift heavy objects, can contribute to them.
Spider veins generally aren’t as painful as varicose veins and usually don’t present any health risks. They are nonetheless a cosmetic issue for many people due to the areas of the body where they show up – particularly on the legs, but they can also develop on the face, feet, and hands.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive vein treatment that has been around since the 1930s, but it has advanced considerably over the years. Sclerotherapy is considered the gold standard treatment for eliminating spider veins. The procedure involves injecting a solution into each damaged vein using amicro needle. The solution used at VeinInnovations is painless and causes the vein to collapse. It is naturally absorbed into the bloodstream. Meanwhile, blood automatically redirects to the healthy veins, improving circulation. After treatment there may be some bruising and discoloration along the pathway of the vein. This can take up to 4-6 weeks to resolve. During this time, it is important to protect the treated areas from sun exposure. The number of sclerotherapy treatments needed to clear or improve the appearance of the spider veins varies from patient to patient. Most patients require 3-4 treatments to achieve their desired results. The exact number of treatments depends greatly on the extent of the spider veins present.
Sclerotherapy is generally recommended only for spider veins and small varicose veins. Although it works well on treating existing spider veins, it does not prevent the formation of new spider veins. For patients experiencing symptoms of underlying venous disease such as aching, heaviness, swelling or large bulging varicose veins, they should consider an ultrasound evaluation to determine the severity of their venous disease.
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