Spider Veins

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What Causes Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small veins visible through the skin. These veins can be blue, red or purple in color and are typically seen on a person’s face and legs.

For some people, the development of spider veins is hereditary. Others develop the veins by working in professions that require a lot of standing, such as teaching, nursing or waitressing. Health problems such as obesity or a history of blood clots could also cause spider veins to develop. In some cases, spider veins might also develop due to birth control pills, tumors, constipation, hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy or menopause, and postmenopausal hormone therapy

Spider Veins Fairfax

Who can Suffer From Spider Veins?

In general, spider veins are seen in women more frequently than in men, but can affect both men and women of any age. Because of their unattractive appearance, spider veins are typically considered undesirable and can make a person appear older. These veins also have no helpful purpose in the human body.

Spider Veins Vs. Varicose Veins

Frequently, people confuse spider veins and varicose veins. In reality, both are two different forms of one medical condition known as venous insufficiency. Both conditions show symptoms in the legs and result from having damaged or weakened valves in the veins. But, the two issues are characterized by different symptoms.

Spider veins are generally small, fine lines that appear either as flat or slightly raised. These veins are often red, blue, or purple in color. Although these veins can cause some degree of discomfort in the legs, they are more or less painless most of the time.

On the other hand, varicose veins are much deeper and larger as compared to spider veins. These veins may also appear twisted or lumpy and are generally red or flesh-colored.

Spider Veins Tysons Corner

Before & After Treatment

How can I Tell the Difference?

Depending on the severity of the issue, varicose veins can manifest in a variety of symptoms, which may include the following:

  • Constant pain
  • Bleeding
  • Itching
  • Swelling in the ankles or legs
  • An achy or heavy sensation in the legs

It’s important to note that varicose veins may also increase the chance of a person developing blood clots and circulation issues in the legs.

Prevention of Spider Veins

While a venous insufficiency like spider veins is usually hereditary, there are other controllable reasons behind the condition. They aren’t completely preventable, but you can still take a few measures to avoid it to some extent. Here are a few tips to follow:

Avoid crossing your legs: Sitting in a cross-legged posture for too long can hamper blood flow in the legs and lead to vessel damage. Maintaining this posture for long can weaken your vein walls and valves and lead to spider veins.

Apply sunscreen: Prolonged exposure to the sun is seen to be one of the causes behind spider veins, because of this, it is recommended that you apply a sunscreen lotion with an SPF of at least 30 to avoid the condition. Applying sunscreen will also prevent skin cancer and the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles.

 Keep moving: Standing or sitting for too long can lead to blood circulation problems. So try not to maintain this posture for more than 30 minutes. Go for a walk whenever possible to ensure the blood flows smoothly in your legs.

Keep your legs elevated: Last, try to put your feet up to reduce pressure on your legs and push the blood back into your heart. Doing so will reduce the pressure on your veins and reduce the chances of them weakening or damaging.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Some people choose to have their spider veins treated by a medical professional and the first step will be a proper diagnosis. In such cases, if there is venous insufficiency in patients with spider veins, treatments for the veins are unlikely to provide permanent results, thus, a physician must examine the patient carefully before beginning any treatment plan.

However, if the diagnosis by a physician is that the patient does not have venous insufficiency, then the problem with spider veins is simply seen as a cosmetic problem. Treatment in such cases usually involves sclerotherapy or laser therapy.

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a process by which a medical professional injects an irritant solution or concentrated saline solution directly into the patient’s vein. This injection causes the spider vein to disappear within six weeks. The procedure is inexpensive and simple. Most sclerotherapy procedures can be given in an outpatient clinic.

What About Laser Vein Treatment?

Laser therapy will require a series of treatments for the most optimum results. Laser leg vein treatment may be suggested for the treatment of very small spider veins or telangiectasia (very small vessels). In certain situations, the best results are obtained from a combination of the two techniques.

For advice on treating your spider veins in Fairfax, Virginia, call one of our medical staff to schedule a consultation at VeinGuard Heart & Vascular Center.

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