Spider veins are simply tiny, thin versions of varicose veins. These veins appear to be purple or blue, and they usually don’t pose any health concerns – most people who seek treatment for them do so for cosmetic reasons.
Spider veins can form small, web-like patterns on the surface of the skin of the legs and, sometimes, the face. Spider veins will only cause mild discomfort from exerting pressure on the area, such as after standing up for extended periods of time.
Varicose veins are larger and more prominent. They resemble large twisted knots that can be easily seen and felt through the skin, sometimes causing a feeling of weighty discomfort.
Treatment of Visible Veins
Laser treatment offers a viable option to reduce or remove unsightly spider or varicose veins. To treat spider veins, lasers offer a noninvasive method with almost no side effects. It can treat different sizes of problematic veins, and it is effective regardless of skin tone.
In the laser treatment of veins, the physician focuses a highly concentrated beam of energy at the veins under the skin. This helps to reduce the size of the veins.
The size of the veins dictates which type of treatment will be used. For smaller-sized spider and varicose veins, a simple laser treatment done on the surface of the skin is typically sufficient.
When varicose veins are larger, your doctor may recommend treatment via an endovenous laser. The doctor will place a tiny catheter into the problematic vein, and the heat from the laser will close and eventually shrink the vein.
These vein treatments can be done on an outpatient basis. Your doctor will give you special instructions for follow-up treatments as necessary until the desired result is achieved.
Causes of Spider and Varicose Veins
The circulatory system is made up of over 60,000 miles of arteries and veins. Veins have valves that prevent blood from moving in the wrong direction – but if a valve becomes weak, blood can pool in the vein, thereby stretching and bulging the vein’s walls. The vein can therefore become visible if it’s close to the skin’s surface.
Researchers have determined that spider and varicose veins can be caused by one or more of the following:
- Being overweight or obese
- Spending long periods of time sitting or lying down
- Wearing high heels
- Wearing tight pants (which can affect circulation in the legs and feet)
- Having a family history of varicose veins or blood clots
Health risks that are associated with varicose veins include venous insufficiency, which can cause blood to pool in the legs and cause pain. This can also lead to the formation of blood clots, which can be life-threatening.
How Can I Prevent Them from Forming?
There are several ways to help prevent varicose or spider veins from forming or becoming worse, including the following:
- Wear compression stockings
- Engage in mild exercise on a regular basis
- Get up and walk for a few minutes if you’ve been sitting for a while
- Take a break and sit with your legs elevated if you’ve been standing for a while
- Avoid soaking for too long in a hot bath or hot tub
These steps mentioned above can help prevent new spider and varicose veins from forming, but they will not help existing vein problems.
Who Can Remove Varicose Veins in Houston?
If you are in the Houston area and are plagued by varicose veins or spider veins, contact the professionals at The Vein Institute & MediSpa today.
Call us at (281) 312-0208 or request an appointment online now. Get rid of those unsightly veins in time for summer, once and for all!