Spider Vein Treatment Options
October is upon us! Meaning it’s the month of haunted houses, delicious pumpkin treats, and creepy, crawly spiders. Though they don’t have anything to do with actual spiders, spider veins do share their name. But you don’t have to be afraid of them and if you’d like to “exterminate” your spider veins, there are treatment options available.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are small clusters of red, blue, and purple veins that create almost weblike, twisted structures. They most often occur on legs and thighs but they can appear anywhere on the human body. Most spider veins are simply cosmetic and do not turn into varicose veins or cause other medical concerns.
Who gets spider veins?
There are many factors that can lead to the appearance of spider veins. Some of the most common causes are:
- Hormonal shifts
- Occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing
- Weight fluctuation
Anyone can get spider veins but they are more prevalent in women as they age.
How are spider veins treated?
As before stated, spider veins are usually just a cosmetic concern. If you are self-conscious about your spider veins and would like them removed you do have a couple of options.
Sclerotherapy is a tried-and-true method of treating veins. It is used for spider veins as well as smaller varicose veins. This technique involved introducing a sclerosing agent, a prescribed medication, into the affected veins. This sclerosing agent causes slight irritation inside the inner wall of the veins, causing it to close. When the veins close, your blood reroutes to a nearby vessel, and the closed vein is eventually absorbed.
Sclerotherapy is performed in the office, and takes about an hour, depending on the number of veins being treated. No anesthesia or numbing is required because the needles used are tiny and there are no nerves within the veins.
- Laser Removal
Laser removal is another option for spider vein treatment. This method involves a small handpiece that is passed over your skin while the laser energy emits through the tip. The energy then moves through your skin to treat the visible veins. As the energy transforms into heat, the blood coagulates and the veins close.
How soon after each treatment will my spider veins go away?
With both forms of treatment, your treated veins will gradually close and be absorbed. The rate at which your veins will fade varies from patient to patient. It may take a week for them to improve but it could also take upwards of a month or more.