Spider veins are smaller red, purple and blue vessels that twist and turn and more superficial under the skin and they resemble a “spider web”.hey are easily visible through the ski,especially in lighter color skin. They are typically seen on the legs and face. Usually there is no pain associated with spider veins.
Varicose veins are larger, raised, swollen blood vessels that are deeper under the skin.They can get very large, twist and turn and can be associated with cramping pain, throbbing, or tiredness.
Veins General Anatomy
The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze,they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity.valves or flaps prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up the legs towards the heart.
Varicose veins and spider veins are usually caused by weak or damaged valves inside the veins. Weak valves allow leakage of blood backwards into the legs. This results in dilatation or enlargement of the veins and pulling of the blood by force of gravity.
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Causes of Varicose Veins & Spider Veins
There are a number of causes that a person can develop spider veins and varicose veins.These may include:
- Obesity – can put extra pressure on your veins
Use of birth control pills and hormone pills
Hormonal effects fro, pregnancy, puberty, menopause
History of blood clots
Aging – he valves in the veins may weaken with age
Chronic constipation and increase abdominal pressure
- Leg trauma or injury
Prior vein surgery
More commonly seen in women (50-55%) than men (40-45%)
- Occupations that require standing position – teachers, servers, hair stylists, nurses
What Treatment Options Are Available?
There are a number of treatment options for varicose veins and spider veins. Regardless of what treatment is performed, wearing fitting support hose especially when there is pain is crucial. These prevent pulling of blood into the legs which can cause dilatation of the veins.
If possible, life style changes such as weight reduction, avoiding standing position for extended periods of time, and exercising more frequently can help in the treatment of unsightly veins.
Injecting specific medications into the veins causes them to disappear gradually over a period of three to nine weeks. However, it does not prevent formation of new spider veins or varicose veins in the future.
Laser and pulse light devices use heat energy to damage and destroy abnormal veins. These treatments are usually associated with some discomfort and localized blister and bruising formation. Typically, the results are disappointing.
Surgical removal of the large and problematic veins may be performed under local or general anesthesia, where the veins are pulled and tied off using sutures. Surgical technique is not an option for spider veins.
Vein Injection Procedure
Sclero-therapy is an office procedure where these unsightly veins are injected with a sclerosing (special medications) agent by using a very fine needle to cause the veins to collapse and disappear permanently.These treatments do not require any anesthesia and are relatively painless. In some cases, the same vein may need to be treated more than once. Treatments are usually done every 6-8 weeks. We do recommend our patients to wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy to help with healing and decrease swelling.
Sclerotherapy injection is considered the treatment of choice for spider veins and smaller varicose veins. These treatments can potentially improve appearance and the related symptoms such as aching, swelling, or night cramps.
How to Lower Risk of Spider Veins
By decreasing pressure on the legs, by keeping weight the weight down, avoiding standing or sitting for extended period of time, exercising the legs (running, walking), support stockings, elevating the legs when possible, and minimizing sun exposure especially if you are light skin(using sunscreen on the face and nose) to prevent spider veins on the face.
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