Are you tired of looking at those small, red web-like imperfections on your skin? Spider veins are a common cosmetic concern, but they can also be a sign of more serious venous disorders. That is why a vein specialist should be your first choice in seeking care for this common condition. Keep reading to learn more about spider veins, how they form, and the treatment options available at R Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, CA.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins appear as small areas of discoloration in your skin. Their red, blue, or purple web-like shape is commonly found on the lower legs, and many people feel they are an inevitable part of aging. In reality, they are caused by small amounts of blood that pools in surface veins.
Spider veins do not usually cause discomfort, but many people find them to be a source of embarrassment. For that reason, they can quickly undermine self-confidence. Many people with spider veins try to hide their skin from view. This causes social withdrawal and isolation as you stop doing activities you enjoy, like swimming at the pool, visiting the beach, or playing tennis.
While most people consider spider veins harmless, they can be an indicator that you are more likely to develop other, more serious disorders. These can include larger varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis.
What Causes Spider Veins to Form?
Spider veins appear when veins near the skin’s surface are damaged. They are usually the result of small amounts of pooled or stagnant blood. This happens when the one-way valves within your veins are damaged, grow weak or otherwise fail to work properly.
Veins are only designed to carry blood in one direction: back to the heart. This movement is controlled by small valves within your veins that are designed to prevent the backflow of blood. Over time, those valves may wear and grow weaker. When that happens, blood is able to flow backward or become stagnant within sections of the vein.
Your veins are not designed to accommodate the increased pressure and volume of that pooled blood. It can quickly lead to damage, including weakening and distorting your thin vein walls. You see that as the discolored and sometimes bulging appearance of spider veins on your skin.
Not all spider veins form on your legs. They can also appear on your face, neck, and chest. This is usually the result of burst blood vessels near the skin’s surface. Sun damage and excessive pressure on the veins and blood vessels are common causes of this type of spider vein.
Can They Be Prevented?
While there is no sure way to completely avoid spider veins, lifestyle modifications may help keep them at bay. Following a few basic steps and making behavior modifications can help you reduce the chances of developing unsightly spider veins in the future.
Blood vessels and small veins have thin walls that are susceptible to bursting under extreme pressure, like when you strain. Try to avoid straining that puts excess pressure on your blood vessels whenever possible.
Just like it helps your overall health, an active lifestyle can also help you avoid venous disorders like spider veins. It works for several reasons. First, exercise boosts circulation and encourages blood to flow. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which reduces pressure on your circulatory system and promotes overall cardiovascular health. Reduced weight and improved fitness can help you to lower and control your blood pressure levels.
Reducing Spider Veins on Your Legs
Try to avoid standing in one place for long periods of time. Prolonged standing can increase the likelihood of blood pooling in your legs. Take short breaks to walk around or stretch every hour or so to get your blood flowing. This is can discourage spider veins from forming in your legs.
Sitting in one place for a long time isn’t good either. If you have to sit in one place, like at a desk, try to keep your feet slightly elevated. This is especially important if you have noticed any swelling in your feet or ankles.
Compression socks can aid the circulation within your legs and discourage blood pooling. This can help reduce swelling and possibly lessen your chances of developing spider veins.
Reducing Spider Veins on Your Face, Neck, and Chest
To avoid spider veins developing on your face, neck, or chest, minimize your exposure to the sun. If you spend time outdoors, be sure to use sunscreen to help avoid damage.
Predisposition to Spider Veins
The truth is some people are simply more likely than others to develop spider veins. While it is not a foregone conclusion that you will get them, you should definitely take action to avoid spider veins if you meet any of these conditions:
- You have been diagnosed with another vascular disorder
- You have a family history of the spider veins or vascular disease
- You are overweight or obese
- You have uncontrolled high blood pressure
Visiting a vascular specialist can help you get underlying factors that can contribute to spider veins under control.
Why See a Vein Specialist for Spider Veins?
Spider veins are a medical condition. Although many people view them as a mere cosmetic annoyance, they can be an early indication of a more serious problem. As a vein specialist, Dr. Shaheen can perform a thorough examination of your condition, review your medical history, and perform diagnostics to evaluate your risk.
Venous disorders can cause major health issues. Why risk your health by brushing spider veins off as a cosmetic condition? Instead, talk to a vein specialist to determine if they are a sign of a more serious problem.
Available Spider Vein Treatment Options
No matter how easily and quickly they appear, spider veins will not disappear on their own. Luckily, the vein specialists at R Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, California, offer several spider veins removal treatment options to remove them. So, whether you are struggling with a few tiny lines or you have considerably larger spider veins, help is available.
Sclerotherapy has long been considered the gold standard among spider vein removal treatments. It is one of the most common treatments for venous disorders, including spider and varicose veins. Generally considered safe, some variation of this minimally invasive treatment has been performed by vein specialists since the 1930s.
How It Works
Sclerotherapy causes irritation and swelling to the tissue that makes up your vein wall. This is accomplished by injecting an irritant called a sclerosant into the affected vein.
The swelling that results will cause your vein to become blocked. At that point, your body will naturally divert the flow of blood to other nearby, healthy veins. The treated vein, now completely blocked and no longer functional, will dissolve over time. Then it will be absorbed and expelled by your body.
The Treatment Process
Most sclerotherapy treatment sessions will take between 30 and 45 minutes. However, they may take longer depending on the severity of your condition and the complexity of your treatment plan. They are performed right in our office, so you will not need to make a trip to the hospital or an outpatient center.
The Recovery Process
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive option. It only requires a small injection, so there is very little downtime associated with it. Post-treatment care is usually fairly straightforward, too. We may suggest avoiding strenuous activity for a couple of days, and you may also want to wear compression socks during the recovery period.
Results will generally be visible after a few weeks. Some people, especially those with larger spider veins, may need additional treatment to fully resolve their condition.
This is a noninvasive treatment that is often used on smaller spider veins. It can be safely used on almost any skin type without damaging surrounding tissue. VeinGogh is generally not considered a good treatment option for larger spider or varicose veins.
How It Works
VeinGogh works by heating the vein with a very small probe. Roughly the size of a human hair, this is applied directly to the affected vein with a stylus-like device. Specially generated microbursts of energy are then sent through the probe to quickly destroy the veins.
The heat that is delivered causes swelling and collapse of the affected vein. As with sclerotherapy, the blood flow is redirected to nearby veins and the treated vein is absorbed and expelled naturally.
The Treatment Process
VeinGogh is minimally invasive, and you should remain comfortable during the treatment. Treatments take place in the office. Most can be completed in a matter of minutes, although individual treatment times will vary depending on your specific condition.
It can take a few days before you see the results of a VeinGogh treatment. Most people will see at least partial results after a single treatment session. However, you may need two to three sessions before your spider veins are fully resolved.
The Recovery Process
There is little to no downtime after a VeinGogh treatment. You will probably be advised to avoid strenuous activity for a day or so afterward.
Will Spider Veins Return After Treatment?
Once veins are treated with sclerotherapy or VeinGogh, they are gone permanently and will not come back. However, new spider veins can appear in other areas. In fact, since spider veins can be an indicator that you are more likely to develop other vascular conditions, you should be alert for further development of vascular disorders.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Treatment?
Most adults can safely have spider veins removed by one of these treatment methods. Of course, you will want to talk to a vein specialist to determine the best course of action for your particular condition. There are some general guidelines to follow.
Sclerotherapy is one of the most commonly performed treatments for spider veins that appear on your legs. In addition to spider veins, it can also be used to treat small and medium-sized varicose veins. However, it may not be suitable for very small spider veins or those on the delicate skin of your face, neck, and chest. Your doctor can help you determine if sclerotherapy is a good choice for your spider vein removal needs.
For smaller veins or those in delicate areas, VeinGogh may be a good choice. It can effectively target the smallest venous abnormalities without damaging the surrounding skin.
- You are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, or you have recently given birth
- You have an infection or wound at the treatment site
- You have a history of certain medical conditions, such as blood clots, diabetes, or thrombophlebitis
- You need treatment in a vein that has been identified as useful for future bypass surgery
Learn More Today
If you are ready to get rid of your spider veins and stop hiding away, talk to a vein specialist today. Contact us at R Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, CA today so we can help you find the right treatment option for your unique situation.