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Spider Vein FAQ

October 30, 2015 • jake • spider veins

What are spider veins and are they serious?

Spider veins are tiny thread-like veins lying close to the skin’s surface. The medical name for spider veins is telangiectasias, which is a combination of the Latin words for ‘end’ and ‘vessel.’ These unsightly veins can develop anywhere in the body but often appear on the back and sides of the thigh, and just below the knee. Spider veins usually appear spontaneously, with small bluish-red developing on the skin.  A spider vein in the legs or other areas of the skin are a cosmetic problem and pose no serious medical threat. A spider vein appearing in the mucous membranes or eyes may be serious and should be evaluated by a doctor.

Can a spider vein cause pain or swelling in my legs?

A spider vein causes no symptoms. If you have pain or swelling in your legs, consult with a doctor to determine the underlying cause.

What causes spider veins?

The National Library of Medicine says that the causes may include aging, pregnancy, sun exposure, alcohol use in people with rosacea, and family history.

Is there a medical treatment?

Vein doctors offer a variety of effective non-surgical vein treatment options, including sclerotherapy and laser therapy.

What is laser therapy?

Laser treatments use light energy to collapse a spider vein. Nearby tissue absorbs the collapsed vein, so the squiggly red/blue lines fade. Your body reroutes blood through healthier veins. Laser treatment is safe and effective, and does not require injections. The procedure takes only a few minutes, although repeat sessions may sometimes be required.  

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is similar to laser treatments except it uses chemical solutions, known as sclerosants, to disable diseased veins. Vein doctors use a very fine needle to inject sclerosants. Sclerotherapy allows doctors to treat several veins in a single session.

Is it okay to remove a spider vein?

These veins serve no purpose, so it is perfectly okay to treat them.

When should I have my spider veins treated?

Seek treatment when a spider vein becomes a cosmetic problem that ruins the smooth appearance of your skin. Since the procedure is elective, you can opt for treatment at almost any time.

Can spider veins come back?

While there are many effective spider vein treatments, there is no cure. Vein doctors can remove a spider vein but new ones can always develop. If you are like most people with this vein condition, you have a predisposition towards developing these annoying blue and red lines in your skin.

What should I do if I have spider veins that bother me?

Make an appointment with your local vein clinic. Your team of vein doctors and specialists can help you create a personalized plan to reduce the unsightly appearance of varicose veins. 

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