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What are Spider Veins?

October 5, 2016 • jake • spider veins

You’re familiar with varicose veins, those twisty, large and raised blood vessels that often form on the legs, but what about spider veins? What are spider veins? You might think of them of as the younger sibling or cousin of varicose veins. They are smaller, look like spider webs (or tree branches), and form on the legs and occasionally on the face. Spider veins can be a source of embarrassment or make you feel self conscious. But, treatment is available and is often very straight forward.

What Are Spider Veins? Spider Veins 101

What Causes Spider Veins?

Several things can cause spider veins. The veins form when the blood isn’t able to flow freely and backs up in the blood vessels. External factors can also cause spider veins. For example, people who are overweight are more likely to develop them, as there is increased pressure on their blood vessels. Sun exposure is another common cause of the veins, and people who live in areas with a lot of sunshine or people who spend a lot of time outdoors are more likely to have spider veins. Age, pregnancy or other causes of hormone fluctuations, and family history can also make a person more likely to develop spider veins.

Are They A Serious Concern?

For the most part, spider veins are usually only a cosmetic issue. They might cause some symptoms, such as an itching or burning feeling in the legs or face, but many people do not need to treat them for medical reasons. Very rarely, spider veins can lead to a serious problem, such as a blood clot deeper in the legs or an ulcer on the skin.

How Can You Treat Spider Veins?

If you’d like to remove your spider veins, you have a few options for treatment. Laser treatments are often used for the smallest of spider veins. During treatment, a vein specialist uses a laser to damage the veins. Once destroyed, the spider veins fade from view. Laser vein treatment is quick and relatively comfortable. The vein doctor uses a topical anesthetic to numb the treatment area, and most treatments only take about 15 minutes. Sclerotherapy is another common spider vein treatment. Instead of a laser, the vein specialist injects the relevant veins with a special chemical solution. The solution causes the veins to close up, collapse and fade away. Although sclerotherapy is also a quick treatment with little or no downtime, it does take time for the veins to fade from view. Some people need multiple treatments before the veins are completely removed. To learn more about your spider vein treatment options in Florida, contact the Kimmel Institute to schedule a consultation today. Dr. Kimmel will evaluate your veins and help you decide the best course of action. Call 561-948-5560 to schedule an appointment.

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