Small, damaged veins known as spider veins commonly appear on the legs and face. Usually, they are not painful or harmful, but they may be treated for cosmetic purposes in some cases. Spider veins may appear as thin lines, webs, or branches in blue, purple, or red color.
Causes of Spider Vein:
When the valves inside the veins malfunction, spider veins can form on the legs. Blood is carried back to the heart by veins. Suppose a one-way valve closes when the blood passes through them, preventing blood from flowing backward.
Blood may pool in a vein if this valve weakens or becomes damaged because it may not flow correctly. If this happens over time, spider veins may develop when a vein bulges out. Spider veins can be removed or reduced in appearance with various treatments.
A spider vein is usually the result of a small blood vessel bursting on the face. It can happen when pressure is too high, or sun damage is too severe.
A comparison of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins:
Venous insufficiency is a medical condition characterized by spider veins and varicose veins. Having weakened or damaged valves in the veins causes both of these conditions in the legs. Both conditions, however, exhibit different symptoms.
The veins of spiders are often small, thin, and may not be raised or only slightly raised. Spiders have blue, red, or purple veins, which do not cause any pain in most cases.
Spider veins are superficial and minor; varicose veins are more profound and prominent. Their appearance can also be lumpy and twisted, and they are usually flesh-colored or red. There are a variety of symptoms varicose veins can cause, depending on how severe they are.
Here are a few examples:
- Swollen legs or ankles
- Or a feeling of heaviness or ache in the legs
In addition to increasing the risk of blood clots, varicose veins may affect the circulatory system.
What Causes Spider and Varicose Veins?
Adults are more likely to have spider veins and varicose veins due to a variety of reasons; advanced age, prolonged standing/sitting, pregnancy, hormone therapy, birth control pills, injury, prior vein surgery, and a family history of blood clots.
Symptoms of Spider & Varicose Veins:
In addition to their cosmetic appearance, spider veins and varicose veins usually do not cause any symptoms. However, the symptoms of varicose veins can be problematic for some people. Here are some examples:
- A burning sensation
- Leg cramps
Standing or sitting for a long time can exacerbate these symptoms. Occasionally, people can develop brown discolorations or even develop ulcers on their skin.
Diagnosis of spider veins and varicose veins:
The affected areas, usually on the legs, are closely examined by a health care professional to diagnose spider veins and varicose veins.
The areas of concern will be examined visually and palpated (pressed) in this exam. A particular focus will be placed on areas that are red, swollen, discolored, and have ulcers.
Most people with spider veins and varicose veins do not require medical care, but those who develop complications should seek treatment.
Aside from cosmetic reasons, spider veins and varicose veins are treated to improve their appearance or alleviate them by taking several measures at home.
Spider Vein Treatment
1. Support Stockings:
Support stockings, also known as compression stockings, can be used at home to relieve leg pain. Compression stockings promote healing by increasing circulation, available in various compression strengths and styles.
The right pair is mainly recommended by the health care professional. Medical supply shops and drug stores usually carry them.
2. Modifications in Lifestyle:
Spider veins and varicose veins can be relieved with regular exercise and weight loss. Patients who suffer from this condition should avoid standing or sitting for a long time to promote blood circulation and decrease swelling in their legs.
Spider veins and varicose veins sometimes require conservative management at home. Depending on the size and location of the abnormal veins, more specialized medical procedures may be available.
A standard procedure used to eliminate spider veins and some varicose veins is sclerotherapy, which can be performed in your physician’s office.
This procedure does not require anesthesia in which the physician injects a liquid solution directly into the affected vein.
The vein eventually fades away as the solution evaporates. There is the possibility of bruising, swelling, bleeding, infection, and skin discoloration.
Depending on the individual, multiple sessions of sclerotherapy may be required. Healing time can also vary.
Varicose veins may take several months to fade after treatment, while spider veins usually begin to fade within three to six weeks after treatment.
4. Laser Therapy:
A laser procedure can also be done at your doctor’s office as an alternative medical procedure. It is sometimes used in conjunction with sclerotherapy to optimize the results.
It is an alternative option for people who dislike needles, though your physician will advise you on which treatment option is best based on your particular medical condition.
A concentrated beam of light is used in laser therapy to damage affected blood vessels and cause them to fade away. This procedure has various side effects such as minor redness or swelling around the treated area, skin discoloration, blisters, and scarring rarely.
Recent developments in the treatment of spider veins have included intense pulsed light (IPL) in which intense light pulses are delivered to targeted areas.
Often, laser therapy requires more than one session to achieve optimal results, as with sclerotherapy. Results usually manifest between several weeks and several months after treatment.
5. Vein Surgery:
In cases of more severe varicose veins, surgery may be necessary. To determine which procedure is the best for treating varicose veins, your physician will discuss the various available surgical procedures, their effectiveness, cost, etc.
One is vein ligation and stripping, which entails cutting the affected vein, tying it off, and then surgically removing it by making small incisions in the skin.
The symptoms and cosmetic appearance of varicose veins are often improved by vein ligation and stripping.
A hospital or outpatient surgical center performs this procedure under local, spinal, or general anesthesia.
Anesthesia induced various complications, such as infection, bleeding, scarring, nerve injury, and deep vein blood clots that can be recovered over time.
- https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/younger-looking/how-dermatologists-treat-leg-veins retrieved on 13th December 2021.
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350649 retrieved on 13th December 2021.
- https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/spider-vein-treatment retrieved on 13th December 2021.
- https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cosmetic-procedures-sclerotherapy retrieved on 13th December 2021.