It is estimated that at least 50% of women suffer from unsightly spider veins on their legs. They are an annoying ‘accessory’ that can’t be removed, and women often avoid wearing clothes that show their legs due to their embarrassing appearance. Spider veins are tiny superficial blood vessels appearing on the skin in “sunburst” patterns, which often appear on the legs, face, and hands.
Spider veins have a way of creeping up on you. Most patients develop these veins in response to hereditary factors or jobs that require prolonged sitting or standing. Unfortunately, women are more likely than men to fall prey due to hormonal changes and pregnancy.
Spider veins are usually identified as being a “purely a cosmetic issue” because most patients have no obvious symptoms. Thus, unsuspecting women are not informed that spider veins may cause burning, itching, throbbing, heaviness, or pain. In addition, their mere presence may be a sign of a more serious underlying vein issue and eventually evolve into varicose veins or even venous ulcers in the future.
When your vascular system is perfectly healthy, your heart pumps blood throughout the body and veins carry the blood back to the heart. When the veins fail to operate properly, blood within the vein tends to flow backwards causing it to pool in the lower legs. This backward flow, called venous reflux, is what precipitates symptoms, and can be one reason that the veins slowly worsen, or have been resistant to treatment measures in the past.
Various creams and lotions have no effect, and self-tanners and concealers offer only a temporary fix. It’s a wonder that there aren’t more slacks than skirts sold in the summer time. There are, however, a variety of non-invasive treatments that will help eliminate the visible effects of spider veins and potentially prevent more serious health risks of vein disease in the future. All treatments are outpatient procedures performed in the doctor’s office, with little or no downtime. Some of these procedures include:
- Liquid Sclerotherapy — veins are injected with a solution, which causes them to collapse and fade from view, allowing the blood to be re-routed to other healthier veins. The procedure normally takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on how many spider veins are treated. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little to no pain and no anesthesia is required.
- Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy — provides better and longer lasting results because it addresses underlying veins that might be contributing to superficial spider veins. This involves using ultrasound to find the deeper veins that are leaking and causing the surface spider veins. The Duplex ultrasound helps to guide the injections of a stronger sclerosing medication, causing them to safely collapse and close.
- Laser Vein Therapy — The BBL /IPL laser is effective for treating redness, flushing, blushing, Rosacea, red scars and broken capillaries that are more frequently found on the face and chest.
The first step is going to a vein specialist. You will want to choose a vein-dedicated facility that is certified by the AAAASF and AAAHC. A vein specialist will hold board certifications in not only Vascular surgery, but also Phlebology, which is a specialty in the study of venous diseases. Lastly, they should hold an RVT or RPVI certification, which qualifies the doctor to not only perform vascular ultrasounds, but also interpret the results, thus giving them the experience and knowledge they need to give you the best comprehensive treatment plan.
Call 516-869-8346 to schedule a free vein screening today!