Spider veins can be unsightly, and keep you from dressing how you’d like in the warm summer months. Fortunately, your dermatologist has a number of treatments available for the symptoms this condition presents.
Spider and other leg veins develop when the small valves contained within the veins fail to function properly. In healthy veins, these valves allow blood to flow in a single direction. When these valves fail, blood can flow backwards causing veins to twist and bulge, becoming visible and dark in color beneath the skin. Spider veins usually appear on the calves, the back of the legs and knees. Spider veins are usually red in color, and generally don’t bulge. Sometimes with spider veins, you may notice that the skin is slightly raised. Spider veins tend to develop in older adults, but can happen to anyone. Pregnancy often leads to spider veins because of the added pressure that the baby puts on a woman’s legs. In some cases, spider veins can be painful or cause discomfort. With varicose veins, serious complications can result. Varicose veins are larger and darker in color, and often cause skin to bulge above them. Thankfully, varicose veins are most often a simple cosmetic concern.
If spider veins run in your family, or you are often on your feet or sitting for work, you might be wondering how to keep spider veins at bay. If you are sitting or standing for extended sessions, take breaks frequently to either stand or sit. Getting frequent exercise is also crucial to keeping spider veins from developing. Elevate your legs when sitting and avoid soaking in hot baths. If you practice these good habits, you have a better chance at preventing spider veins from forming.
Spider veins can make you feel self- conscious and keep you from doing the things you love. The good news is that there are a number of available treatments for spider veins that are safe and highly effective.
Sclerotherapy is the leading treatment for spider veins, and it can even work on varicose veins in some cases. The process is fairly simple and can be conducted in your dermatologist’s office. First, your dermatologist will inject the affected vein with a chemical like hypertonic saline. Then you should wear compression stockings and take regular walks to help with circulation and improve results. You may need two or three sclerotherapy sessions for the best results, but the procedure causes minimal discomfort and works very well. After sclerotherapy, spider veins fade and disappear.
Laser therapy is a versatile treatment for a variety of skin conditions, and spider veins are no exception. This therapy doesn’t call for anesthesia, and there is no recovery time needed following treatment. A high intensity light is focused on the vein, quickly destroying it. In most cases, results will be visible in a few months, but smaller veins may respond even quicker to laser therapy. Like with sclerotherapy, you might be told to wear compression stockings and take walks following treatment to improve your results.
Regardless of why your spider veins appeared, you can do a lot to treat them and eliminate visual symptoms. If you suffer from spider veins or other leg veins, call the professionals at Northeast Dermatology Associates.
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