Spider Vein and Vein Therapy
The cause of spider veins is not completely known. In many cases they seem to run in families. Identical twins can be affected in the same area of the body and to the same extent. The condition rarely occurs as part of an internal disease.
Spider veins appear in both men and women, but more frequently in women. The female hormones may play a role in their development. Puberty, birth control pills, pregnancy, or hormone replacement therapy often seem to bring them out. They may also appear after an injury, or as a result of wearing tight girdles, or form hosiery held up with tight rubber bands. Spider veins may also occur in association with large varicose veins.
Spider veins on the nose or the cheeks of fair skinned persons may be related to sun exposure.
- Up to 25% of women and 18% of men will suffer from varicose veins
- If both parents have varicose veins, your chances to develop the disease are close to 90%
- If one parent is affected, daughters have a 60% chance while sons have a 25% chance of developing the disease
- 60% of leg ulcers are due to varicose veins
- Left untreated, nearly 50% of patients will eventually experience chronic venous insufficiency
At Abrams Dermatology we uses sclerotherapy to safely remove unsightly veins. This is a walk-in, walk-out procedure with no anesthetic required.
Often treating one vein can affect numerous veins, causing an entire network of vessels to be eliminated. The procedure is fast with minimal discomfort and great results. There is no downtime and you can resume normal activity immediately. Multiple treatments are usually necessary to achieve maximal improvement.
Spider veins are small enlarged superficial blood vessels that appear red or blue. They commonly occur on the legs, but frequently occur on the face or elsewhere.
These dilated blood vessels may be short, unconnected lines each about the size of a large hair, or connected in a matted, “sunburst” pattern. They may also look like a spider web or a tree with branches. Sometimes, they occur in a small area and aren’t very noticeable, or they can cover a large area of skin and be quite unattractive.
Larger dilated blood vessels called varicose veins may be raised above the skin surface. They may occur along with spider veins.
Patients can have pain, ranging from a dull throbbing pain to a burning sensation. The larger vessels are more likely to cause discomfort, although smaller blue veins have been shown to cause pain.
If spider veins are unsightly or uncomfortable, they can be treated with laser, or by injection of a solution that will cause them to disappear or become much smaller. There is about a 50-90 percent chance for a greatly improved appearance.
The injection method, a procedure called sclerotherapy is used to treat unwanted blood vessels. One of several kinds of solutions, is injected with a very fine needle directly into the blood vessel. This procedure has been used for spider veins since the 1930’s and before that for larger veins. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell, stick together and the blood to thicken. Over a period of weeks, the vessel turns in a scar tissue that is absorbed, eventually becoming barely noticeable or invisible.
A single blood vessel may have to be injected more than once, some weeks or months apart, depending on its size. In any one treatment session a number of vessels can be injected.
The solutions available are slightly different and the choice of which solution to use depends on several factors including the size of the vessel to be injected. Your provider will choose the solution that is best for your particular case.
Occasionally larger varicose veins are underneath or associated with the spider veins. In such cases, some physicians believe these vessels should be treated before the spider veins. This can be done by sclerotherapy, intervascular lase, or radiofrequency, followed by compression.
After several treatments, most patients can expect a 50 percent to 90 percent improvement. However, fading is gradual, usually over months. Disappearance of spider veins is usually achieved, but similar veins may appear in the same general area.
Yes. All skin types and skin colors respond equally well.
Insurance rarely covers treatment of spider veins but may sometimes cover larger vein treatment. If the treatment is solely for cosmetic reasons, it may not be covered. Sometimes a second opinion, laboratory studies, or photographs are required by insurance companies before treatment is started to get the procedure covered for larger varicose veins.
Even with a highly experienced physician performing the treatment, there are some possible side effects. We recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our provider prior to the treatment.
Larger veins may recur even after surgical procedures. Spider veins may also recur. It may seem that a preciously injected vessel has recurred, when in fact, a new spider vein has appeared in the same area.
Not necessarily, but the procedure must be done with caution to lessen the risk of blood clots.
Surgically tying veins off (ligation), or pulling them out (ambulatory phlebotomy), are other procedures for treating unwanted blood vessels. These methods are usually reserved for larger varicose veins.
Dr. Abrams recommend to bandage the injected areas and instruct patients to “compress” the treated vessels by wearing support host. This help seal the treated vessels, keep the blood from collecting under the skin, and reduce the development of dark spots. It also helps reduce the number of treatments necessary, and the possibility of recurrence.
Upper Leg Treatment
Lower Leg Treatment
Do you have other questions?
Please schedule an appointment and we can work with you in determining the best options available to reach your goals.