Feeling confident is one of the best feelings in the world, and it’s devastating when pesky leg veins get in the way of that. Luckily for you, there are many great options to help get rid of those spider veins, and have you feeling on top of the world and the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can assist.
Spider veins are tiny veins that are damaged and appear on the skin as blue, purple, or red. Spider veins are just one form of the medical condition venous insufficiency. Another form is varicose veins. In general, spider veins tend to be smaller than varicose veins. The job of veins is to carry blood throughout the body, and ultimately to the heart. Veins have a one-way valve that closes once the blood goes through it to prevent blood from flowing back through the vein. When this valve stops working properly due to damage, the blood does not flow in the correct direction. This then causes the blood to build up in the veins, which eventually will cause the visible formation of spider veins or varicose veins. This is especially common for the leg area because it is the limb farthest from the heart and the blood flow also has to work against gravity, flowing upward. However, these veins may appear on any part of the body.
The main symptoms of spider veins are visible discolorations on the skin, in vein-like shapes. Usually spider veins aren’t painful, but may cause aches in your legs, burning, throbbing, swelling in the region of your lower leg, and itching.
One of the preliminary steps in getting rid of and preventing spider veins is self-care. This includes: exercising regularly, avoiding sitting down or standing up for prolonged periods of time, elevating your legs and avoiding long, hot baths. Compression stockings are a good option to relieve any pain caused by spider veins. The stockings reduce swelling by applying constant pressure to the legs, which helps the blood flow regularly.
If you would like to target and treat veins more directly, it is recommended to visit a dermatologist to speak about sclerotherapy or laser treatments. In sclerotherapy, an injection of a salt solution will be put directly into the targeted spider vein. This solution causes the walls of the vein to collapse, which essentially causes the blood to clot and then prevents the blood from flowing backward. Scar tissue will eventually form from the collapsed blood vessel, and you will no longer be able to see the spider vein. This therapy is not for everyone, and you must be assessed before you can have sclerotherapy. If you are pregnant, on birth control, or have had a blood clot in the past, you are not eligible.
Another treatment for spider veins is endovenous laser ablation. In this treatment, the vein is exposed to bursts of light which gradually reduce and fade their appearance. This procedure is more effective in removing smaller, less visible veins compared to larger, darker veins. In addition, this treatment is not invasive and requires little recovery time. After the treatment, patients may need to wear compression stockings, and avoid contact with the sun for 3-4 weeks on the treated area. However, patients can participate in their normal activities the following day.
You deserve to feel confident from head to toe. You don’t have to let the sight of pesky veins affect your life any longer. There are options to help you overcome spider and varicose veins and the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute look forward to helping you. If you are in the Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas complete this form to get in touch with us.
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