The appearance of thin, red veins that resemble small tree branches or spider webs might be startling, but is it something you should be concerned about?
Most cases of spider veins are not dangerous. In fact, most of the time treatment is rarely required for spider veins. However, that doesn’t mean treatment is never recommended for spider veins.
Learning more about spider veins can help you determine whether or not you may need to seek treatment from a vascular surgeon.
What are Spider Veins?
Just below the surface of your skin there is a series of veins that help blood circulate all throughout the body. When healthy, the veins are rarely noticeable. However, if the veins become weakened or damaged, the blood cannot flow properly and it starts to pool inside the veins. This causes symptoms that can make the veins visible.
If blood starts to pool in the veins that are damaged or weakened near the surface of the skin, the superficial layer, they are called spider veins. Spider veins have a very distinctive appearance. They are often red, but can appear dark blue or purple and look similar to tree branches or the thin layers of a spider web.
Are Spider Veins Dangerous? Only if Symptomatic
The good news is that spider veins are rarely dangerous. For the most part, they are asymptomatic and therefore only affect your appearance.
In some rare cases, such as when spider veins are caused by the development of varicose veins, you can experience painful and uncomfortable symptoms such as a throbbing feeling, intense itching or burning. When spider veins become symptomatic, treatment may be recommended as your quality of life is affected.
Making Lifestyle Adjustments Could Help Spider Veins
You might be able to find some symptom relief or even reduce the appearance of spider veins by making adjustments to your lifestyle.
Some lifestyle changes that you might be able to make to help with spider veins include:
- Wearing compression socks – helps to improve blood flow which can minimize the appearance of spider veins
- Avoid prolonged periods of sitting or standing – sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time can cause blood to start to pool which puts pressure on the veins and can cause you to experience pain and discomfort
- Increasing your daily exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding sitting in a manner that puts pressure on your legs such as with your legs crossed or with your legs tucked underneath you
- Elevating your feet at the end of the day
- Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing
It is important to remember that these lifestyle adjustments will not completely cure your spider veins. You may be able to relieve pain, discomfort or itching and reduce the appearance of spider veins so they are less noticeable, but they will not go away completely.
The only way to treat spider veins so they completely go away is with minimally invasive procedures that are often performed by vascular surgeons.
Minimally Invasive Procedures for the Treatment of Spider Veins
A vascular surgeon can perform a number of minimally invasive procedures that help treat spider veins. Some of the minimally invasive procedures that may be used to treat your spider veins if they become symptomatic or you just want to reduce their appearance include:
- VeinWave – the use of a small pencil-sized device to administer radiofrequency energy to the visible veins. The energy causes the visible veins to collapse which makes dramatically reduces their appearance.
- Laser Ablation of Spider Veins – sealing up the damaged or weakened veins using laser energy
- Traditional Sclerotherapy – injecting a solution into the veins which causes them to collapse and seal up
SIRAGUSA’S VEIN CLINIC IN NASHVILLE
If varicose veins, spider veins or other vascular issues are causing you health problems, schedule a consult with us right away. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the middle of winter or July here in Nashville, TN. We’ll plan out a course of vein treatment to help you deal with varicose veins, spider veins, or DVT