What are Spider Veins Treatment Options?
Veins are deoxygenated blood containing blood vessels. Veins are usually more superficial than arteries which contain oxygenated blood. Veins can also be seen through the skin and look blue, green, or purple in color. Spider veins can be small dilated veins or bulging veins. They are a type of varicose vein but are smaller in size. The diameter of spider veins is usually between 0.5 and 1mm and varicose veins have a larger diameter.
Spider veins are also known as telangiectasia and can be present anywhere on the skin, though they commonly appear on the legs. These veins look blue or purple and can easily be seen through the skin. The name spider veins are given because they usually make a spider-like pattern with thin blood vessels radiating out of a center.
Spider veins can be present on any part of the skin or on the mucous membranes and they can cause various issues. Bleeding, ulcer formation and phlebitis are some common complications of spider veins. These veins can also pose cosmetic issues if present on the face or any prominent visible body part.
Many options are available that provide effective treatment of spider veins while maintaining positive cosmetic results. The following are a few efficient and frequently used treatment options.
Sclerotherapy is a trusted and frequently used minimally invasive method for treatment of spider veins. It is also used for varicose veins. However, it works best for leg veins as it does not provide similarly successful results for other parts of the body.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a sclerosing solution within the affected veins which contains chemicals like hypertonic saline etc. When these solutions are injected into spider veins, they scar and collapse, and subsequently provide relief from this problem.
Skin laser is a newer treatment option which involves focusing a laser beam on the affected skin area. It is a non-invasive procedure which does not require any incisions or needles. Spider veins disappear after this procedure.
This technique is usually adopted to treat facial spider veins because it provides better cosmetic results. It does not work as well for leg veins because those veins are usually larger.
Veingough is the latest treatment technique for spider veins. It involves the usage of current waves which are generated through a fine probe. This current is a high frequency and it transmits energy to the affected veins in a focused area. This results in coagulation of blood and collapse of spider veins which are ultimately absorbed by the body.
This technique does not pose any danger to outer skin layers and you do not need to take any kind of bed rest after this treatment. Therefore, if you are short on time, you can get Veingough completed and continue your daily activities immediately.
Why is Sclerotherapy a Better Option for Leg Veins?
Sclerotherapy is a trusted method for treatment of spider veins. It is a preferred technique for leg veins for various reasons. First, leg spider veins are somewhat larger than facial or any other body area spider veins. That is why methods like laser treatment do not work as efficiently as sclerotherapy does on the legs. Also, laser-like procedures for leg spider veins may not provide a one hundred percent relief and there is a risk for reoccurrences. Second, a sclerosing solution is injected directly into the affected veins, hence it is difficult to perform this procedure on the small veins on the face. Third, sclerotherapy can cause skin scarring and pigmentation which becomes a cosmetic concern. Therefore, this method is not used for facial spider veins and is vastly utilized for leg spider veins only.
Muzzamal Habib, MD
Vascular Medicine & Vein Specialist
Dr. Habib has been practicing vein care and vascular More about this author »