Have you noticed thin clusters of purple or blue veins on your legs that resemble the shape of “spider webs”?
Has seeing them manifest in tiny groups made you panic?
Many people have spider veins, pesky lines that appear on the legs or ankles.
The good news is it’s never too early to get your legs summer ready. In most instances, spider veins can be successfully treated with visual sclerotherapy, a minimally invasive procedure that uses an injectable sclerosant to dissolve the veins.
If you are tired of looking at your spider veins, or have experimented with home remedies that didn’t work, it is time for spider vein treatment.
Here’s seven things your doctor hasn’t told you about spider veins.
#1: Wear sunscreen to prevent spider veins.
Excessive sun exposure or even skin trauma can cause spider veins. Too much sun causes collagen to break down, bringing spider veins to the surface. Varicose veins, larger ropy-looking veins, on the other hand, are not caused by the sun, but can worsen from the heat.
#2: Avoid wearing high heeled shoes.
Wearing high heels can contribute to vein disease. Less blood is pushed out of your legs when the calf muscles do not contract, increasing venous pressure and stressing the valves in your veins. Your best bet is to grab a pair of flats for your daily activities and leave the high heeled shoes for special events and meetings. After taking off your heels, elevate your legs to restore the blood circulation in the area.
#3: The skill of the injector matters.
Sclerotherapy is the “gold standard” in spider vein treatment and involves injecting a sclerosant into a vein to collapse it. The procedure is minimally invasive and virtually painless. Within four to six weeks, you will notice a 50-70% improvement with just one session of sclerotherapy or laser ablation. Laser ablation works by aiming laser energy at the blood vessels, which causes the affected veins to collapse.
Most spider veins will require two or more sessions of treatment for complete elimination. Over time, new spider veins may develop close to previously treated areas. You may think the treated spider veins came back, but they are likely new ones. It is a good idea to follow up with your vein specialist after treatment to make sure any new spider veins are seen and treated early. That promotes effective, long term results. The tendency for spider veins to recur is linked to heredity. Predisposition to leaky veins is genetic and can cause both varicose and spider veins. After your initial treatment, you may seek “touch ups” to maintain healthy, smooth legs.
Many types of doctors, including dermatologists and general practitioners treat spider veins at medical spas or clinics. However, not all doctors are vein specialists. Seek a board-certified surgeon who specializes in venous and vascular disorders, as well as a facility that focuses exclusively on circulation conditions.
#4: Pregnancy and hormonal birth control can cause spider veins.
Hormonal fluctuations particularly during and after pregnancy can increase your risk of developing spider veins. During pregnancy, the increased volume of blood, weight gain and hormonal shifts may increase your risk of developing spider or varicose veins. The good news is that most spider and varicose veins tend to improve after you give birth, especially if you didn’t have them before you got pregnant. Hormonal therapies and birth control pills can also increase your risk of getting spider veins. Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can cause small veins to dilate, making them more visible on the skin.
#5: Spider vein treatment is considered cosmetic and is typically not covered by insurance.
Although spider veins may make you feel self-conscious, they are not harmful to your overall health. Insurance coverage depends on the nature of symptoms, ultrasound findings and your response to conservative therapy. Sclerotherapy for spider vein treatment is generally considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. However, if your spider veins become painful or you experience leg heaviness, swelling or leg cramps, the possibility of venous insufficiency should be explored prior to simply treating the spider veins. If you have varicose veins in addition to spider veins, having the varicose veins treated could reduce pressure in your legs and prevent the development of additional spider veins.
#6. The cooler months are the best time for spider vein treatment.
During the fall or winter, you are covered up, wearing layers of clothing and you probably aren’t thinking about your spider veins. However, the cooler months are actually the best time to seek spider vein treatment because your legs may need time to heal after treatment. Sclerotherapy and laser treatment will cause the spider veins to become inflamed or “angry-looking” for a short period of time. Although you can return to your normal activities right away, your doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings for a few weeks. They are easier to tolerate and “hide” in the cooler weather.
#7: Your occupation may cause spider veins.
If your job or lifestyle requires long periods of sitting or standing that increases the tendency for blood to pool in your legs, making spider veins worse. Nurses, hair stylists and teachers tend to experience increased pressure in the veins of their legs and are more likely to develop spider veins. Make a conscious effort to take regular breaks from sitting or standing in one place for long periods or simply shift your weight, roll your ankles, lift your legs and avoid crossing your legs. Compression stockings can help eliminate some of the pressure.
Stop hiding your legs!
It’s time to schedule a consultation with the top vein doctors in New Jersey. With eight locations throughout New Jersey, Vein Specialist Centers has offices conveniently in Clifton, Edison, Freehold, Mt. Laurel, Paramus, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Wayne. Request a consultation online or by calling 609-257-2095.
The caliber of attention and treatment you will receive at Vein Specialist Centers is unmatched. The team of physicians excels in providing cutting-edge and innovative solutions to treat cosmetic concerns, as well as complex vascular issues.