Spider veins—or thread veins—are small, visible veins on the legs or face that have been damaged. These veins are normally not harmful, but can be aesthetically displeasing and potentially lead to varicose veins in some cases.
What Causes Spider Veins
Spider veins are caused by faulty or damaged valves in the affected veins. In healthy veins, the valves ensure that blood only flows in one direction—in spider veins, this process breaks down. Blood flows backward and forward, producing this bulging, prominent appearance.
Some factors associated with spider veins include:
- Family history of spider/varicose veins
- History of blood clots
- Standing for long periods
- Hormonal changes (during puberty or pregnancy, for example)
Spider veins are also more common in women, though many men still develop them every year.
Spider Veins and Varicose Veins — What’s The Difference?
Varicose and spider veins both occur in what is called the superficial venous system, which is closer to the surface of the skin than veins in the deep venous system. The two conditions are often referenced together or are used interchangeably, but there are differences between the two.
One of the main differences is their size; spider veins are typically less than 3mm, while varicose veins are 3mm or larger. Varicose veins also have a higher chance of being associated with physical discomfort like swelling and cramps. However, both can be indicative of larger vascular issues, so it’s good to get them checked when they develop.
Spider and varicose veins usually don’t have any major symptoms associated with them, minus the visual appearance. Some people will report discomfort or mild pain in the area of the damaged veins. Despite this, it is still helpful to address spider veins as they arise.
Spider Vein Treatment — What To Expect
At Professional Radiology, we use vein mapping and sclerotherapy in our spider vein treatment. Vein mapping is done with ultrasound technology, giving us a clear picture of the veins causing the issue. Once the veins, we proceed with the sclerotherapy process.
Sclerotherapy works by injecting a salt solution into the veins where the problem is. The solution will collapse the lining of the blood vessel, causing blood to clot and vessels to fade. Usually, within two months of the procedure, there is a significant improvement in the affected area.
Spider vein treatment is a quick and easy process that is safe for most people. Unlike other methods, it can easily be done in an outpatient setting and with few side effects.
How To Prepare For Your Scleropathy Appointment
Sclerotherapy appointments are relatively straight-forward and require little preparation. There are just a few considerations to keep in mind:
- We discourage using Vitamin E or anti-inflammatory medication at least a week before your appointment unless otherwise specified.
- Be sure to wear comfortable clothing.
- Depending on the size and severity of your spider veins, more than one procedure may be required.
Let Professional Radiology Erase Your Spider Veins
Our vein clinic has helped countless El Pasoans clear their skin of spider veins, leaving beautiful skin behind. If you’re interested in saying bye to your spider veins, call us today and set up an appointment for our vein clinic!