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Spider Veins: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention



What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins, also called thread veins, appear on the face and legs and are visible through the skin. They usually won’t cause any pain or harm but are often treated for cosmetic reasons. Spider veins can be red, purple, or blue and appear in the form of thin branches, lines, or webs. You can reduce their appearance or remove them with a wide range of treatment options.

Read on to learn more about the causes, treatment, and prevention of spider veins.

What Are the Causes of Spider Veins?

Spider veins can occur on the legs if the valves in the veins do not work properly.  Veins contain a one-way valve that closes to prevent blood from flowing backward to the heart. If this valve is damaged or weakened, the blood cannot flow in the right direction, and it begins to accumulate inside the vein and can cause a bulge over time, resulting in spider veins. 

In many circumstances, spider veins can also develop on the face. For example, it forms if the tiny blood vessels burst due to increased pressure on it, or there is damage from ultraviolet light.

How Can Spider Veins be Treated?

Spider veins can be treated using different treatment methods. Your doctor will recommend the right treatment based on your condition and unique requirements. 

Treatment for spider veins includes:

1.Compression Socks or Stockings

You can leave pressure on the veins by wearing compression socks or stockings. The pressure can improve blood flow and prevent developing more spider veins. 

You can choose from these types of compression stocking:

•    Support Pantyhose- These provide light pressure and can relieve symptoms of spider veins above and below the knees.

•    Gradient Compression Stockings and Socks- These provide moderate pressure around the calves, feet, and ankles.

•    Prescription Compression Stockings- These provide maximum pressure to the legs and feet. They come in different sizes, strengths, and footless varieties. Your doctor won’t recommend prescription stockings if you have any heart problems. 

2. Sclerotherapy and Closure System

Sclerotherapy involves injecting an irritant into the affected vein. This treatment is effective when the vein walls become irritated, stick together, and prevent blood flow to the area. The procedure can reduce swelling and cause the spider vein to shrink and disappear over time. Two to three treatment sessions may be required to get the desired results. 

The closure system procedure involves injecting a sticky substance into the affected vein. The sticky substance closes the vein to prevent the blood circulation, causing the spider vein to disappear over time. 

After undergoing a closure system or sclerotherapy, you need to wear compression stockings for a few days or weeks. 

Related article: How Sclerotherapy Can Help You with Spider Veins

3. Laser Treatment 

A laser can be used to treat spider veins if they are close to the surface of the skin and not more than 3 millimeters. Laser treatment is less invasive and can cause the spider veins to clot and dry. 

4. Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)

Local anesthesia is used during Endovenous Laser Therapy. The procedure involves injecting a small laser fiber into the affected vein through an incision. The laser light produces heat directly to the affected vein and collapses it, causing the vein to disappear within a few months or a year.

Tips on Preventing Spider Veins

Follow these tips to prevent spider veins:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pressure on the veins and helps with proper blood circulation.
  • Avoid sitting or standing continuously for a longer period. Make sure to walk around every 30 minutes.
  • Applying sunscreen can prevent spider veins on your face. You can use sun-protective clothing and a hat when you are outdoors.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. This can cause flushing in the face and even break blood vessels in some people.
  • Wear compression stockings or socks for improved blood flow.
  • Avoid tight clothing. Tight clothing around the legs can prevent blood circulation and increase the risk of developing spider veins.
  • Rosacea can increase the risk of developing spider veins. Seek immediate treatment if you have this condition.
  • Avoid a sauna or hot tub bath as excessive heat can swell veins and increase the risk of bulging or dilated veins.
  • Exercise regularly to improve blood circulation and prevent blood from accumulating in the legs.
  • Raising your legs when lying down or sitting can prevent blood from pooling downward in the legs.

If you want an effective treatment for spider veins, contact North Atlanta Vascular Clinic & Vein Center to schedule an appointment.


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North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center

North Atlanta Vascular Clinic is a vascular surgery center located in Johns Creek, Cumming, Roswell, and Lawrenceville, Georgia. We stand out in professionalism and kindness. Our expert doctors and health care providers are known for their clinical excellence, experience, and can help you with the care you need. Our vein disease specialists offer a comprehensive examination that includes a physical examination, review of your symptoms, and discussion of your medical history. We use advanced venography techniques and provide effective treatment for several health conditions like DVT, Spider Veins, Leg Cramps, MTS, and more. Visit our website, connect with us on social media, or contact us to get accurate diagnosis and treatment for all your vascular diseases.