Are you feeling self-conscious about the impending swimsuit season because of unsightly spider veins? While spider veins can be bothersome, they’re not necessarily a life sentence. Read on to find out more about this common skin condition and how you can treat it.
Spider veins are clusters of tiny, thin veins made up of dilated blood vessels. Most often, they appear as small, thin red veins. Typically, they’re flat and superficial, but occasionally they may be slightly raised. Reticular veins are similar to spider veins but often appear larger and deeper. They’re most often green or blue.
Spider veins can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, long periods of standing or walking, an unrelated medical condition, and even genetics. They typically appear on the legs, but can show up anywhere on the body, including the torso or face. Once they appear, they’re often visible in the long term unless otherwise treated.
There are some simple lifestyle changes that can help reduce the appearance of spider veins and prevent new ones from forming, though these methods won’t necessarily make the veins disappear altogether. Dry brushing has been shown to make a difference in the appearance of leg veins as it increases circulation.
Regular exercise can stimulate the circulatory system too, as can elevating your legs after an extended period of standing. If you struggle with spider veins, avoid wearing high heels if you can, since they cause added pressure.
If none of these remedies seem to be working on your spider veins, you might be looking into medical spider vein removal. For any procedure, you’ll first need to be assessed by a dermatologist. And you certainly want to see a dermatology specialist if your spider veins are causing discomfort, itching, pain, or cramping.
A very popular treatment is called sclerotherapy for spider veins and reticular veins. This is a minimally invasive treatment that involves injecting a sclerotherapy solution containing a combination of sodium tetradecyl sulfate, polidocanol, and/or hypertonic saline. This solution causes the vein walls to seal so that blood flow is redirected to other veins in the area. With no blood flow, the spider veins shrink and collapse over time, rendering them invisible. The procedure can take up to one hour with at least one or two follow-up treatments afterward.
On the other hand, laser therapy for spider veins is another minimally invasive dermatological option. This treatment uses heat from a light beam to shrink spider veins, sealing them off. Eventually, the vein naturally decays and becomes less visible or completely invisible. Laser therapy for spider veins requires no downtime, and results are typically seen within weeks.
Need some assistance with your spider veins in order to feel confident in your swimsuit? If you’re in the greater New York City area, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for a consultation. Our board-certified specialists can discuss treatment options and perform these therapies in our offices.