Small, damaged veins on the surface of the skin are called spider veins. These unsightly, and sometimes painful, veins usually appear on the legs or the face. Some common causes of spider veins include genetics, obesity, trauma, and hormones. The good news is, there are some effective spider treatment options available.
Here are three such spider vein treatments.
1. Compression Stockings
One of the most noninvasive spider vein treatments is compression stockings. Wearing compression stockings helps squeeze the veins in your legs, which improves function of the valves in your veins. When the vein valves function as they should, the blood flows back to your heart without any obstructions, thereby improving circulation. Healthy blood circulation greatly reduces the chances of spider veins.
Some different types of compression stockings include:
- Support pantyhose
- Gradient compression stockings
- Prescription compression stockings
Support pantyhose offers the lightest amount of compression, while prescription compression stockings offer the highest amount of compression.
When a solution is injected directly into the spider vein, it's called sclerotherapy. During this minimally invasive procedure, the injected solution causes the vein to collapse. When the vein collapses, it forces blood to go through healthier veins instead. The treated spider veins will eventually fade. In severe cases, the procedure may have to be repeated.
Besides improving the appearance of spider veins, sclerotherapy spider vein treatment also reduces aching and swelling. Some risks associated with this procedure include bruising and small skin sores. Rare complications of sclerotherapy include blood clots and allergic reactions. For most people who suffer with spider veins, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
3. Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
Endovenous laser therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a highly concentrated beam of light to collapse the spider vein. This is done by inserting a tiny optic fiber into the spider vein with a needle. The optic fiber is removed with an activated laser beam. When the optic fiber is removed, the laser beam heats up the spider vein, which causes the vein to close. Like with sclerotherapy, when the vein closes, the blood gets rerouted to healthier veins.
Some of the benefits of EVLT include:
- It is a pain-free procedure.
- Patients can resume normal activities the same day of the procedure.
- There is a low complication rate.
- There is no recovery time required.
- There is minimal or no scarring.
Some patients who undergo EVLT might experience certain side effects, such as bruising or swelling. Wearing compression stockings after the procedure can reduce the risk of these side effects.
For more information on different spider vein treatments, talk to a dermatologist in your area.