Varicose veins and spider veins can be really uncomfortable for those who suffer from them. While they’re not overtly painful all of the time (though they can cause constant achiness as well as itching and swelling), they may cause pain to one’s self-esteem when left unchecked. The hardest part?
Many people don’t even realize their symptoms are the result of varicose veins and that there are reliable treatments!
Let’s go over all the treatments for spider veins and varicose veins with our own Dr. Joshua Tepper.
What are spider and varicose veins?
First, let’s uncover how your veins work so we understand how spider veins are formed.
Your veins are responsible for carrying blood throughout your body, in this case from your feet back up your body. The valves in your veins open to allow the blood to flow through, but then they’re supposed to snap shut. Those veins are supposed to snap shut to prevent gravity from pulling that blood toward your feet.
When that doesn’t happen, spider veins can form by the pooling of blood near the surface of the skin.
When left untreated, spider veins can worsen to become varicose veins.
Dr. Tepper explains, “Certain risk factors can make those valves become leaky; being on your feet all day long, being overweight, you’re a female, you’ve had multiple pregnancies. Those valves can undergo stress and the blood can end up going in the wrong direction.”
This can form varicose veins, but they can also form vein ulcers, which are far more severe.
Are spider veins and varicose veins normal?
Because there are many reasons one may form spider veins, they tend to be a fairly common occurrence, particularly in women. While “normal”, they also may be an indication of something more severe.
Sometimes, spider veins can be present as a cosmetic issue, where you can see their appearance but aren’t faced with the accompanying symptoms.
“Classic symptoms of vein disease are heaviness, achiness, swelling, throbbing or itching that tend to worsen toward the end of the day. That sort of pushes you into a different class and may suggest there’s more underlying disease,” Dr. Tepper says.
This is why it’s so pivotal to see a dermatologist to understand where you are on this spectrum in order to get the right treatment for your concerns.
How to Treat Spider and Varicose Veins
Seeing a dermatologist is the #1 way to treat your spider veins, as we said above. Ultimately, the methods that will work best for long-term results depend on your unique situation, which requires a trained professional in order to appropriately diagnose and develop a treatment plan for your vein condition.
“Sclerotherapy is an injection of either a hypertonic saline or a detergent, done in the office as a painless procedure, done in about 25 minutes depending on how many spider veins you may have.”
You’re able to return to work right after this procedure to treat varicose veins. This treatment is best for cosmetic treatment, as it’s a very simple procedure that is low-risk.
If your vein condition is more serious, there are different treatment methods.
“If it’s more serious, then we start worrying about, where are those valves leaking? We need to understand the highest point where those valves are insufficient so we can talk about treating the vein from the inside.”
When we’ve determined those veins are problematic, we can treat them with lasers. What these lasers do to treat the condition is actually scar the vein itself, as you no longer actually need that vein anymore. This allows healthy, functioning veins to take over that bloodflow.
This vein treatment is also fairly simple and only takes about an hour to perform, and you can return to work the very next day.
Are your vein concerns in need of treatment? Learn more about how we treat these types of veins at The Derm by clicking here.