Generally speaking, veins are invisible under your skin, but if you have spider veins, they can stand out noticeably on your legs. While not a harmful or dangerous condition, these can make it embarrassing to wear shorts or go to the beach. If you’ve been suffering from spider veins, there are solutions. Find out more about how you can get rid of spider veins.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are small blood vessels that become visible through the skin. They are usually associated with aging, and appear gradually as people get older. More women get spider veins than men, and most women find they have a few of them by the time they hit 30 years old. They often appear during pregnancy, and may be linked to hormonal activity. Obesity is also a risk factor which may increase the likelihood of spider veins.
Spider veins do not cause other health issues or risks. This is a cosmetic problem only, unlike varicose veins, which are larger, more prominent, and can be painful. With spider veins, you have a choice. You can leave them alone, and not have any problems. On the other hand, if you’re self-conscious about them and want to improve your appearance, there are cosmetic surgery options that can eliminate your spider veins.
How can you remove spider veins?
There are two main treatment options for spider vein removal – laser treatments and sclerotherapy. Laser treatments are not as popular, because the lasers can be quite painful, and it may require several procedures to fully remove your spider veins. Some women would do to extreme lengths just to have their beautiful legs back, so if you’re immune to pain and ready to undergo such procedure, the end result will certainly exceed your expectations.
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment. This is performed in a doctor’s office, but does not require any anesthesia. Patients may opt for valium or a similar drug if they are anxious about the operation. The treatment blocks the blood flow through small veins and capillaries, which causes them to disappear.
The way sclerotherapy works is that the doctor injects a needle into a spider vein, with a chemical that swells cells in the vein walls and blocks the blood flow. The patient then wears compression stockings which flatten the veins and capillaries, so that as they heal the blood cannot resume flowing through them. With no blood flow, the spider veins vanish. It’s as simple as that.
The compression stockings must be worn for at least two full days after the treatment, but better results occur with longer wear. You must wear them most of the time, but can remove them for showers. About 60 to 70 percent of spider veins will be removed in a single treatment. A second or third procedure may be needed to remove the rest. After all spider veins are removed, a person’s legs will look younger and healthier.
What are the costs and risks of removal?
Typically an injection for spider veins will cost about $350. One session may include multiple injections, so that a session could run $1,000 or more. Risks are rare in sclerotherapy, but some patients may experience allergic reactions to the treatment. There is also a small chance of bruising, blistering, scarring, inflammation, or blood clots. A brown pigmentation of the skin may result, but this usually fades over time.
Patients should be aware that sclerotherapy will permanently remove existing spider veins, but does not prevent new ones from forming. Thus, you may require on-going treatments in order to keep your legs vein-free.
Are you ready to make some lifestyle changes? Physicians advise patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle after their spider vein removal procedure. Although the treatment destroys the unaesthetic veins and improves the general appearance of the legs, the condition can reappear. Physical activities improve muscle tone and help the blood flow properly; also, you might want to change your eating habits too. Raw foods and healthy snacks will make you feel more energized and ready to go by the day with a smile on your face. Last but not least, stop wearing high-heel shoes all day long. Take a break and your legs will feel a lot better.