If you have spider veins, you’ve probably stopped wearing shorts and bathing suits. You might think that your ability to show off your legs is gone forever. But that’s not necessarily true. Treatment is available for both spider and varicose veins.
Why Do I Have Spider Veins?
Spider veins are cause by a backup of blood in the body. They are usually blue or red and appear near to the surface of the skin. These veins are sometimes referred to as roadmap veins because their spread appearance looks similar to a roadmap or to spider webs.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, heredity is the largest factor in your risk of developing spider veins. 80% of people (mainly women) with spider veins have a family member who also had spider veins.
There are other risk factors that can also lead to spider veins:
- Hormonal changes: The hormonal shifts of puberty, menopause, or use of hormones (such as birth control methods containing progesterone or estrogen.)
- Sun exposure: In very fair skinned people, sun exposure can cause spider veins, particularly on the checks or nose bridged
- Standing: People in professions that involve standing for long periods, such as those in the medical field or in manufacturing, are at a higher risk for spider veins.
- Age: The chance of spider veins becomes more likely as people advance in age.
Contrary to what you might have heard, the ADA asserts that sitting with your legs crossed does not cause spider veins, nor does weight gain. In fact, dramatic weight loss can show hidden spider veins.
Treatment: What works, what doesn’t
When it comes to treating and preventing spider veins, there are some things that just don’t work. Taking vitamin supplements, for example, will not help prevent or treat the appearance of spider veins. Likewise, tanning will not help hide the appearance of spider veins; in fact tanning can make the veins spread beyond where they already exist.
The treatment option that really works for reducing spider veins is called sclerotherapy, a process available at Accent Plastics. During scelerotherapy, a technician injects a very fine needle into each of the affected veins. The needles contain a “sclerosing” solution that causes the blocked blood vessels to eventually collapse and fade from view. It usually takes around four to six weeks for the spider veins to disappear.
Sclerotherapy is a fairly affordable treatment – the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report that the average national cost of sclerotherapy is around $350.
Occasionally, however, more than one sclerotherapy treatment is required before the veins disappear from view. In other cases, your plastic surgeon may want to combine sclerotherapy with laser therapy, in which a laser beam of light destroys the spider vein through the skin.
Between sclerotherapy and laser therapy, your spider veins can be effectively treated. If you’re interested in discussing your treatment options with our board-certified plastic surgery team, contact our Gainesville office today. At Accent Plastic Surgery, we’re here to help you look and feel your best through a wide array of treatments.