Do you have spider veins or varicose veins that cause you to be self-conscious or avoid wearing shorts? While they are not one in the same, both spider veins and varicose veins involve a structural abnormality of blood vessels that can be very unsightly.
Spider veins are a cluster of dilated skin capillaries that can develop close to the surface of the skin in a web-like presence. Varicose veins refer to enlarged, twisting and bulging vessels that raise above the skin surface. These unattractive veins can be blue or purple in appearance and frequently develop on the legs.
When there is a backflow of blood within the vein valves, the pressure and pooling of blood can cause engorgement and dilation of the blood vessels and result in spider veins and/or varicose veins. Women are more likely to experience this condition, but the following are known risk factors for spider vein and varicose vein development:
- Advanced age
- Prolonged sitting/standing
- Pregnancy, hormone therapy, birth control pills
- Prolonged sun exposure
- Prior vein surgery
- Family history
Regardless of what caused your spider veins or varicose veins, they can typically be reduced or eliminated with sclerotherapy.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy involves a simple, in-office procedure that requires no anesthesia. Though multiple sessions may be needed to achieve optimal results, sclerotherapy is a successful treatment option for eliminating the majority of spider veins and some varicose veins. During this procedure, we will use tiny needles to inject a liquid solution directly into the affected veins. This special medical-grade agent causes the vessel to collapse and eventually shrink and fade away. The body’s venous system is highly redundant, so closing off one vessel will not harm or compromise your overall circulation. Side effects can involve temporary bruising and swelling so many patients choose to get sclerotherapy in the winter to allow for healing by spring or summer.
If spider veins are threatening your self-confidence, consider sclerotherapy from a qualified professional at Spectrum Dermatology of Atlanta.