Varicose and spider veins are damaged veins. We develop them when tiny, one-way valves inside the veins weaken. In healthy veins, these valves push blood in one direction — back to our heart. When these valves weaken, some blood flows backward and accumulates in the vein. Extra blood in the vein puts pressure on the walls of the vein.
With continual pressure, the vein walls weaken and bulge. In time, we see a varicose or spider vein.
Some people have a higher risk of developing these veins. If blood relatives have them, you have a higher risk. Many people get them because they sit or stand for long periods most days of the week. These veins also become more common with age and during pregnancy.
Spider veins can also be caused by sunlight, hormonal changes, or an injury.
Treatment options range from self-care to minor surgery. A vein specialist may use one or more of these treatments:
Self-care tips to improve your circulation including:
- Elevate your legs
- Sit for long periods? Get up and walk around every 30 minutes
- Stand for long periods? Take a break every 30 minutes
- Avoid soaking in hot baths for long periods of time
Self-care tips can help prevent new varicose and spider veins but cannot get rid of existing ones.
Compression stockings: These stockings apply steady pressure to help move the blood back to your heart. The steady pressure also lessens swelling in your lower legs and reduces the risk of getting a blood clot. You’ll still have visible leg veins, though.
Sclerotherapy: This is the most common treatment for leg veins and is used it to treat spider and small varicose veins. Sclerotherapy causes the walls of the vein to stick together, so the blood cannot flow through it anymore. This improves circulation in the treated leg and reduces swelling. For best results, multiple treatments are often necessary.
Laser treatments: Vein Specialists use lasers to treat spider veins and small varicose veins, directing laser light at the vein.
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA): EVLT and RFA often replace the need to surgically remove a vein. Both treatments work inside the vein to destroy it.
A consultation is needed to determine which treatment(s) is best for you. Source: American Academy of Dermatology, to read the entire article click here.