Spider Veins

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Spider Veins


To understand vein disease, which is the primary cause of varicose veins, it’s first important to understand the venous system of the human body. The venous system is the part of the circulatory system. It returns deoxygenated blood through veins back to the heart to be recirculated. By contrast, the arterial system carries oxygenated blood away from the heart to be distributed throughout the body. The smallest parts of the venous system are the capillaries, which feed into larger superficial veins. If no evidence of venous insufficiency exists, then sclerotherapy is performed to treat spider veins.

Sclerotherapy is the treatment of choice for spider leg veins. The treatment is minimally invasive. The procedure also can improve related symptoms such as aching, swelling, burning and night cramps. Treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks. Occasionally it may take up to two months to see the full results. In most instances, patients require several sclerotherapy treatments.

Spider veins (telangiectasias) are similar to varicose veins, but smaller and found closer to the skin’s surface. They take their name from their appearance, which resembles a spider’s web. Usually red or blue in color, they vary in size and can be found in other areas of the body besides the legs, including the face. Spider veins become very noticeable when they form clusters in sufficient numbers. Because of their small size and superficial location, spider veins rarely, if ever, account for any leg symptoms. Although seldom a medical issue, many patients seek to eliminate their spider veins to enhance the cosmetic and aesthetic appearance of their legs.


Unavoidable underlying causes of chronic venous insufficiency can lead to varicose veins and spider veins. These include an inherited genetic predisposition and the normal aging process. Any condition that puts more pressure on leg veins – including standing for long periods of time, being overweight, or pregnancy – can also cause varicose veins or spider veins. Women are at greater risk than men due to hormonal changes that relax vein walls during pregnancy, pre-menstruation or menopause. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy may also increase the risk, as do a history of blood clots and conditions that increase pressure in the abdomen, such as tumors, constipation and tight garments like girdles. Other factors include previous venous surgery and exposure to ultraviolet rays.


Varicose veins and spider veins appear most commonly between the ages of 30 and 70. The first physical symptom is usually their appearance. As the disease progresses, the legs begin to feel heavy, tired and achy, and these symptoms worsen with prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Muscle cramping may be accompanied by a burning and throbbing feeling in the lower legs. Varicose veins can also cause a change in skin color (known as stasis pigmentation), dry and thinning skin, inflammation of the skin, open sores and bleeding.


Our team of health professionals have purposefully chosen non-surgical, minimally invasive procedures to treat veins and vein related problems. The evaluation includes a visual and physical examination of the legs and feet by a physician. They check for inflammation, areas that are tender to the touch, changes in skin color, ulcerations, and other signs of skin breakdown. In most cases, clinicians order an ultrasound test is to determine if the valves in the veins are functioning properly and to check for evidence of a blood clot. If there is no evidence of venous insufficiency, then we would proceed with sclerotherapy to treat your spider veins.

Sclerotherapy is the treatment of choice for spider veins in the legs. The treatment is minimally invasive. The procedure can also improve related symptoms such as aching, swelling, burning, and night cramps. Treated veins tend to fade a few weeks. It will take up to two or three months to see the full results. In most instances, several sclerotherapy treatments are needed per area with spider veins.

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