What are Spider Veins?
Small venous clusters are known as spider veins (or telangiectasia) which mostly form near the skin's surface. They have a spiderweb-like look and are commonly red, blue, or purple. They can be commonly found on the face and legs.
Small, damaged veins that emerge on the surface of the legs or face are known as spider veins. Although they are rarely uncomfortable or damaging, some people prefer to treat them for cosmetic reasons. These can appear as thin lines, webs, or branches. They're also referred to as thread veins. Spider veins can be removed or reduced using a variety of methods.
Spider veins develop in the legs when the valves within the veins stop functioning properly.
Blood is returned to the heart through veins. They have a one-way valve that closes as the blood passes through it to prevent it from flowing backward.
Blood may struggle to flow in the right direction if this valve weakens or becomes damaged, and it may begin to pool inside the vein. They grow as a result of a bulge in the vein that branches out through time.
Spider veins vs. Varicose veins
Venous insufficiency, which includes spider veins and varicose veins, is a medical disorder. Both diseases are caused by weaker or broken valves in the leg veins. The symptoms of the two problems, however, are not the same.
Spider veins are often small, thin lines that are either flat or slightly elevated in appearance. They are frequently blue, red, or purple in color. Although they may cause some discomfort, they are usually painless. These are smaller and shallower than varicose veins.
Varicose veins can induce a number of symptoms, depending on their severity. These may include the following:
- An achy or heavy feeling in the legs
- Swelling of the legs or ankles
Varicose veins can also put a person at risk for blood clots and circulatory issues.
Spider Vein Prevention
Certain lifestyle adjustments and self-care practices can help prevent new spider veins from forming or exacerbating existing ones. Here are some of them:
- Wear sunscreen: Applying sunscreen every day, especially on the face, can help prevent some spider veins. When spending time outside for long periods of time, use sun-protective caps and apparel.
- Maintain a healthy weight: This relieves pressure on the veins and allows blood to circulate freely.
- Wear compression stockings: Consider wearing compression stockings or socks if spider veins or varicose veins are a concern or run in the family.
- Stay mobile: Sitting or standing for long periods of time without taking a break is not recommended. Every 30 minutes, get up and take a stroll.
- Avoid tight clothing: Clothing that is overly tight around the waist, legs, or pelvis might limit blood flow, which can lead to spider veins.
- Avoid overuse of hot tubs and saunas: Veins can swell as a result of excessive heat, placing dilated and bulging veins in the legs at risk.
- Workout regularly: Physical activity can aid in the improvement of circulation and the prevention of blood pooling in the legs.
Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Diagnosis
Spider veins and varicose veins are diagnosed by thoroughly inspecting the afflicted areas, which are commonly on the legs. A visual assessment and palpation (pushing) of the areas of concern will be part of the diagnosis. Redness, swelling, skin discoloration, and skin ulcers will be given special care. Although the majority of cases of spider veins and varicose veins do not necessitate treatment, except for those who experience difficulties.
Spider veins, while normally innocuous, can be bothersome, and some people may prefer to treat spider veins for cosmetic reasons.
There are several options available for the management of Spider veins with or without underlying varicose vein disease.
Compression stockings or socks:
Compression socks or stockings provide pressure to the veins in the lower legs. This pressure can assist increase blood flow and prevent spider or varicose veins from developing. Compression stockings may also reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs by reducing leg swelling. Compression Stockings can reduce varicose vein symptoms temporarily but is not a treatment option.
The following are examples of compression stockings:
- Non Presumption class 1 compression stockings and socks: The foot, ankles, and calves are all subjected to a medium degree of pressure. They're widely available in specialty shops and pharmacies.
- Class II, III, IV compression stockings: These are the ones that put the most strain on the feet and legs. Only prescriptions are accepted, and they come in a range of sizes and intensities, as well as footless variants. Some people should avoid wearing prescription compression stockings, such as those who have arterial insufficiencies such as advanced diabetic patients.
Sclerotherapy and closure system:
Sclerotherapy is a treatment in which a sclerosant agent is injected directly into the abnormal vein. The vein walls stick together as they become inflamed, restricting blood flow into the area.
This approach can aid in the reduction of edema and the contraction of the vein. With time, the spider vein fades or vanishes. Several treatments may be required to attain the desired results. A person may need numerous treatments before they are satisfied with the results.
Sclerotherapy or closure system can be performed by the following healthcare professionals:
- plastic surgeons
- vascular surgeons
- trained nurses
- cosmetic physicians
It is crucial to check for Feeder Varicose or Spider Veins into the patch of Spider Vein. Feeder Veins should be treated before the procedure otherwise the treatment for spider veins will not be successful. Most patients with thicker spider veins and varicose vein symptoms need ultrasound examination to check for underlying varicose veins.
A person usually wears compression stockings for several days or weeks after undergoing sclerotherapy or a closure device. After these procedures, spider veins will progressively fade away, although the process may take up to 6 weeks.
External Laser treatment:
A laser can be used to treat spider veins that are less than 3 millimeters in diameter and near to the skin's surface. The laser is a powerful, focused beam of light that clots and dries out the spider vein.
The laser technique works well on facial Spider Veins, for leg or lower limb spider vein Sclerotherapy is a better treatment procedure as compared to external laser treatment.
Endovenous Laser/ Radiofrequency Ablation:
Although some surgical procedures for bigger varicose veins can be helpful, doctors rarely use them on spider veins. Because these veins are tiny, they frequently respond well to the less intrusive therapies mentioned above.
To assess the treated vein and check for repercussions, a follow-up ultrasound scan is required. The target vein should be successfully occluded before treating spider veins. To treat related veins, other treatments (such as sclerotherapy, phlebectomy, or endovenous ablation) may be required.
Dr. Nellie is one of the very few female phlebologists in Australia and New Zealand, having earned her fellowship in the same field. Dr. Yazdani has Certified skills in Advanced Ultrasound in Phlebology, with experience of more than 17 years she has been treating patients with no or minimal adverse effects.
Visit Melbourne’s highly rated vein clinic i.e. Melbourne Varicose Vein clinic today for any of your painful vein conditions.