How Do I Get Rid of Spider Veins on My Legs?
Nobody wants to think twice about wearing shorts or showing off their legs; there are more important things in life than worrying about visible dark spider veins. While it's a cosmetic nuisance that can make you self-conscious, the good news is that living with spider veins is optional - you're not just stuck with them. You can do something to treat them!
At Center for Vein Restoration, we can walk you through your treatment options for spider veins. Read more to discover what causes spider veins, how to improve your vein health, and what spider vein treatments we offer.
Why do I have Spider Veins?
Spider veins are small dilated blood vessels close to the skin's surface that resemble small webs and appear on the face, torso, and commonly on the legs.
Spider veins are a result of damaged valves in the blood vessels preventing blood from returning to the heart, causing the veins to stretch and cause swelling, making them visible on the surface of the skin.
Some causes of spider veins include:
Age: As we age, the valves in our veins lose elasticity, causing them to function less efficiently. Breakdown caused by age can lead to blood backing up in the blood vessels, creating spider veins.
Gender: Women are more likely to get spider veins than men due to hormone fluctuations such as pregnancy and menopause. Pregnancy also causes spider veins due to the increase in blood volume and weight gain pregnant women experience.
Activity Level: A sedentary lifestyle can pressure your vascular system as the lack of movement slows down your circulation, which can cause blood and fluid to pool in the legs and damage the vein walls and valves.
Obesity or Sudden Weight Gain: When your body carries excess weight, it puts more pressure on your veins, increasing your risk of varicose veins.
Medications: Medications that affect hormones, such as birth control, could aid in developing spider veins over time with prolonged use.
Once you understand the potential causes of your spider veins, you're better able to make proactive lifestyle choices to help improve the health of your vascular system.
What's The Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
Both spider and varicose veins present as swollen, twisted, dilated blood vessels visible on the legs, but there are some key differences.
Spider veins are swollen small veins and blood vessels close to the skin's surface and often appear to have a web-like structure, hence the name "spider veins." Spider veins are usually red, blue, or purple in color. While not typically painful, spider veins can cause a mild, dull discomfort such as a burning or stinging sensation. Spider veins are the result of valve damage or weakening of the vessel wall.
Varicose veins are often more prominent, deeper veins that become raised, swollen, and twisted due to valve damage or damage to the vein wall. Unlike spider veins, varicose veins can be painful and unsightly, possibly leading to severe complications like blood clots or venous ulcers.
Spider veins do not cause or become varicose veins, but the pressure and inflammation of varicose veins have been known to cause spider veins to appear on the legs.
Are Spider Veins Serious?
Spider veins are typically a cosmetic issue and not always a sign of poor vascular health. You should tell your vein specialist if you're noticing an increase in the development of spider veins, skin changes, or if you have any uncomfortable stinging or inflammation, as spider veins could also indicate underlying vein issues like vein disease or chronic venous insufficiency.
Seek immediate medical treatment if you experience the following symptoms:
Unexplained sudden pain and swelling in the leg
Warmth radiating from the below the knee
Discoloration of the lower leg
Can I Get Rid of Spider Veins At Home?
There are no home remedies that eliminate spider veins. Spider veins don't go away without treatment, but there are things you can do to alleviate the discomfort they cause.
Before you take any supplements or purchase gadgets that promise to eliminate spider veins in the comfort of your home, talk to your doctor about your spider veins and ask about treatment options. Most over-the-counter "quick-solution" spider vein remedies are ineffective or could interact with other treatments.
You can treat the symptoms of spider veins at home, but you can't eliminate them. The main focus of lifestyle treatment of spider veins should be to improve your circulation and help preserve your vein health.
Some home-care tips for spider veins include:
Elevation: Elevating your legs can reduce the stress of the venous system in your lower extremities. Lifting your legs above your heart encourages better blood flow and reduces pressure on your vascular system, especially veins with weak valves or damaged walls, and helps the blood circulate back to the heart.
Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise helps keep your blood flowing. Improved circulation can help reduce the appearance of spider veins. All movement is good, so check with your vein specialist if you have questions about increasing your activity levels.
Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Losing excess weight can help reduce the risk and appearance of spider veins by removing pressure from your lower extremities. Adopting a healthy diet that's low in sodium can also help keep your vascular system healthy. Consider incorporating other healthy lifestyle changes, such as reducing alcohol intake and quitting smoking, as both have an inflammatory impact on the vascular system.
Take A Walk: Avoid sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time. This can cause the blood to pool in the lower extremities, making the symptoms of spider veins worse. If you're sitting or standing for a long time, try to move around every 20 minutes or so to improve your circulation.
Wear Compression: Compression stockings reduce swelling in the legs, which improves circulation.
When To See A Doctor About Spider Veins
You don't have to wait to talk to your doctor or vein specialist about treating your spider veins; it's okay if you want to treat them from a cosmetic point of view. Regarding your vascular health, you should tell your vein specialist if your spider veins are itching, aching, or burning.
Minimally Invasive Spider Vein Treatment
At Center for Vein Restoration (CVR), we'll help you determine the underlying cause of your spider veins and rule out more serious conditions such as vein disease, venous insufficiency, or phlebitis. We offer minimally invasive, in-office procedures for spider veins that will have you back to your normal activities.
Sclerotherapy: This non-surgical procedure involves injecting a chemical solution directly into the spider veins, causing them to collapse and fade over time. Sclerotherapy is highly effective for small to medium-sized spider veins and is a minimally invasive outpatient treatment.
Foam Sclerotherapy: Foam sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the use of ultrasound to ensure the right vein is targeted. Unlike sclerotherapy, the chemical agent is a mixture of the sclerosing agent and air or gas, enabling it to efficiently displace blood within the vein to make contact with the vessel walls.
Laser Therapy: Laser treatment, or laser vein therapy, uses targeted laser energy to heat and seal off the spider veins, ultimately causing them to fade. Laser therapy is suitable for smaller veins, is non-invasive, and offers minimal downtime.
Radiofrequency Ablation: Radiofrequency energy is applied to the affected veins through a catheter, leading to their closure and gradual disappearance. This method is often used for more prominent spider veins and can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
Unlike past treatments, these are minimally invasive options for treating your spider veins, as most patients are back on their feet the same day.
Spider Vein Treatment at Center for Vein Restoration
The friendly expert staff at Center for Vein Restoration (CVR), offers minimally invasive, in-office procedures for spider veins, including Sclerotherapy, Foam Sclerotherapy, Laser Therapy, and Radiofrequency Ablation. These treatments are effective, safe, and can help you get back to your regular activities quickly.
Spider veins don't have to be a permanent source of self-consciousness. There are treatment options available, and our expert vein specialists can help you take steps to manage and improve your vein health.
Don't hesitate to consult a vein specialist and explore the solutions that best suit your needs. You can regain confidence in your legs and say goodbye to the cosmetic nuisance of spider veins.
We accept many insurance providers, including Aetna, Amerigroup, Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, MultiPlan, Medicaid, and Medicare. Find a provider near you.
For personalized insurance coverage guidance, call 1-800-FIX-LEGS (1-844-219-0843) to speak to a Patient Services Representative or request an appointment online.
We're here to help you on your journey to healthier veins. CVR is proud to offer over 110 vein clinic locations across the United States, making it convenient to access our expert care.