The Best Ways to Treat Spider Veins
Spider veins are common and easier to treat than ever. Vein medicine has evolved dramatically in recent decades. Patients can treat spider veins in New York City within minutes and proceed with their day. Spider veins don’t require surgery, thanks to innovative devices that close veins within the body, rather than surgically extracting them. Depending on the size, cause, location, and symptoms, vein doctors will either use a minimally invasive vein treatment or a procedure at the surface of the skin. Book an appointment with Harvard-trained vein doctors in New York to discuss your options. Here are some of the top treatments.
Minimally Invasive Spider Vein Treatments:
- Sclerotherapy– Vein doctors inject a sclerosant into the vein. It irritates the vein walls, which causes the vein to scar shut. This quick, gentle treatment requires no general or local anesthesia. It’s done in about 15 minutes. Patients resume their usual routine immediately. Sclerotherapy is considered the first line of treatment for spider veins.
- Vein Adhesives– Vein specialists inject cyanoacrylate glue into the vein to seal it. This is a fast and painless treatment that requires no anesthesia. Patients can walk right afterward and drive themselves home. The glue is a safe adhesive that’s been used in surgeries for decades.
- Mechanochemical Ablation– Vein doctors inject a sclerosant into the vein and rotate the catheter that delivers the sclerosant. Chemically and mechanically agitating the vein’s walls prompts the vein to close. It doesn’t require anesthesia and takes about 20 minutes.
- Radiofrequency Ablation– Vein experts inject tumescent anesthesia around the vein to protect adjacent tissue from heat. They position a needle on the vein and activate it with radiofrequency. This cauterizes the vein, so blood can’t enter it. Blood is rerouted into healthier veins. This procedure utilizes ultrasound guidance and takes about 30 minutes. It’s more commonly used as a varicose vein treatment.
Spider Vein Treatments at the Surface of the Skin:
- Laser Treatments– Some veins are better suited to a laser treatment at the surface of the skin than an injectable treatment. These include facial spider veins near the eyes. Surface lasers aren’t for everyone, including patients with sensitive skin or skin conditions.
- Wear Compression Stockings– Certain patients see improvement in spider veins and symptoms like leg cramping, heaviness, and swelling when they wear compression stockings. Compression therapy isn’t safe for everyone. The stockings need to be sized by a physician to provide appropriate compression.
Top Prevention Tips to Lower the Risk of Developing Them
Spider veins aren’t anyone’s favorite physical attribute. The clusters of boldly colored blood vessels look like spindly spider’s legs branching out in several directions. Spider veins don’t only have an unpleasant appearance. They can also cause uncomfortable symptoms like cramping, itching, heaviness, restlessness, or fatigue in the legs. Patients can also experience swelling, hyperpigmentation, venous stasis dermatitis, and heavy bleeding when spider veins get scraped. How can you prevent these bothersome blood vessels? Here are the risk factors for spider veins and ways to mitigate them.
- Know your family history– If spider veins run in your family, you’re at a higher risk of developing them. Genetic predisposition is the top predictor of spider veins. Knowing your familial risk can help you be proactive about prevention. Start with having a vein doctor examine your veins for Chronic Venous Insufficiency. You’ll learn why later in this article.
- Consider your hormone balance– Certain females are at an increased risk of acquiring spider veins, including pregnant, perimenopausal, and menopausal women. If you’re taking hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy, the additional progesterone and estrogen can weaken vein walls and valves and slow blood flow, which makes it harder for vein valves to create a tight seal and keep blood flowing the right way. If you struggle with varicose veins, spider veins, or vascular issues, ask your doctor whether non-hormonal birth control or an alternative menopause treatment would be better.
- See a vein doctor during or after pregnancy– Blood volume doubles while pregnant. This stretches vein walls which makes it easier for blood to leak backward through the vein and build pressure that generates spider veins. The expanding uterus puts pressure on pelvic veins which can also prompt spider veins to form. Fluctuating hormones and weight gain from pregnancy influence spider vein formation as well. A vein doctor can observe your vasculature with ultrasound imaging and detect problems before damage arises.
- Maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle– Extra weight is burdensome to veins, especially leg veins, which must pump blood against gravity from the feet to the heart. Being sedentary is also hard on veins. Blood vessels in the legs rely on leg muscle contractions to pump blood upward. The more you move, the less likely you are to develop spider veins. If you have a job that requires you to sit or stand for long periods, take frequent breaks to move around. Elevate your legs while resting to help blood move toward the heart.
Why You Might Need Varicose Vein Treatment Too
Spider veins can be caused by internal or external issues. A skin injury, squeezing a pimple, extreme temperatures, and sun damage can cause spider veins on the face. But spider veins in the legs almost always result from valve failure in a deeper vein. When valves fail, blood flows in reverse and collects in the vein. This engorgement causes tiny spider veins to form and branch out from the overburdened vein. That problem is called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).
Many patients don’t know they have CVI or that it also causes varicose veins. If you have spider veins in your legs, see a vein doctor to check for CVI. If you aren’t proactive about closing faulty valves, you might develop varicose veins too. This is one of the many reasons to choose a board certified vein doctor in New York City over a cosmetic vein specialist. Cosmetic clinics don’t provide treatment for varicose veins or Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Surface lasers can’t get hot enough to safely treat a large or deep vein without damaging the skin. You need a minimally invasive vein treatment for varicose veins and CVI.
Why Your Vein Doctor Should Also Examine Deep Blood Vessels
The best vein clinics in New York City don’t just examine surface vein damage. They also analyze deeper blood vessels to determine the cause. Weak vein walls, broken valves, and blood clots aren’t always detectable from the surface. Choose a doctor with ultrasound training who can observe the problem and treat it with ultrasound-guided procedures. Our vein specialists don’t rely on ultrasound technicians. They’re trained on Duplex and Doppler Ultrasound equipment so they can find problems, position treatments precisely, and observe treatments as they close the vein. Always select vein doctors who use this level of precision for spider and varicose vein treatment.