You may have walked down Newport Beach and noticed all the people without visible leg veins. If you’ve ever looked down at your legs and wondered what made you different from anyone else, the answer is most likely spider or varicose veins. At Coastal Vein in Corona Del Mar, CA, we specialize in the treatment of diseased veins. Today, we reveal the best methods to get rid of spider veins and increase your self-confidence.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are smaller blood vessels that can be red, purple or blue and are clearly visible. They most often occur on the legs and face. However, they can also be seen on the hands, arms and feet. These swollen veins are idiopathic in nature, meaning there is not a single disease that causes their occurrence.
Symptoms of This Condition
The most common symptom of this condition is clear visibility of veins which are no more than 3 millimeters in diameter. These veins appear knotted and may also appear discolored. In some cases, people with this condition report pain, discomfort, numbness or heaviness and uncontrollable itching.
Symptoms of Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia
Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, or HHT, is similar to telangiectasia in that it affects veins which are at most 3 millimeters in diameter. This rare genetic condition, however, can be life-threatening. Rather than forming just beneath the surface of the skin, these telangiectases form inside vital organs, including your liver. If these veins burst, they can cause significant internal bleeding, known as hemorrhages. Symptoms of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia include:
- Dark black or red blood in stools
- Port-wine stain birthmark
- Petit mal or grand mal seizures
- Shortness of breath
- Regular nosebleeds
What Can Cause Spider Veins?
Among the potential causes and risk factors for telangiectasia are:
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Imbalanced hormone levels
- Certain contraceptives
- Certain occupations
- Blood diseases
- Excessive abdominal pressure
There are a couple of ways obesity can cause telangiectasia. First, the typical diet that leads people to become obese is usually high in salt, which elevates venous blood pressure. Second, obese people usually carry a great deal of excess weight around their lower abdomen. This excess weight applies excessive pressure to the smaller veins and makes blood flow less efficiently.
Finally, overweight and obese individuals tend to be less active than people who are within a healthy weight range. A sedentary lifestyle results in weakened veins and supporting tissues. Eventually, the veins become so weak that they twist around themselves and become clearly visible beneath the skin.
Occupations which require a lot of standing, including hairstylist, teacher, factory worker and nurse, carry a greater risk of developing telangiectasias than other professionals.
People who work white-collar jobs, such as auditors, tax accountants and financial accountants, are also at an increased risk of developing spider veins. If you have a job that requires a lot of remaining in one place for hours at a time, set a timer on your phone and get up to walk around periodically. Make sure you do the same thing when you’re home, too. The more you walk around, the healthier your leg veins will be.
There are a lot of potential sources of excessive abdominal pressure. While pregnancy and obesity are by far the most common, certain types of tumors may also cause excess abdominal pressure. Finally, it’s not uncommon for telangiectasias to develop from wearing certain external garments, such as girdles, that put enormous amounts of pressure on the abdomen.
We’d like you to take a moment and consider your bowel movements. Do you have a BM at least once per day? Is producing stool effortless? Do you have bowel movements at the same time each day? If you answered no to any of these questions, your telangiectasia may be caused by abdominal pressure triggered by constipation.
All sorts of hormonal imbalances lead to the development of telangiectasias. These hormonal imbalances may occur as a result of puberty, pregnancy, pre-menopause, menopause or peri-menopause. They may also be derived from certain types of contraceptives and postmenopausal hormonal replacement.
If you noticed the development of telangiectasias after starting birth control, ask your OB-GYN about an alternative contraceptive you can take. If your spider veins began to appear after starting postmenopausal hormonal replacement, see if you can get a different prescription. This may be enough to alleviate symptoms.
What Causes Telangiectasias in the Face?
There are several triggers for telangiectasias to appear in the face. Both vomiting and sneezing cause sudden, extreme pressure which can break the blood vessels in your nose. Injuries ranging from minor to significant can lead to bruising. Bruises don’t usually cause telangiectasias. However, the skin discoloration makes the broken blood vessels more noticeable.
People with telangiectasias on their face often drink alcohol to excess. Even the occasional beer or shot can cause your blood vessels to enlarge and skin to flush. Regular alcohol consumption, especially binge drinking, leads to spider veins over time. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is defined as drinking such that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) becomes 0.08 grams per deciliter of blood or greater.
In women, this is typically four drinks in a two-hour period. In men, this is usually five drinks in a two-hour period. To mitigate your risk of developing telangiectasias around your nose, mouth or cheeks, limit your alcohol consumption to one drink per day if you are a woman or two drinks per day if you are a man.
What Are the Most Effective Treatment Methods for Spider Vein Removal?
There are several effective treatment methods for spider vein removal. Treatment plans vary on a case-by-case basis depending on health, lifestyle, vein condition, aesthetic goals and other factors. To get your personalized treatment plan, come in for an initial consultation at Coastal Vein in Corona Del Mar, CA, conveniently located just 3.5 miles from Newport Beach. Here are a few of the best methods for getting rid of telangiectasia:
In many cases, your telangiectasias just needs a little support. This gentle, constant support can be achieved by wearing compression garments throughout the day. We recommend putting them on as soon as you wake up as this is when your legs are least likely to be swollen. Putting them on at this time makes the treatment easier to apply and ensures all-day support.
When you come in for your initial consultation, we will assess your vein health and determine the precise amount of compression support you need. In mild cases, you may just need to pick up a compression garment off the shelf of your local pharmacy. In more severe cases, however, you will need to receive a prescription for such garments. Support stockings usually come in three varieties: pantyhose-style, above-the-knee and below-the-knee.
In the case of telangiectasia caused by rosacea or other skin conditions, good skin hygiene may be enough to get rid of your telangiectasias for good. In overweight or obese clients, we strongly recommend weight loss to get rid of telangiectasias. Finally, walking regularly is recommended to all of our clients for their overall health and vein health.
Sclerotherapy is one of the most common spider vein removal treatments and has been around since the 1930s. This treatment involves strategically placed injections of a sclerosing agent into the walls of telangiectasias. This outpatient treatment is affordable, simple and extremely effective.
In the case of larger telangiectasias, the sclerosing agent may be a detergent specifically designed for the removal of spider veins. In more mild cases, a highly concentrated, sterile saline solution may be used. With sclerotherapy, the veins collapse in on themselves, starve of blood and are eventually absorbed by surrounding tissue. Results of this treatment are seen gradually over the course of three to six weeks. At this point, the veins have disappeared completely and are gone forever.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
In endovenous laser treatment, a small laser fiber is inserted into the twisted vein. This laser pulses high levels of light energy into the vein, resulting in the vein’s collapse. This outpatient treatment is performed under local anesthesia to ensure you feel neither pain nor discomfort from the intense energy.
Radiofrequency occlusion involves the insertion of a tiny catheter into the vein wall. This catheter is used to deliver targeted radiofrequency energy, heating the wall and causing the vein to collapse and seal shut. This outpatient treatment may be performed under local anesthesia upon request.
Achieve the Legs of Your Dreams Today
Telangiectasia may not come with the same medical risks associated with varicose veins, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. To discover the most effective way for you to get rid of spider veins, contact the dedicated vein experts at Coastal Vein in Corona Del Mar, CA today to schedule your initial consultation.