Having smooth and blemish-free skin isn’t just something we hope for our faces, but for all visible parts of our skin. Small clusters of purplish veins on your legs can put a damper on your self-esteem and make you want to cover up in even the warmest weather. You don’t have to live with spider veins and the embarrassment they can cause. If you’re in the Newport Beach area, call Coastal Vein Care in Corona Del Mar, CA and ask about our spider veins treatment options.
What Are Spider Veins?
Most often appearing on the legs and face, spider veins are little clusters or webs of purple or red veins. Sometimes the color of these veins can be so intense or vibrant they’re mistaken for a bruise or other injury. These veins are actually diseased and have stopped functioning properly.
Our veins carry blood back to our heart throughout our body after arteries have carried the blood away from the heart. Each vein has a valve that serves to keep blood flowing in one direction back to the heart. Sometimes, these valves become damaged, and this can create spider veins.
What Causes Spider Veins?
When the valves in our veins are faulty, they don’t direct all the blood back to our hearts, and some of it can pool in the vein, causing it to be a “dead-end” vein. Other veins are created to relieve the pressure, and those newer veins get closer and closer to the skin’s surface until they become visible in a little map of spider veins. When these veins appear on the face, it’s usually because of a burst blood vessel.
Both men and women are affected by spider veins, although women have a higher chance of developing them. There’s no test to determine who will develop these veins and who won’t, but there are certain factors that play a role in their development, the biggest one being a genetic disposition to these dysfunctional veins. Other factors include:
- Hormonal fluctuations and changes
- Sun exposure
- Prolonged time sitting or standing
Are Spider Veins Dangerous?
Most spider veins are nothing more than a cosmetic issue. They all carry an inherent risk of producing physical symptoms and turning into something more dangerous, however. Spider veins can cause:
- Burning sensation
- Discomfort while sitting or standing for long periods of time
Spider veins can also turn into varicose veins. These veins are far more symptomatic and can open you up to greater risk.
What Are Varicose Veins?
These are the large, bulging veins over 60% of adults get on their legs at some point in their lives. Varicose veins are caused by a faulty valve in the vein that allows blood to pool and collect instead of being sent back to the heart. This blood turns a darker color because it’s no longer being oxygenated. These veins appear bulging and snake-like.
There are many risk factors that can cause varicose veins with a genetic pre-disposition being the biggest. Women are also more likely to suffer from varicose veins than are men. Other factors that may play a role in the development of varicose veins are:
- Long periods of time sitting or standing
- Hormone fluctuations
Varicose Vein Symptoms and Risks
Varicose veins are notorious for causing discomfort, and while severe risks aren’t typical, they exist. Some typical symptoms that come along with varicose veins are:
- Constant discomfort
- Skin changes
- Heavy feeling
- Restless legs
Because spider veins can be an early indicator of varicose veins, it’s better to seek treatment sooner rather than later. The serious risks associated with varicose veins are rare, but you should always know their possibility exists. They include:
- Clots in deep veins that can travel to the lungs
- Ulcers that become difficult to treat and heal
- Long term swelling that causes tissue damage
Spider Veins Treatment
Luckily, there are very effective treatments available for spider veins. Only your doctor can help you decide which treatment is right for you. After a consultation and physical examination, the right treatment plan can be developed.
RFA Vein Closure
An innovative option for spider veins treatment is RFA or radiofrequency ablation vein closure. This minimally invasive treatment uses radiofrequency energy to heat the walls of the dysfunctional veins, damaging them. When these veins become damaged, scar tissue forms around them, helping to seal them off. As the scar tissue forms, they will disappear.
What to Expect
Once you and your doctor have decided this is the right treatment plan for you, there’s very little preparation for you to do. You should stop taking blood thinners or over-the-counter medications like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen, but only at your doctor’s instruction. Certain herbal supplements like fish oil and vitamin E can also thin your blood, so be sure to tell your doctor everything you regularly take.
You should make sure you have someone with you that can drive you home on the day of your treatment.
During Your Treatment
When you arrive, the treatment area will be cleaned and sterilized. You’ll also be given a local anesthetic to ensure you stay comfortable throughout the process. Once the area is numb, an incision will be made to allow a small tube, or catheter, to be inserted into the problematic vein.
This catheter will hold a fiber that will use radiofrequency energy to gently heat the walls of the veins. Once the length of the vein is heated, the catheter will be removed and a bandage placed over the entry point. Appointments can take up to an hour depending on the area being treated.
You will be given compression stockings to wear on your treated leg or legs. These need to be worn for at least a week. These stockings provide the strongest pressure at the ankle and gradually relax up the leg and are designed to increase blood flow. It’s important that you walk after treatment and don’t spend too much time sitting.
You can go back to most of your normal activities right away. You should be able to drive the next day or whenever you’re comfortable; just don’t plan any long road trips because long periods of sitting aren’t advised. Air travel will be restricted until your doctor says you’re clear.
You’ll start to see results in about a week. The scar tissue will begin forming immediately and, over the next few weeks, your veins will become less visible until they disappear completely.
Another great spider veins treatment, sclerotherapy is the process of injecting the damaged vein with a specialized medical solution. This solution is injected with a fine needle and irritates the inner lining of the vein, eventually causing it to collapse. The blood that was trapped in the diseased veins is then redirected to healthy veins while scar tissue causes the spider veins to fade from view.
What to Expect
Sclerotherapy is a popular spider veins treatment because it doesn’t require any anesthesia, has a quick treatment time of 15-30 minutes and requires little to no downtime. During your appointment, a very fine needle will inject the medical solution into the spider vein(s). Once the treatment is over, you’re free to go back to your normal routine.
You will need to wear compression stockings on the treated leg. This keeps blood flowing properly to the area and will ensure the sclerotherapy solution is dispersed correctly. Failure to wear these stockings could cause treatment failure.
Not only is the treatment time fast with this treatment, but definitive results can be seen in as little as three weeks. Your doctor may recommend multiple treatment sessions based on the severity and the number of spider veins you need to be treated.
Venaseal Vein Closure
Venaseal is a revolutionary way to eliminate spider and varicose veins using a proprietary medical adhesive. It is minimally invasive, non-thermal and non-sclerosant and requires no tumescent anesthesia. The adhesive is delivered intravenously to close the unwanted vein.
A catheter is inserted into the length of the vein to be treated. As it is slowly removed, it releases the right amount of Venaseal adhesive. Gentle compression is used to apply pressure to the vein once the adhesive is delivered to help the vein remain sealed. Once the vein is closed, it dies and is naturally absorbed by the body.
What to Expect
There is no downtime associated with this treatment, and you aren’t even required to wear compression stockings. Many clients have this done on their lunch break and go immediately back to their normal routines.
Call for a Consultation
You can have a smooth and vein-free complexion again, but you need the right specialist to help you achieve safe and effective results. Call Coastal Vein Care in Corona Del Mar, CA to schedule a consultation. We’re dedicated to offering our clients the most advanced and innovative treatments so they can enjoy the skin they’re in again. Our team will help you make an informed decision by partnering with your every step of the way and providing you with unparalleled, high-quality care.