Millions of people have small, web-like veins appearing on their skin: spider veins. If you have been hiding your legs because of spider veins, it is time to take back your skin and your self-confidence. Keep reading to learn more about two minimally invasive treatment options available at the Corona Del Mar, CA office of Coastal Vein Care that can help you to get rid of spider veins quickly.
What Are Spider Veins?
Small, web-like areas that most commonly appear on the legs are known as spider veins. The name stems from their lines and tangled appearance, which usually resembles a spider’s web. In reality, the pattern is the outline of small veins and capillaries just under your skin.
Spider veins are caused by small amounts of blood that pool in the veins located close to the surface of your skin. They may appear red, purplish, or blue in color.
Are They Dangerous?
Although spider veins do not usually cause discomfort, they often cause embarrassment. This may sound all too familiar if you have spider veins and have spent countless summer days trying to hide your skin from view. The embarrassment they cause can lead to plummeting self-confidence levels and social withdrawal if you stop doing activities you enjoy, like going to the pool or beach.
For most people, spider veins are medically harmless. However, they can be an early warning sign that you are likely to develop larger, sometimes painful, varicose veins. It can also be a sign of other health conditions, particularly high blood pressure or obesity.
How Do They Form?
Spider veins are the result of blood that has pooled within your veins. Your veins are designed to carry deoxygenated blood to your heart once it has delivered oxygen to vital organs and tissue.
This pattern of movement is controlled by small, one-way valves within your vein. When they are functioning properly, blood can only travel in one direction.
This system is designed to prevent blood from flowing backward and becoming stagnant. Unfortunately, a number of things can cause those valves to weaken or fail. When your valves wear out, whether it is due to time or excess pressure, it results in your blood being able to flow backward and cause pooling within the affected section of the vein. The result is weakening and distortion of their walls, which leads to the discolored appearance of spider or varicose veins on your skin.
Do Spider Veins Always Appear on the Legs?
Spider veins are most commonly seen on the legs due to increased pressure and prolonged periods of standing. However, they can also appear in other places.
Spider veins will sometimes appear on your face, neck, and chest. These are often the result of burst blood vessels near the skin’s surface. Sun damage is a common reason for this condition. It can also be the result of excess pressure within the veins due to high blood pressure or extreme exertion.
Can They Be Prevented?
There are some things you can do to lower your chance of developing spider veins, especially if you spend long periods standing in one place. Lifestyle modifications like losing weight, staying physically active, and lowering your blood pressure can help.
Some people use compression stockings to reduce swelling and pressure if they are on their feet for extended periods of time. Keeping your feet elevated may also help reduce swelling and pressure and promote good circulation within your lower legs and feet.
What Treatments Get Rid of Spider Veins Quickly?
Once you develop spider veins, they will not simply go away on their own. No matter how small or large your spider veins are, there are treatment options you can use to remove them quickly and safely.
One of the most common treatments used to get rid of spider veins is sclerotherapy. Some variation of it has been used by medical professionals to treat venous disorders since the 1930s. Sclerotherapy is generally considered safe and effective. Many doctors still consider it the gold standard among spider vein removal treatments.
What Is a Treatment Session Like?
During your session, your doctor will inject a special irritant, called a sclerosant, into the affected vein. This will produce irritation and swelling to the inside of the vein and its walls. The resulting swelling of your vein will cause the blood flow within it to become blocked. Your body will respond by automatically diverting the flow of blood to other healthy veins located nearby.
Sclerotherapy treatments are routinely performed right in your doctor’s office, saving you the hassle and expense of a trip to a hospital or outpatient surgery center clinic. Most treatment sessions will last between 30 and 45 minutes. Most people remain comfortable during the injection process.
Expected Results and Post-Treatment Care
An advantage of this type of treatment is that it is minimally invasive and only necessitates a small injection. This results in a safe, effective treatment option.
There is also very little downtime associated with sclerotherapy. You most likely will not need any type of specialized care afterward. Your doctor may suggest avoiding strenuous activity and intense exercise for a couple of days. You may also be advised to wear compression socks during recovery.
Who Is Sclerotherapy Right for?
Whether because of its safety record, effectiveness, or minimally invasive nature, many people choose to undergo sclerotherapy treatments for spider veins. It is commonly performed on venous abnormalities that appear on the legs. It can also be used to treat small and medium-sized varicose veins.
If your spider veins are more extensive, Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) treatments may be a good option to consider. Working much like laser removal techniques, RFA uses heat to destroy veins from within. That heat is delivered via a catheter inserted into your vein. While it is considered minimally invasive, RFA is slightly more involved than sclerotherapy treatments.
What Is a Treatment Session Like?
Your doctor will use an ultrasound or other imaging device to pinpoint the location of your affected vein at the start of your RFA treatment. Radiofrequency waves will be delivered to your vein through the catheter as it is slowly and carefully eased through the spider vein. The resulting heat causes scarring of your vein. Ultimately, it will collapse and die and be absorbed into the surrounding tissue or expelled from your body.
You can expect a typical RFA treatment session to last 45 minutes to one hour. It is a good idea to plan for extra time for preparation before your treatment and discussing follow up instructions afterward. RFA treatments can be safely performed in our office, and a local anesthetic can be used to help you stay comfortable.
Expected Results and Post-Treatment Care
You should expect to receive a few after-treatment care instructions from your doctor. They will likely include wearing compression stocking for a few days and possibly keeping the treated leg elevated. Both can help reduce the chance of bruising at the treatment site.
Walking will usually be encouraged to help increase circulation and healing. However, heavy exercise should probably be avoided for at least the first few days after your treatment. Your doctor will give you specific instructions that apply to your unique case.
Who Is Radiofrequency Ablation Right for?
RFA vein treatments are an excellent option for anyone who is looking to get rid of spider veins. It is often used in larger veins that cover extensive areas.
How Long Do Results Take?
Results from either treatment will usually take a week or more to become noticeable. This is because the vein must be gently and safely removed by your body through natural processes. Full results should be evident after about two weeks.
Where Can I Learn More?
You don’t have to live with spider veins. Contact the professional and skilled staff at Coastal Vein Care in Corona Del Mar, CA today to schedule a consultation. They proudly serve the residents of the Newport Beach area with the latest vein care technology.