Spider veins are fine blue or red veins that are visible through the skin. Typically visible on the legs and face, these veins earn their name because of the jagged, web-like pattern they often make on the skin. Spider veins occur when blood backs up in a vein, and they are caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormone changes, sun exposure and even injuries.
Generally, spider veins do not indicate a serious medical condition, but they can be a source of discomfort due to accompanying burning, itching or tenderness. While lifestyle change can alleviate these problem veins temporarily, modern spider vein treatment options are available to relieve symptoms and improve the appearance of your skin in the long term. Here are two options that are used to treat spider veins effectively:
Sclerotherapy is a common outpatient procedure used to treat spider veins. During sclerotherapy, the physician uses a very thin needle to inject a patient’s veins with a special solution that prompts the veins to close and fade from view over time. The physician mixes in a local anesthetic with this solution to minimize pain and discomfort. The problem veins are eventually absorbed by the body, while other, healthier veins resume the task of transporting blood. The procedure lasts approximately 45-60 minutes.
After treatment, patients typically experience relief from any symptoms they had previously been experiencing and enjoy improved appearance of their skin over time. Patients who have received treatment are asked to apply compression bandages or graduated support stockings to aid in the healing process. To achieve the best results from sclerotherapy, several sessions are often recommended.
Thermocoagulation is another minimally-invasive, outpatient technique used to treat very fine spider veins that are too small to be treated with sclerotherapy, such as certain types of spider veins on the face. During thermocoagulation, a physician uses a hair-thin probe to deliver a microburst of energy to the spider vein. This heats the vein and causes it to seal shut, after which it is eventually absorbed by the body. The procedure lasts from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the area being treated and the severity of the spider veins.
On average, patients report only mild pain during thermocoagulation and a warm sensation at the treatment site just after the procedure. The treated area can be soothed afterward with an ice pack, and aloe vera gel can be applied in subsequent days. Change in the appearance of the spider veins occurs over time, and it may take up to two months to see the full benefit of the treatment. Patients who have received this treatment may need follow-up treatments if new veins develop over time.
Do you have varicose or spider veins? Trust the experts at Via Vascular. Our doctors offer minimally invasive spider vein treatment and varicose vein treatment in Seattle. Schedule an appointment today to find out if you are a candidate for treatment by calling Via Vascular at (206) 525-8346 or by filling out our online contact form.
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