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Spider veins sound like a makeup technique reserved for Halloween. But sadly, they’re real — and they’re really common, too. In fact, 80-85% of American adults have spider veins or their larger counterparts, varicose veins.
While having a lot of spider veins could be a sign of an underlying problem, a few spider veins are rarely a cause of serious vein problems. Still, they can make you feel self-conscious about the way your skin looks.
The good news: No matter how many spider veins you have, they can usually be treated with a simple, in-office procedure. Ideally though, you’d like to prevent spider veins or reduce your risks of getting them. To do that, you need to understand why they happen in the first place.
At Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions, Dr. Allison Burkett uses advanced techniques to diagnose the cause of spider veins and to treat them for better circulation and improved overall health. If you have spider veins, here’s what she wants you to know about their causes and their treatments.
Spider veins often occur with age as our veins become weaker. When tiny valves inside veins stop working and blood can pool up, resulting in increased pressure in the tiny veins. The result is the appearance of purplish or bluish spider veins.
Some people have risk factors or habits that make spider veins more likely. Those factors and habits include:
Spider veins also happen more often as we get older.
The first step in deciding if your spider veins need treatment is to evaluate your symptoms. Some very mild spider veins may cause no symptoms beyond their weblike appearance near the surface of your skin. But as more veins are affected, you can wind up with other symptoms, like:
Scratching or rubbing an area affected by spider veins can lead to leg sores or ulcers, increasing your risk of infections.
If you have just a few spider veins that aren’t causing any symptoms, Dr. Burkett typically recommends a “wait-and-see” approach, observing the area to see if you develop more spider veins or you start to experience symptoms.
Often, she advises lifestyle changes, as well, like:
If these conservative approaches don’t help, she may recommend a minimally invasive, in-office treatment called sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy uses injections of special chemical solutions to get rid of spider veins. The chemicals irritate the vein linings, causing the tiny veins to close. The vein is absorbed by your body over the following weeks, and blood is rerouted to healthy veins.
Even if your spider veins don’t need treatment right now, it’s still important to have new veins evaluated. Just like varicose veins, spider veins can be an early indicator of a serious problem that affects your larger veins — veins that can’t be seen through your skin.
Vein evaluation is a simple process that can yield a lot of information about your vascular health. To schedule a vein checkup at our office in Warner Robins, Georgia, or to learn more about spider vein treatment, call 478-779-1920 or book an appointment online.