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Treating and Avoiding Spider Veins

by April Maguire

Like it or not, you're likely going to develop spider veins – or their more serious relatives, varicose veins – at some point in your life. According to the most recent numbers, more than 50% of women and 45% of men suffer from these unsightly veins across the United States, with most of these sufferers being over the age of 50. So what causes these problematic veins and what can be done to prevent them?

What Are Spider Veins?

Both spider veins and varicose veins are caused by the backup blood within the veins themselves. This reversal of blood flow causes the veins to change colors, typically becoming either blue, purple or red, and the affected veins usually spread out in a circular pattern, similar to a spider's web. In addition to the noticeable cosmetic changes, spider and varicose veins can also come with a variety of symptoms. Typically, these problems are minor, such as aches, irritation, swelling and itchiness, but they can sometimes lead to more serious issues.

How Are Spider Veins Treated?

Once spider veins form, proactive treatment is the only way to get rid of them. Currently, the two most popular options for treating this condition are sclerotherapy and laser ablation therapy. With sclerotherapy, the doctor injects a solution into the veins that irritates the walls and causes them to collapse. Laser ablation therapy, on the other hand, achieves these same results, but uses concentrated waves of light in order to heat up the veins and collapse the walls. After either treatment, the veins are reabsorbed into the skin, and the discoloration and other symptoms eventually subside.

Is There a Way to Prevent Spider Veins?

Unfortunately, spider veins are not easily prevented. Since one of the largest risk factors for the condition is genetics, it is often hard to avoid, but there are steps you can take to limit your risk. Spider veins often form as the result of a sedentary lifestyle, and people who are overweight are particularly susceptible. So remaining fit and active is a great way to save off the formation of these troublesome veins. Moreover, regular exercise should help to improve the blood flow in your legs, which will further help you to avoid the condition.

Another cause of spider veins is exposure to the sun, especially for people who have fair skin. So now that summer is here, make sure that you wear sunscreen whenever you're going to spend any amount of time outdoors. Even though you can't avoid spider veins indefinitely, protecting your skin and staying active will help to keep them at bay for as long as possible.

If you or someone you know would like more information about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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