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What Causes Spider and Varicose Veins?

by Jane Meggitt

It’s summertime, and clothing is revealing. If you suffer from spider or varicose veins, you probably don’t want to reveal your legs with shorts, bathing suits and short summer dresses. Both types of veins result from blocked or leaking valves within veins. Fortunately, there are several technologies to eradicate both types of veins, and most are not painful procedures.

Spider Veins

Spider veins resemble a spider’s web, and are red, blue or purplish. These veins commonly appear on the legs, but they can show up on the face. They are primarily a cosmetic, not medical issue.

You can reduce the risk of spider and varicose veins by always using sunscreen on exposed areas. Avoid wearing high heels and tight clothes, and maintain a healthy weight. You may also want to wear compression stockings if varicose veins are a problem.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large, bulging veins generally found on the legs. They are more common in older individuals, as well as pregnant women or obese people. In some families, there’s a genetic predisposition toward developing varicose veins.

Although varicose veins are usually more unsightly than dangerous, they do pose risks. They might cause pain, or the skin around the veins may ulcerate. In a worst-case scenario, blood clots develop.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for all but the most serious cases of varicose veins are done on an outpatient basis. Noninvasive techniques such as laser surgery send light bursts into the veins, effectively sealing them off. This is the simplest treatment for spider and small varicose veins. Options for getting rid of larger varicose veins include:

  • Catheter-assisted procedures – The doctor inserts a catheter into the vein, and using either laser energy or radiofrequency, the heat involved collapses the vein as the catheter is removed. This is the preferred treatment for larger varicose veins, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Foam sclerotherapy – This newer process allows the doctor to inject a vein with foam, thus closing it.

  • Ligation and vein stripping – Although this operation involves vein removal, it’s still an outpatient procedure. The physician removes the vein via a series of small incisions.

  • Ambulatory phlebectomy – Another outpatient procedure, this surgery consists of removing small veins via skin puncturing.

  • Endoscopic vein surgery – This is done only if your veins have ulcerated or you suffer from another serious vein condition. An endoscope is inserted into your leg, allowing the surgeon to close off veins and later remove them through small incisions. It’s still an outpatient procedure.

It’s hot, and you want to remain comfortable without being self-conscious. Contact your doctor to discuss the best spider and varicose vein treatment for your situation.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about varicose veins and spider veins, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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