Spider veins are typically considered a cosmetic concern. Countless people wear long pants and stay far from swimming pools through even the hottest days of summer, because they are too embarrassed to show their legs. This self-consciousness and the diminished confidence that accompanies the condition are certainly sufficient reasons to seek treatment. However, many people are unaware that spider vein problems can be more than skin deep.
How spider veins form
The circulatory system begins with the heart. Arteries carry enriched blood to every part of your body, and veins carry it back to the heart, completing the cycle. Therefore, leg veins are working against the force of gravity, pumping blood upward. Normally, this is accomplished quite efficiently, with the assistance of leg muscles applying pressure as they contract and relax. One-way valves within the veins prevent blood from moving the wrong direction.
When the vein is not functioning properly, gravitational force causes blood to move downwards and pool. Weakened vein walls can bulge, accumulating more blood. If the vein is close to the surface, it will become visible when this happens. Large, sometimes raised or twisted blue-colored ones are called varicose veins; fine threadlike pink or purple-colored ones are called spider veins.
In recent years, extensive clinical research has dramatically improved our understanding of, and ability to treat, spider and varicose veins. However, there is still much to be learned about the precise cause. We do know that it is often associated with a combination of factors, which may include:
- Increased hormone levels, typically caused by medication or pregnancy, allows the vein walls to stretch
- Increased pressure in the legs, which may be caused by long periods of standing, obesity, problems with deeper veins, or other reasons
- Vein disease
- Family history
The gold standard treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy. The procedure is simple and effective, eliminating problematic veins with a safe, injectable solution. At one time, sclerotherapy with traditional saline was known to be quite painful, but pain has been significantly reduced with the development of Asclera, a sclerosing solution we use here at AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery, PC. Nearly nine out of ten patients were more satisfied with Asclera treatment than traditional saline-based sclerosant, according to research.
If you are ready to show off your beautiful, healthy legs, call us at 303-756-7546 (South Denver-Englewood), or at 303-799-4260 (Lone Tree) and schedule an appointment. Back to Sclerotherapy Home Page