They may not be bulging or painful, however, spider veins are still unsightly and unwelcome. Medically referred to as telangiectsia, spider veins are generally red, purple or blue in color and resemble their namesake’s webs and road maps alike in appearance – making them a more cosmetic than painful nuisance.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins are the mildest indication of venous reflux disease – a vein disorder that causes blood to flow backwards and pool. Spider veins are small, branch-like, usually tangled bands of pooled blood vessels located just under the skin surface. Spider veins do not bulge or require medical intervention – unless our team of vein experts is able to identify the presence of an underlying vein disorder through diagnostic ultrasound.
What are Symptoms of Spider Veins?
Spider veins do not cause pain, swell or bulge. However, sometimes they can itch and burn. If you have spider veins and are experiencing other feelings of discomfort (tiredness, heaviness, achiness or pain), this may be a sign of an underlying vein disorder in the bigger, deeper veins of the leg. A diagnostic ultrasound performed by one of our vein experts will evaluate for any underlying vein problems.
What Factors Contribute to Spider Veins?
The exact cause of spider veins is unknown, but statistically, spider veins are most prominent in females, overweight people, and individuals whose occupations/lifestyle requires them to sit or stand for long periods. In general, any condition that puts added pressure on the circulatory system increases the chance of spider vein formation.
As with varicose veins, the most common factors are:
- Predisposition through heredity
- Hormone fluctuations – menstruation, pregnancy, menopause
- Excess weight
- Occupation/Lifestyle – standing/sitting long periods
- Sun Exposure – especially in fair-skinned people
- Trauma/injury – sometimes spider veins won’t appear until later in life
- Certain medications
What Do Spider Veins Look Like?
What are My Treatment Options for Spider Veins at Hamilton Vein Center?
Sclerotherapy can be performed in our Houston, San Antonio or Austin clinics and is the most common, widely performed treatment for the removal of spider veins. The treatment session takes around 45 minutes and is performed in the comfort and convenience of the our vein clinics. On average, 2-3 sessions are necessary, depending on the number of veins. Desired results are usually achieved in 4 weeks. Sclerotherapy is completely safe and you can return to normal activity immediately following treatment.
Treatment is generally for pure cosmetic purpose and, therefore, usually not covered by insurance. Sclerotherapy may be performed as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with treatments such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and phlebectomy. See our “Vein Treatments” tab to read more.
If you are have spider veins with any associated aching or pain in your legs, call today to schedule your consultation with the vein specialists at Hamilton Vein Center. We are dedicated to our patients and the diagnosis and treatment of vein-related diseases with our multiple locations across Texas.