Spider vein removal is one of many things that we can do to help our bodies look and feel better, contributing to our general feeling of wellbeing. Spider veins are completely harmless and this is primarily a cosmetic treatment. Still, for some people whose faces or legs are affected, treatment can bring new confidence and help with depression and relationship problems.
Spider veins are the common name for telangiectasias which are small dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin. They mainly form on the legs and face, and 80% of sufferers are women. They usually start to develop between the ages of 18 and 35, and peak in late middle age.
A tendency to telangiectasia is hereditary. Facial spider veins are sometimes caused by rosacea which is also often inherited and is associated with light skin. Obesity, pregnancy hormonal fluctuations and birth control pills, a sedentary lifestyle, a job that involves a lot of standing, and even high heeled shoes can contribute to the likelihood of developing spider veins on the legs.
Spider veins in the classic spider web shape most commonly form during pregnancy. Other spider veins can be jagged lines or branches. They can be either red or purple. In some cases they form into patches or birthmarks. They are not usually swollen but they may be a little itchy or cause the legs to ache. They are not the same as varicose veins, which are larger and darker, and need different treatment.
Spider veins are treated in 3 main ways:
There have been creams and other forms of medication available for many years, but they are not very effective. The best creams in fact simply hide the veins. Most people seeking treatment these days will choose another option.
Laser treatment uses a light beam to heat up the veins to the point where they will coagulate and be absorbed back into the body. The treatment just causes a stinging sensation and possibly some temporary redness.
The veins are likely to be more visible for a short time after the treatment, so do not have this right before your beach vacation! They will then fade over the next few weeks. Most veins require more than one treatment. On average, three treatments are required at three month intervals.
Laser treatment is best for face spider vein removal, and for small to medium sized leg spider veins.
Sclerotherapy is a recommended treatment for medium to large leg telangiectasias and involves an injection of a liquid into the veins that causes them to contract and collapse. It is relatively painless although can take up to an hour if you have a lot of veins to be treated. After the treatment you will need to avoid hot baths, alcohol and exercise for a few days.
After the first sclerotherapy session you should notice a significant improvement in the veins (around 50% removal). With several sessions it may be possible to treat all of the veins, although there may be a few that do not respond.
If you are bothered by unsightly veins on your face or legs, spider vein removal can be a marvelous treatment to help you look younger and feel healthier.