What are Spider Veins

These broken capillaries, properly named telangiectasias, or spider veins, are small red, blue or purple web-like veins (less than 2mm in diameter, flat or raised) on the surface of the skin. Though smaller than most varicose veins, spider veins are often darker and more noticeable. This is because these veins are located just below the surface of the skin. They often occur in association with larger reticular veins (2-6 mm in diameter) that are blue-green in color and can often be seen with additional lighting. More common in women, spider and reticular veins may be triggered by pregnancy or hormonal variations and sometimes result in itching, restless leg, leg aches and throbbing. Non-symptomatic spider veins may be found on the face and chest as well as the legs. Although surface veins are considered by some to be a cosmetic problem, they can also be just as symptomatic as classic varicose veins.

Spider Veins

Diagnosis

Though Spider veins are visible, modern diagnostic techniques are important tools in determining the cause and severity of the problem. Depending on the results of your screening examination, our physicians may recommend additional tests such as diagnostic ultrasound to identify where and how badly your veins are damaged. The ultrasound examination is designed to evaluate the blood flow through your veins in your legs, localizing the problem areas.

Treatment

Minimally invasive Sclerotherapy is the most effective treatment for spider veins. Sclerotherapy is a simple treatment that involves using a tiny needle to inject medicine into the veins, which causes them to collapse and disappear. The number of treatments needed vary depending upon the patient and the severity of the spider veins. Most of the veins will disappear during the first treatment and will continue to improve over time but additional treatments may be needed. The good news is that most patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately. We do recommend that you wear prescription strength compression stockings for several days after treatment. Those stockings are custom-fitted and available through our office.