As many as 80 to 85 percent of men and women in the U.S. suffer from spider veins, according to a study published in the journal Circulation, and many of those people also suffer from accompanying symptoms like itching, burning and stinging. Even when spider veins don’t cause painful symptoms, their appearance can still be troublesome, especially during the warmer months when shorts, bathing suits and other summer attire make the dark, threadlike veins more visible. The good news is, spider veins can be treated fairly easily with sclerotherapy, a minimally-invasive treatment option that takes just a few minutes and is recognized as the gold standard in spider vein treatment.
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins develop when the normal flow of blood is impeded, causing blood to back up and collect inside the veins where it causes the veins’ characteristic dark reddish or purplish coloration. Many factors can contribute to the formation of spider veins, including:
- sun exposure
- hormonal changes
- some medications, including birth control pills
- being overweight or obese
- occupations that require long periods of standing or sitting
Spider veins are also much more likely to occur in women than in men, and they’re also much more common as we get older. Spider veins can occur just about anywhere in the body, but they’re more common in the feet, ankles and lower legs.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a spider vein treatment technique that uses injections of special chemicals designed to harmlessly close off spider veins from the flow of blood, enabling blood to be rerouted to neighboring healthy veins for better circulation. At McLean Vein and Wellness Center, we offer two types of sclerotherapy options – liquid and foam – for optimal treatment of all types of spider veins, including spider veins that occur in the face. The primary difference between the two treatments is that one uses a liquid chemical solutions while the other uses a special type of foam to cause spider veins to “stick together” and close off to the flow of blood. During your office evaluation, we’ll perform a comprehensive assessment of your veins to determine which approach is the better option for your specific needs.
In both liquid and foam applications, treatment begins with the application of a topical anesthetic to reduce any discomfort associated with the injections. Depending on the number and size of the veins, multiple injection sites may be used to achieve the best effect. Once the treatment is complete, you may have some minor swelling or bruising, but these effects will soon dissipate. During the nest few weeks following your treatment, the veins will begin to shrink and disappear, eventually becoming absorbed by the body.
Custom Spider Vein Treatment for Your Needs
Although they may be relatively harmless on their own, spider veins can be a sign of a more serious underlying vascular condition, and they should always be evaluated to ensure optimal vascular health. If you have spider veins and you’d like to learn more about treatment options or have your vascular health assessed, call our office today at 703-436-6682 or use our online contact form to schedule an consultation.