Spider Veins Are Not the Stuff of Comic Book Legend

The woman gracefully crosses her legs with vascular stars, runs her hand over them.Everyone loves Spiderman. In fact, he’s so cool that most people would opt to be bitten by a radioactive spider just so we could have his Spidey powers.

And what of his spider veins?

Uh, they’re not so cool. Well, you can’t see them in his Spidey suit, but if he had them, they would not be cool. Unlike the other spider stuff, no one likes spider veins, the little squiggly purple, red, and blue lines weaving their way around your legs and face.

At the Creative Image Laser Solutions, we can make quick work of your spider veins with sclerotherapy on the legs and laser treatment on facial spider veins. In this last blog of this oddest of years, let’s get into sclerotherapy for those pesky leg spider vein clusters.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins get their name not from Peter Parker, but because they resemble a web of purple, red, and blue as they multiply, usually with age. Spider veins are dilated superficial blood vessels like varicose veins, but they are smaller and closer to the skin.

Spider veins are a bit of a mystery, much like Spiderman’s true identity to the general public. They are caused by increased pressure in the veins, but some people get them and others don’t. There is certainly a hereditary component — if your mother had them, you’re probably going to have them — and they’re much more common with age. It’s also thought that people who have to stand for a long time for their job, such as teachers or flight attendants, tend to increase the amount of pressure in the veins of the legs and are more likely to develop spider veins.

Sclerotherapy

Although it was first developed in the 1920s, sclerotherapy is still the best way to get rid of spider veins. Sclerotherapy is an outpatient procedure that is quick and mostly painless.

Dr. Butka injects a sclerosant solution into each vein selected for treatment. This solution is highly saline and irritates the lining of the vein, causing it to swell and the blood in it to clot. Once that happens, the vein turns into scar tissue and fades away with time, usually over two to three months. Some veins will go away with just a single sclerotherapy session; others may need from 2-3 treatments to make them go the way of the Dodo bird.

You can lower your risk of developing spider veins

You probably can’t prevent some spider veins from squiggling their way onto your legs, but there are some things you can do to lower your odds of developing them.

  • Relieve some of the pressure — Keep your weight down and try to avoid standing or sitting for long periods.
  • Keep the flow — Running or walking increases your leg circulation and strengthens your leg muscles.
  • Support yourself — Lightweight compression stockings with a gradient of 15 or 20 milliliters of mercury (the pressure it puts on your veins) can help prevent spider veins from developing.
  • Put those feet up — When you’re sitting, elevate your legs. It’s best to raise them above the level of your heart; good luck with that.

Recovery

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical treatment that doesn’t require a recovery period. We usually advise our patients to wear compression stockings or hose for up to two weeks following their treatment, and walking is encouraged. But there isn’t really any pain. You should also avoid prolonged sitting, standing, or pounding types of exercise, however.

Leave the spidery stuff to Marvel Comics. Let Dr. Butka at Creative Image Laser Solutions take care of your spider veins. Call us at 325-641-1927 for an appointment. Now is a great time to get your legs ready for spring and summer bikini and sundress season!

Posted in: blog, Varicose Veins

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