Anyone who has spider veins will know that they’re primarily found on the surface of the legs and face. The question is… are they just a cosmetic nuisance or are they something to be concerned about?
Before we get into the dilemma of spider veins and whether you should or shouldn’t be worried, it’s worth spending a few minutes finding out exactly what they are, so let’s do exactly that…
As the name suggests, spider veins represent thread-like blood vessels that look like a spider’s web. Primarily they’re a purple color and form just below the surface of the skin, usually on the legs and ankles, but can also appear on the cheeks of the face. The main reason they form is because of pooling of the blood within the feeder veins.
So should you be concerned about them?
Yes and no!
While spider veins may just be yet another by-product of the aging process, they can also signify that something isn’t quite right with your venous system. So if you experience:
- Burning or itching
- Heaviness or fatigue (in the legs) or
- Discomfort such as a dull ache
you should speak with your doctor at your earliest possible convenience. He or she will give you a medical evaluation.
It could be that you have the beginnings of a disease known as chronic venous insufficiency (or CVI for short)
CVI typically occurs when valves located in the veins are severely weakened. This allows for a backflow of blood to form or pool in certain areas (particularly in veins on the legs and feet. Unfortunately without the proper diagnosis and treatment, CVI is a progressive condition that can cause persistent pain or discomfort and ulcerations.
Spider veins treatments
While it’s true that spider veins can be a cosmetic nuisance, they can also be an early warning system telling you that something needs to be done.
The good news is that treatments for spider veins are both varied and commonplace and include:
- Sclerotherapy – This is a process whereby a harmless foam-like solution is injected into the problem vein. This causes the vein to scar and collapse, thus redirecting the blood supply to neighboring healthy veins. This is turn will cut off the blood supply to the spider veins which will gradually fade over time.
- Laser therapy – Concentrated and intense beams of light are aimed directly at the spider veins. These high-energy bursts destroy the spider vein from within causing it to collapse and disappear over time.
- Endo-venous Laser therapy (EVLT) – EVLT is particularly good for eradiating tiny spider veins. During this treatment, an ultra-thin fiber is inserted into the vein and heated up. The heat destroys the vein from within causing it to collapse, seal shut and eventually, disappear.
Should, you contact your doctor if you notice the presence of spider veins?
For most individuals, spider veins are nothing more than a cosmetic nuisance. In these cases, there are safe and effective treatments – like those listed above – which are available.
That said, there may be cause for concern if your spider veins are:
- redder than usual
If you are worried about your spider veins or you feel that they have become a cosmetic nuisance then come and talk to the team at MINT STL.
Dr. Goke Akinwande a highly experienced vein practitioner regularly treats spider veins and their underlying causes using the latest non-surgical treatments available. Book a consultation with Dr. Akinwande today and take the first steps towards a healthier and happier you.