Our body has a vast network of veins that help carry blood from all organs to the heart. The veins furthest away from the heart has to do the most work: such as the veins in our legs and face. Veins on the legs have an even tougher job to do as they have to pump blood against gravity.
To prevent blood from flowing back into the legs, veins have valves that close if blood tries to flow backwards. But over time, some valves may weaken. When this happens, blood may get collected in the veins, then branch out to look like thin spider webs. This is what causes Spider veins.
If spider veins cover more than 20% of your body, it could be a sign of an underlying issue and you must consult a doctor immediately. If spider veins appear alongside other symptoms such as heaviness or aching in the legs, cramping, worsening leg fatigue, swelling in the feet or ankles, dry, scaly skin over the affected veins, and irritation, itching, or burning over areas of the veins, it could be because of Chronic Venous Insufficiency.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency is a serious condition where valves in the vein have been damaged or become dysfunctional and blood cannot flow back to the heart sufficiently. If left untreated, Chronic Venous Insufficiency can lead to serious complications such as blood clots and ulcers. Therefore, it is extremely important to screen for possible Chronic Venous Insufficiency if the symptoms mentioned above arise.
What are the main causes of spider veins?
If you spot a few spider veins scattered around your legs, they may simply be the result of ageing. Furthermore, women are more likely to develop spider veins than men. Studies have also shown that there is a genetic component to it; spider veins are more likely to appear if it runs in the family. While none of these factors can be controlled, other risk factors such as lifestyle and diet can be controlled. If your work or lifestyle involves long hours of sitting or standing and if you don’t have sufficient exercise in your daily routine, you may be at risk of developing spider veins. Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol can also increase the risk of developing spider veins.
What are the best treatment options for spider veins?
Even if you don’t have a significant amount of spider veins, you may simply not be happy with its appearance. Natural home remedies offered on the internet are ineffective and if you have tried them already, you must have realized by now that they don’t work. If caught early, spider veins can be easily treated by our team of expert vascular doctors. Once you meet with our doctors, they will first conduct a diagnostic test to determine the extent of your condition using Duplex Ultrasound. After that, the doctors can use a variety of treatment methods that would work best for your specific needs. Treatments include minimally invasive techniques such as:
- Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is the most frequently used method of treatment of spider veins. An agent called sclerosant is injected into the diseased veins that causes the veins to stick to one another and close up. The veins are then absorbed by the body, clearing the skin.
- VenaSeal: VenaSeal is a minimally invasive medical procedure in which a bio-adhesive is applied on the diseased veins using a catheter, causing the veins to seal off. The procedure takes anywhere between 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Eventually, the veins are reabsorbed by the body.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: In this procedure, a numbing agent is first applied over the area where the veins are. Then, heat is applied using radiofrequency. The heat then stops blood flow in the diseased veins, and over time the veins disappear.
- Varithena: Varithena is a micro foam sclerosant that is injected into the diseased veins. This is a non-surgical procedure that takes less than 60 minutes in which the diseased veins are closed down and eventually disappear. The recovery period for this procedure is also very short; the patient will be able to move about freely within an hour of the procedure.
Apart from the above, treatments include non-invasive remedies such as dietary restrictions, exercise, and a general change in lifestyle such as cutting down or quitting smoking.
If you would like to know more about the best vein treatment options for you, book an appointment with the best vein doctors in California.
The Vein Clinic boasts a team of highly experienced vein doctors who are at the top of their fields and have all been trained at Ivy League universities. All our doctors are fellowship trained and double board certified. With cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology and world class medical infrastructure at their disposal, these vein specialists use the most advanced procedures to treat their patients. To top it all, our doctors know to keep patients’ comfort ahead and treat them with friendliness, patience, and kindness.
Our vein clinic in San Jose is located in a beautiful neighborhood near Palo Alto, Sunnydale, and Santa Clara. It is down the block from the Santa Clara Medical Center, and the Santana Row Shopping Mall. Our experienced Harvard-trained vein doctors can offer the best care possible to help you.