They are easily visible on the surface of the skin as small red, purple or blue lines that twist and turn. Although they may not pose serious health risk, they can be unsightly and sometimes cause significant discomfort after prolonged standing.
Spider veins are often referred to as surface veins. They can be caused by factors like aging, heredity, and sometimes hormonal changes. These factors cause the veins to become stretched just beneath the surface of the skin. This means they can contain excess blood, making them more visible.
Spider veins are the most common form of vein disease. They typically occur more frequently in women, affecting up to 80% of women over 40.
Many doctors claim that this condition is simply a cosmetic concern which does not need to be treated if there is no associated pain or discomfort. In reality, 25% of patients with spider veins actually have some form of underlying vein disease. This is particularly true if they occur near the ankles. Board Certified Venous & Lymphatic Physicians will be able to determine the severity of your condition by using an ultrasound.
During your consultation, a physician or vein tech should perform an ultrasound to determine the source of your problems. Once you have received your diagnosis, your vein specialist will be able to provide you with treatment options catered directly to your needs.
If your spider veins are unrelated to deeper vein disease, you may be eligible for a procedure called Sclerotherapy. If you are actually suffering from varicose veins, you might be offered a different, non-invasive procedure.