The veins carry oxygen-depleted blood from the body to the heart, where the heart’s right ventricle sends this blood to the lungs to become re-oxygenated. After the oxygenated blood is brought back to the heart, the arteries transport it throughout the body. This process of blood flow is necessary for healthy functioning of the body.
Muscle contractions work against gravity to move blood from the legs and other extremities up to the heart, and the veins contain valves that prevent the blood from flowing backward. However, if these valves become damaged, they can cause blood to collect in and put pressure on the veins. This issue of blood pooling may result in varicose or spider veins.
Varicose veins present as bulging, twisted veins visible through the skin. Spider veins (telangiectasia) can appear as web-like blue, purple or red squiggles on the surface of the skin. Unfortunately, both types of these visible veins can be a cause for concern beyond their aesthetics.
Do Spider Veins Have the Same Health Risks as Varicose Veins?
Health Concerns of Varicose Veins
If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to the following common concerns:
- Circulation issues
- Muscle spasms
- Restless leg syndrome
More serious issues like inflammation of the fat under the skin (lipodermatosclerosis) caused by varicose veins can make the area susceptible to infection. These bulging veins may also cause venous stasis ulcers and blood clots.
Many people are familiar with these adverse health effects of varicose veins, but are spider veins dangerous too?
Health Concerns of Spider Veins
Although they are generally considered an aesthetic issue and more mild than varicose veins, spider veins can cause discomfort, swelling, inflammation and even pain in the affected area.
They may also indicate an underlying blood flow concern that can lead to serious medical issues such as blood clots. Blood clotting disorders can affect the veins in nearly any area of the body, including those in your internal organs. Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot deep in a vein, which can loosen and travel to other areas of the body and be deadly. A blood clot in the brain is known as cerebral vein thrombosis, and a blood clot in the lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism. These can be life-threatening conditions.
In addition, spider veins may be an early warning sign of a health issue that can lead to ulcers, which are recurrent or slow-healing wounds. They often occur in the lining of the stomach or small intestine but can also appear on the skin as an open sore.
Unsightly visible veins such as spider veins can also be an indication of cellulitis present in the body. This skin infection can cause swelling and pressure in the veins if blood clotting occurs near the surface of the skin.
Why Should I Treat My Spider Veins?
To Prevent More Serious Concerns
The presence of spider veins may indicate health concerns and restricted blood flow, which can lead to serious issues like those described above.
Because They Won’t Go Away on Their Own
Unfortunately, spider veins will not resolve on their own. While some people try natural remedies for spider veins that may diminish the symptoms, these efforts cannot eliminate the dilated blood vessels.
Because They Can Get Worse If Left Untreated
Spider veins can become more noticeable if they are not treated, with the winding, thread-like veins getting darker and larger over time.
So You Can Show Off Your Healthy, Beautiful Legs With Confidence
Many people who suffer from spider veins are embarrassed about the appearance of these damaged veins. Even in warmer weather, those affected tend to hide their legs with long pants, leggings or floor-length dresses. After treatment, patients are often ecstatic about how confident they feel showing off their legs in shorts and higher hemlines.
How to Treat Spider Veins
It’s important to have your spider veins evaluated by a medical professional who is experienced in medicine concerning the veins (phlebology). Dr. James Jimenez at The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin is an expert phlebologist with extensive experience performing minimally invasive vein therapies.
During your consultation, he can explain your spider vein treatment options and help determine the best course of action for your unique needs.
Sclerotherapy is one of the most effective and popular options for treating spider veins. This minimally invasive in-office procedure is performed without the need for anesthesia and can be completed in less than 30 minutes.
Patients can relax comfortably as Dr. Jimenez injects a special solution into the targeted veins through the skin’s surface. This causes the veins to close and the blood to reroute to nearby healthy blood vessels. The collapsed spider veins are then naturally absorbed by the body and eliminated.
Sclerotherapy treatment requires no downtime for recovery, and it provides long-lasting results.
While often performed to treat varicose veins, ambulatory phlebectomy can also be used to eliminate spider veins. This minimally invasive technique is performed in-office by Dr. Jimenez and generally takes 30 to 45 minutes. Ambulatory phlebectomy can be performed with local anesthesia, but sedation with Valium is also available if you’re anxious about the procedure.
Through small incisions in the skin (often smaller than a freckle), Dr. Jimenez inserts a tiny hook into the affected veins to extract them. Once the targeted veins are strategically removed, the blood will be transported through nearby healthy veins. Your spider veins will no longer be visible beneath the skin or cause pain.
After your ambulatory phlebectomy, we advise you to wear a compression garment for a few days. Compressing the treated area promotes healing and minimizes swelling.
Treat Your Spider Veins Nonsurgically and Restore Healthy, Attractive Legs
The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin offers nonsurgical vein treatments from an expert in the field of vein care. If you suffer from spider veins, it’s imperative to see a trained phlebologist to maintain your vein health.
Dr. Jimenez specializes in diagnosing and treating spider veins and venous diseases. He can evaluate your specific needs to find a treatment to alleviate your concerns and restore your confidence.