Spider veins refer to tiny, thin veins with a blue or red colouration. The discoloration is evident beneath the skin surface. Spider veins take the form of marbles or spider webs below the skin surface. These superficial veins are very noticeable, but others are very small and hence not easily noticeable. While spider veins are harmless, some people tend to be very self-conscious. For this reason, some people opt to undergo treatment to correct spider veins for cosmetic purposes.
Spider veins mainly affect the ankles, calves, and thighs. However, they may also appear on the hands, face, or forehead. Spider veins are mainly reddish in color, although it is not unusual to get purple or blue spider veins. If you press on spider veins, they turn white. Although varicose veins and spider veins share a lot in common, spider veins are not restricted to the legs alone. Varicose veins cause ropy bulges beneath the skin, which is not the case with spider veins. Also, spider veins are threadlike, and they are also smaller than varicose veins.
Spider veins are more prevalent in women than men. Other predisposing factors include obesity, age, genetics, and the use of birth control pills. In rare situations, spider veins can be an indicator of a more serious health condition. There are various treatment options for spider veins, including exercising and elevating your legs to improve blood circulation. Compression socks are also helpful, other treatments include sclerotherapy, where your doctor injects a solution into the vein, resulting in its collapse. You may also opt for laser treatment.
Causes of spider veins
If you have spider veins, it means that the tiny valves in your legs that pump blood into your heart have become weak. This can cause the accumulation of blood in your veins. Blood may also flow back in the opposite direction. Excessive blood causes weakened veins. They are also likely to swell and become visible. Some people are more predisposed to spider veins than others. Some of the predisposing factors include:
- Genetics: family history is the leading cause of spider veins, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the cases.
- Age: being older is a risk factor for spider veins. As you get older, the valves in your veins weaken. You are also likely to suffer from weakened calf muscles. These are the muscles that support the veins in your legs. Consequently, it becomes hard to pump blood upwards.
- Obesity: being overweight can also increase the risk of the development of varicose veins. This is because your leg veins come under increased pressure from the extra body weight.
- Hormones: Female hormones such as estrogen can also contribute to the development of spider veins. Specifically, the rise and drop in estrogen hormones result in weakened vein valves. Reduction in hormones that occurs during menopause also predisposes women to the risk of spider veins.
- Damaged vein or blood clot: If you have a damaged vein or an existing blood clot, you are at a higher risk of damaging your valves. Consequently, such valves cannot function properly.
Signs and symptoms of spider veins
The following signs and symptoms may be indicative of spider veins.
- Appearance: spider veins take the shape of small thread-like structures. However, the colour differs and can be blue or red
- Location: spider veins mainly affect the leg veins. However, in rare circumstances, they can affect the veins in the hand and face. At times, spider veins may appear on your chest
- Severity: spider veins differ in terms of severity
- Discomfort: you are likely to experience discomfort due to the development of spider veins
Other symptoms associated with spider veins include:
- Swollen ankles and legs
- A feeling of heaviness or aching in your legs
- Cramping or throbbing in your lower legs
- Skin discoloration on the affected leg
The above symptoms can be exacerbated by standing or sitting for long periods of time. You are also likely to develop skin ulcers as a complication, although it is very rare. Skin ulcers take the form of open wounds, mainly on your lower leg. Such wounds may also result in soft tissue infections.
Although most spider veins are not serious, it is important to seek medical attention in case:
- Your leg or ankle develops a rash
- A vein gets swollen or feels warm upon touching
- There is a change in the colour of your calf or ankle skin
- You find it hard to perform your daily tasks as a result of spider veins
Diagnosing spider veins
Your doctor will diagnose spider veins by a careful physical examination of the affected area, mainly the legs. During the physical examination, your doctor will conduct a visual inspection of the affected areas for obvious signs such as discolouration. Your doctor may also need to press or palpate the affected area. If there is any sign of skin discolouration or redness, your doctor will focus more attention on this area.
A medical history allows your doctor to establish whether there is a family history of spider veins. You will be asked about the nature of your occupation. These are risk factors that can predispose you to the development of spider veins.
Additionally, your general practitioner can order a venous duplex ultrasound scan. This test takes about 20 minutes on each leg and will give the doctor a detailed understanding of the individual pattern of the condition. More importantly, the scan reveals the flow of blood in the veins and whether there is any obstruction due to a defective valve or blood clot. In other words, a duplex ultrasound scan helps your doctor to identify the underlying causes of spider veins.
The scan can also reveal the presence of varicose veins which may develop alongside spider veins. Hidden varicose veins need to be treated first, before embarking on a treatment for your spider veins. In certain instances, treating varicose veins will also help correct spider veins.
How can we treat spider veins?
People seek treatment for spider veins for various reasons. Some are looking for cosmetic improvement, while others are interested in relieving the pain and discomfort caused by spider veins. Whatever your reason may be, the good news is that it is possible to treat the underlying causes of spider veins.
We have in place a detailed plan to deal with spider veins and can offer a complete solution. Our team of experts will take you through the various treatment options available, their associated benefits, and possible risks. In this way, you are better placed to make an informed decision.
Once you have been diagnosed with spider veins, your doctor will most probably recommend that you try home treatment to deal with the condition. Some of the lifestyle changes that you can implement at home in a bid to treat spider veins include:
- Exercising frequently
- Elevating your legs to improve blood flow
- Minimizing the duration of time that you spend while standing or sitting
- Wearing compression stockings to reduce tension buildup in your veins
It is important, however, to note that compression stockings only offer symptomatic relief. They do not deal with the underlying cause, and neither do they protect you from the condition getting worse. Wearing compression stockings can be a bit uncomfortable during the hot season, so many people may have a problem wearing them religiously.
This is a medical procedure in which the doctor injects an irritant into the specific vein that is affected. The goal is to irritate the walls of your veins. As a result, such veins stick together. Therefore, there can be no flow of blood into the affected area. Sclerotherapy helps reduce swelling. This will in turn induce shrinking of the veins.
Ultimately, the spider veins will either vanish or fade. However, you may have to undergo several treatments to get the desired outcome. Your doctor will guide you on the frequency of such treatment, after assessing the outcome of preceding treatments. The procedure is conducted under general or local anesthesia. This is a day procedure that is usually conducted in your doctor’s office.
After the procedure, your doctor may advise that you wear compression stockings for between one to two weeks. You will begin to see your spider veins disappearing slowly, although this can take up to six weeks. Additionally, your doctor may have to perform more than one procedure to fully get rid of the spider veins.
This is yet another option that is available for treating spider veins. The procedure is especially preferred in case the spider veins are located very close to the skin surface. Additionally smaller spider veins of less than 3 millimeters are best treated using laser energy. The procedure entails focusing a strong beam of laser energy on the affected veins. This causes the vein to clot and eventually, dry up. Laser treatment is preferred to other surgical operations because it is minimally invasive. This means that there is no blood loss and the recovery period is shorter. Also, there is no risk of infection following treatment.
Post-op care and diet
After surgery, it is important to change your lifestyle and avoid some of the precipitating factors that may have caused the condition. For example, if you are overweight, physical activity and dietary changes will help to reduce weight. If the nature of your occupation entails standing or sitting for a long period of time, you can reduce the duration of time that you spend sitting down or standing. You can also elevate your legs from time to time to improve blood flow.
Some of the post-op care pointers are :
- As you recuperate at home, make sure that your feet are properly propped up on your couch using pillows
- It is normal to feel sore and tired after the procedure. Your doctor will prescribe medication to reduce pain. Ensure you follow the medication schedule as prescribed by your doctor. An ice pack can also help reduce swelling and pain in your legs.
- Regular stretching and exercising the ankles are also important to improve blood flow. Ideally, this should happen after every 10 minutes. Walking also minimizes the risk of a blood clot.
- At goficure , we maintain open communication with all our patients after treatment. Feel free to contact us in case of any complications.
In case of any redness, swelling, or pain in your legs report to us without delay. Such signs may be indicative of a blood clot or an infection. Should you develop a fever or bleeding make sure to call us, so we can schedule your consultation with the doctor immediately.
Spider veins are small damaged veins that look like thin web-type branches. They appear commonly on the surface of the face or legs. The occurrence of spider veins may mean that the valves inside the veins are not functioning as well as they should be. Therefore, this is not a condition to ignore. Those of you that suffer from this condition may be prone to aches, discomfort, and burning pain. This may increase after some strain or if you have spent long hours standing. Spider veins do not repair themselves. Home remedies such as wearing compression socks may not suit all people especially patients with heart problems or those that have suffered heart failure. The popular and effective treatment for spider veins uses laser therapy, found to be more beneficial with negligible complications as compared to other forms of treatment such as sclerotherapy.
Why laser therapy to treat spider veins?
The overriding benefits of using laser treatment for spider veins are the following:
- Laser treatments are less invasive compared to surgery
- Minimal procedure time
- Lesser risk of infection
- Safer with no risk of bleeding or complications
- Faster recovery after the procedure
How we can help you at goficure ?
In a huge city like Bangalore, finding the right specialist and hospital that can offer you the best remedy for spider veins is not an easy task. Further, the procedures to seek many of the medical treatments are not easy to navigate from start to the completion of the treatment. This difficulty increases if the patient is a senior citizen living alone in the city. goficure is a one-stop solution in Bangalore, just what the doctor ordered to cater to the A to Z of treatment for spider veins. At goficure, we work with highly trained specialists in Bangalore with decades of experience treating spider veins. Once you approach us with the problem, we offer a complete and customized solution that includes the following services.
- Scheduling your consultation with the right specialist and hospital at Bangalore
- Enabling the exact diagnosis and mode of treatment
- Scheduling the surgery in specialty hospitals in Bangalore
- Door to door services such as pick up from your residence
- Support during the surgery
- Enabling smooth discharge from the hospital after treatment
- Drop to the residence
- Monitoring post-operative care
- Scheduling post-operative consultation and prescription
- Assistance with processing insurance claim
- Charting a recovery plan
- Drawing a diet plan with a nutritionist
- Assisting with prevention and recurrence
goficure not only makes it easy to treat a medical condition but also ensures you get the best specialist at Bangalore to offer you a cure with your peace of mind intact.
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
2. Quick doctor’s appointments
After understanding your concerns, your Medi-Pal will schedule your consultation with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests and advise the course of treatment
3. Hassle-free treatment
If you opt to get the surgery done, goficure will take care of it completely. Right from booking your surgery, claiming your insurance to being with you throughout the procedure, your Medi-Pal will do it all
4. Post-op recovery support
Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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Our engagement doesn't end after your surgery. It continue until you go back to your normal life. Free diet and exercise consultations during your recovery phase are offered to ensure a quick recovery