Spider veins appear as fine red or blue lines or a web-like network of blood vessels on the surface of the skin. They are a mild form of varicose veins and typically appear on the legs and thighs but can develop on the sides of the feet or ankles and even the face.
Most spider veins don’t need to be treated unless they result in ulcers, bleeding, and phlebitis or because an individual wants them removed for cosmetic reasons. They are not caused by any kind of shoe wear or crossing one’s legs, but long periods of standing, sitting or excessive weight gain can lead to spider veins over time. Pregnancy and heredity also are responsible for spider veins.
A way to get rid of spider veins is sclerotherapy, a minimally invasive procedure where a solution is injected into each vein. This FDA –approved solution is Sodium Tetradeccyl Sulfate. It burns a bit because there is not much fat around the ankles and feet, but it is effective. Patients who push through the discomfort are asked to wear compression socks for a week.
As for life getting back to normal, walking and mild exercise is helpful but patients should avoid intense activity the first 24 hours.
Lasers can also provide a non-invasive treatment for spider veins on the legs, ankles and face. Lasers are most effective for small, superficial red or blue veins and excellent results can be achieved.
“Every patient has different needs,” says Dr. Hansen. “One treatment may be more appropriate than another so our clinic recommends a personal consultation to discuss the patient’s expectations and concerns then determine a treatment plan.”
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