When you hear about spider veins, what first comes to your mind? If its veins similar to varicose veins, then you got that right. But what is the difference between the two? Varicose veins are smaller wheareas spider veins are small red thread veins that are seen under the skin usually in the face or legs. In most cases, the veins appear on the legs as this part of your body that carries blood to your heart.
The reason these veins are called spider veins is that these literally look like spider webs in your skin. The difference is that these veins come in different colors. Sometimes red while other times purple or blue.
While these veins might appear harmless, there can be times when you experience pain from the abnormal veins. You might even be irritated to see these whenever you are wearing a short dress, shorts, or skirt. Lucky for you, there are ways to remove these veins. Continue reading to know more about these interesting-looking veins.
The different causes of spider veins
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to having spider veins. Here are some:
- Use of birth control pills
- Blood clots
- Hormonal replacement
- Occupations that require you to stand a lot
There can also be instances wherein you tend to have spider veins when you have a previous trauma or exposure to ultraviolet rays. It is also important to note that women tend to have this condition than men. Another study shows that around 30% to 60% of women have a high chance of getting spider veins.
Signs you should be aware of
Just like any other condition, spider veins also have its symptoms. Here are some of those:
- Cramping in the legs
There can be times as well when the pain is too much especially when you are having your
menstrual cycle or when you are pregnant. You can feel swelling or even darkening of your skin during these times. In worst cases, you might experience a blood clot.
Diagnosis for spider veins
Once you feel the signs of spider veins, you can go to your doctor for a diagnosis. The doctor will check your legs while sitting or standing. Afterward, he or she will ask about the symptoms. There can be instances wherein he or she will ask you to do some tests to see if what you have is spider veins or another health complication. Here are the possible tests that you can do:
It is a type of x-ray that uses a dye to see the veins clearly in your legs. You will only be asked to have this examination if the doctor thinks that you may have a blood clot.
It is an exam which develops images from the inside of your body. This procedure will check the blood flow and see if there are any blood clots or leaky valves.
Treatment for spider veins
Fortunately, you will not be stuck with those veins forever. There are different treatments that you can do, including:
When you no longer cannot bear the pain of the veins, you can wear stockings. It can also hide the veins in your legs so you do not have to be conscious about your appearance. There are different types of stockings that you can buy: pantyhose style, below-the-knee, and above-the-knee.
Endovenous laser treatment
This is a medical procedure in which a laser is inserted into your vein. The small lasers are then directly transferred to your veins, causing them to collapse. Doctors think that this procedure can remove the veins by 98%. It is also said to give you less pain.
Change of lifestyle
If you do not want any lasers to go inside your vein, then you can just change your lifestyle. You can start by losing weight and keeping clean hygiene. You can also try walking around to remove those veins.
Just like the endovenous laser treatment, radiofrequency occlusion works when a small catheter is injected into your vein. The catheter’s function is to heat and collapse the vein.
This type of treatment has been done for years now. There are even researches that said that it can eliminate 80% of spider veins in your body. It uses concentrated saline or any special detergent. The solution is then inserted to your vein that would make the spider veins disappear after six weeks. Take note that you should go to a credible hospital if you wish to have this procedure. This is because sclerotherapy can have other side effects such as discoloration or worse, the formation of new abnormal veins.
There are two surgeries that can be done to remove spider veins: ligation and stripping. Both are done to remove the vein in your leg. Another is ambulatory phlebectomy wherein a huge surface of your vein is removed. The good news is that all the abovementioned surgeries are done in one day, and you no longer need to stay at the hospital for the recovery.
You might think that spider veins are just unpleasant to see in your legs. Another reason that could convince you to remove them is the pain brought about by these veins. However, spider veins can also give you other complications including ulcers and blood cloths. There is even a high chance for you to experience bleeding especially when the veins are already too thin.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to prevent having spider veins. There will eventually come a time when you are too old that you will have these. The good news is that if you keep your body healthy and active, there is a way that you will not have these veins early.
Another way that you can do is to make sure that you do not put too much pressure in your legs. You can make yourself feel comfortable by not wearing high heels too much or massaging your legs once you get home.