Spider veins are uncomfortable cosmetically and physically in some cases. Read on to learn how you can get rid of them, for good.
In the U.S., approximately 50-55 percent of women and 40-45 percent men suffer from some sort of vein problem, including spider veins.
If you’re part of this group and are currently dealing with unsightly veins, keep reading. Listed below are some actionable steps you can take today to eliminate them once and for all.
Spider Veins vs. Varicose Veins
First things first, let’s clarify the difference between spider and varicose veins.
Varicose veins occur when the superficial veins — the veins located just under the skin — become swollen and bulge outward. Most people who struggle with varicose veins have them on their inner legs and the backs of their calves.
Varicose veins can cause muscle cramps and a feeling of heaviness in the legs.
Spider veins are a milder form of varicose veins that look like a spider’s web running underneath the skin.
They don’t protrude like varicose veins, and they typically don’t come with any pain or discomfort. But, many people are self-conscious about the appearance of these veins and would like to get rid of them.
Most people get these kinds of visual veins on their legs, but they can also appear on the hands and face.
These veins can often be a purely cosmetic issue. But, they can also be a symptom of a vein disease or chronic venous insufficiency (also known as CVI).
Before we get into treatments, it’s important to understand what causes spider veins.
They usually occur when the pressure in the veins increases. Some of the people are more likely to experience frequent pressure increases include:
- Those who stand for long periods of time, such as teachers and nurses
- Office workers and sedentary individuals who sit for hours at a time
Some people are also genetically predisposed to develop spider veins as they age.
How to Lower Your Spider Vein Risk
If you’re someone who stands for extended periods of time, or someone for whom these vein irregularities are hereditary, you might not be able to totally prevent them from showing up.
But, you can reduce your risk and treat existing spider veins by keeping these tips in mind:
Relieve Pressure on Your Legs
Do whatever you can to take pressure off your legs.
If you’re someone who has to stand for a long time at work, try to avoid standing in one place. Instead, make an effort to walk around every thirty minutes.
If you sit for long periods at your job, you should also try to take a walk every thirty minutes or so. You should also avoid crossing your legs, as this cuts off blood flow.
Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are also beneficial for improving circulation and relieving pressure that is affecting the veins.
There are a few different types of compression stockings that you can choose from:
- Support pantyhose: These provide the least amount of pressure, and they provide that pressure all over the legs instead of one specific area
- Over-the-counter gradient stockings: These provide some extra pressure and are only sold in pharmacies and medical supply stores
- Prescription-strength gradient stockings: These provide the greatest amount of pressure, and they need to be fitted by a trained professional who will write you a prescription
It’s still beneficial to talk to your doctor before you buy compression stockings to make sure you get the right ones for your specific needs.
Elevate Your Feet
Elevation is another good option for both preventing and treating spider veins. This is because it relieves pressure from the legs or other limbs and improves circulation.
Prop your feet up while you’re relaxing at home, and be sure to place a pillow under your legs while you sleep to keep blood circulating as efficiently as possible.
If you have these veins on your hands, elevate them on a pillow for 15 minutes a day, just like you would your legs. For spider veins on your face, make sure you’re sleeping with your head elevated a few inches above the rest of your body.
Finally, regular exercise can help improve circulation, strengthen the veins, and generally strengthen the body.
In addition to taking regular walks, you should also prioritize resistance training with weights, bands, or bodyweight exercises.
Cardiovascular activities like jogging or swimming also help to boost blood flow and reduce the risk of developing spider veins.
Sclerotherapy to Eliminate Spider Veins
In addition to these preventative measures, you can also eliminate unsightly veins with cosmetic treatments like sclerotherapy.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is generally considered to be the best treatment for spider veins.
Sclerotherapy helps reduce and eliminate the appearance of visible superficial veins.
During the treatment, a special, medicated solution will be injected into the veins. This solution causes the veins to swell and then collapse and be reabsorbed by the body. As a result, the vein will eventually fade from view.
Sclerotherapy is a fast treatment option that can significantly reduce the appearance of vein abnormalities.
There is also very little downtime following sclerotherapy treatments. This means that you can get back to your daily activities shortly after having the procedure performed.
What to Expect from Sclerotherapy
For many people, sclerotherapy is the right choice for eliminating or reducing the appearance of superficial veins.
Before you pull the trigger and schedule an appointment, it’s important to understand what to expect from the procedure.
Before scheduling sclerotherapy treatments, most doctors will want to perform an ultrasound.
This allows them to find out what is causing your spider veins. It also helps them rule out more serious conditions like venous insufficiency or CVI.
An ultrasound can typically be performed in the same clinic as the sclerotherapy treatment. It’s a completely non-invasive procedure. It will also quickly provide the doctor with the information they need to recommend the correct treatment option.
If your doctor thinks that sclerotherapy is the right option, they will go ahead and schedule a treatment. You might even be able to receive treatment the same day you had the ultrasound.
It typically takes between one and four sessions to see significant results from sclerotherapy. More sessions may be required depending on the severity of your veins and your desired results.
Treatments typically last between twenty and forty minutes. The length depends on the size of the area and the number of veins being treated.
After your treatment, most doctors recommend wearing compression stockings or bandages for about two weeks. This encourages proper healing and reduces your risk of blood clots.
Most people are able to go right back to work or their other daily activities immediately following treatment.
It’s fine to walk regularly while you’re recovering — in fact, it’s encouraged. But, strenuous exercise like heavy lifting or running is not recommended. These activities put extra stress on the body and can slow the healing process while also increasing your risk of blood clots.
Side effects from sclerotherapy are minimal and temporary. The most common ones include:
- Swelling of the injection site
- General discomfort
- Swollen feet or ankles
These side effects will typically go away within a couple weeks of your treatment session.
Say Goodbye to Spider Veins Today
It doesn’t matter if you’re ready to try sclerotherapy or just want to get an ultrasound to determine the best course of action for your spider veins. We can help you at RejuVeination in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Contact us today by phone or through our online form to schedule a consultation!