Having unsightly spider veins is a common complaint. In fact, vein problems affect about half the U.S. population over 50 years of age, as well as many younger people. Contrary to popular misconception, men as well as women develop these embarrassing, sometimes uncomfortable, blue or red veins. Spider veins typically appear on the legs or face, but may also occur in other areas.They are called spider veins because they branch out in slender webbings where they appear. Spider veins may cover a small area, like the side of the nose or a larger region like the back of the leg. They differ from varicose veins in that they are closer to the surface of the skin and generally present more of a cosmetic issue than a medical one.
Increasing numbers of individuals in the region of Valrico, Florida and the Tampa Bay surrounding areas, troubled by their spider veins, come to Unique Dermatology & Wellness Center, knowing that Dr. Dyan Harvey-Dent is a talented dermatologist with the training, experience, and finesse to remedy the condition.
Causes of Spider Veins
Veins are the blood vessels that take deoxygenated blood from the body back to the heart.
An important feature of these blood vessels is that they have valves to prevent the blood from flowing backwards on its journey to be replenished with oxygen and nutrients. If the valves in the veins become weak or damaged (a condition known as venous insufficiency), blood leaks backwards and collects in the veins, pooling and making the veins bulge. If this happens to a small degree, spider veins result; if the problem is more pronounced, the patient develops varicose veins.
There are a number of reasons blood backs up, resulting in spider veins. These include:
- Hormonal changes (for women during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause)
- Taking birth control pills
- Excessive sun exposure
- Pressure caused by tumors, constipation, or restrictive garments (e.g. girdles)
- Sitting or standing for long periods of times (often an occupational hazard)
Symptoms of Spider Veins
Although spider veins are primarily an aesthetic matter, they do sometimes cause physical discomfort. When this is the case, patients may experience:
- Heaviness or burning
- Aching, throbbing or cramping after prolonged sitting or standing
- Restless leg syndrome
- Swelling.itching, and possible rash
- Night cramps
If your spider veins are causing you physical or emotional discomfort, it is time to consult with Dr. Harvey-Dent, a physician who is gentle, compassionate, and knows her craft.
Best Treatment for Spider Veins:
Patients often come to Unique Dermatology & Wellness Center after trying simple home remedies first. These may include: losing weight, using makeup to cover unsightly spider veins, trying to avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods, or wearing compression stockings. While these methods may be helpful, in most cases they will not solve the problem. This is when patients turn to sclerotherapy.
What is sclerotherapy?
During sclerotherapy, which can be performed in the doctor’s office and does not require anesthesia, a concentrated saline (salt) solution or a specially made liquid chemical known as a sclerosant is injected into the affected blood vessels. The purpose of this action is to cause the lining of the vein to be irritated and eventually collapse, forcing the blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein will be reabsorbed by the body and, within a few weeks to a month, fade and disappear.
Sclerotherapy is frequently used to treat spider veins and has a track record of successful outcomes.
Benefits of Sclerotherapy
There are many reasons that sclerotherapy is the preferred method of treatment for spider veins. These include that the treatment is:
- Nearly painless
- Doesn’t require downtime
- Cost effective
Patients should be aware that they may need more than one treatment to completely eliminate unsightly spider veins. Treatments are typically done every 4 to 6 weeks and patients may be asked to wear compression stockings after the procedures in order to keep temporary swelling to a minimum and accelerate healing. Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not candidates for sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is a safe procedure which rarely has any side effects or complications. Successful approximately 90 percent of the time, it is considered the gold standard for treating spider veins. It has been used for over half a century with ever-perfected techniques. Dr. Harvey-Dent always keeps current with the latest improvements and her patients have been delighted with the results of their sclerotherapy treatments. Contact Unique Dermatology Wellness today.