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Spider Veins understanding and treatment options

Skin Conditions, Age related illnesses, Women's Health | August 11, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist

Skin conditions, skin

Spider Veins understanding and treatment options

Spider veins are the web of blue and red veins that begin to appear on the legs with age. They commonly show up in the areas behind the knees, but may appear on the body anywhere. Even though they are dilated superficial blood vessels similar to varicose veins, they are closer to the skin and smaller.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins, which are commonly referred to as telangiectasias, are collections of tiny blood vessels that develop close to the skin’s surface. They usually appear to be purple, blue or red in colour with an appearance that resembles a spiderweb. Spider veins are a common condition that affects many adults. However, women tend to be more affected by this condition than men.

Spider veins are blood vessels that have become abnormally large. Most often, they appear on the legs and face, becoming somewhat more widespread with age. Structural abnormalities of the blood vessels cause spider veins.

spider veinsThe veins throughout the body are responsible for carrying the blood back to the heart via a series of one-way valves. When these valves become defective, it makes it possible for the blood to flow back into the vein.

The blood pools and the increased pressure in the vein causes weakening of the vessel wall. The dilation and engorgement of the affected vessels lead to spider veins.

Who get Spider veins

Many factors can predispose someone to the development of spider veins, such as:

  • Using oral contraceptives, or birth control pills
  • A history of blood clots
  • Tight garments, such as girdles
  • Heredity
  • Hormones, such as during puberty, pregnancy and menopause
  • Obesity
  • Conditions that involve excessive pressure in the abdominal region, such as constipation and tumours
  • Occupations that involve a great deal of standing, such as teachers, hair stylists, factory workers and nurses
  • Postmenopausal hormonal replacement therapy

In addition to predisposition, spider veins can also be caused by previous vein surgery, injury or trauma to the skin and exposure to ultraviolent rays.

Treating Spider Veins

Serious problems with spider veins are rare. Some people with spider veins complain of aching, burning, pain or itching, especially when sitting or standing for long periods of time. The symptoms can be worse during pregnancy or menstruation. Even though spider veins can be painful at times, they are typically not dangerous.    

A number of different treatment options are available for spider veins, such as:

Laser Surgery

Laser surgery treating spider veinsThis treatment works by a strong burst of light being sent into the vein. The vein will gradually fade and disappear.

No needles or incisions are required for this type of treatment. Side effects include bruising, swelling, redness and itching in the treated area. This treatment is not as effective as sclerotherapy and can have complications such as skin blistering, which may lead to permanent scarring.

Sclerotherapy

During this procedure, a solution is injected into the veins to scar and close them. This will cause the blood to be rerouted to the healthier veins. Within just a few weeks following this treatment, the spider veins will begin to fade.

Even though the same vein may require more than one injection, this treatment is usually quite effective when performed correctly. No anaesthesia is required and minor side effects include changes to skin colour, itching and swelling in the area that is treated.

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References

The Australasian College of Phlebology Varicose Veins, Spider Veins

Specialist Vascular Clinic; Varicose Veins; Varicose Veins and Spider Veins, Treatment Options, Sclerotherapy

Varicose Veins Australia, Frequently Asked Questions

Better Health Channel, Conditions & Treatments, Blood and Blood Vessels – Blood Vessel Conditions, Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

The Leg Vein Clinic, Varicose and Spider Veins

Australian Vein Clinics

myDr for a healthy Australia, Women’s Health, Varicose Veins

Western Phlebology, Introducing Ambulatory Phlebectomy to Western Australia, Varicose Veins

Victoria Vein Clinic, Spider Veins

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