At Capitol Vein & Laser Centers, we evaluate and treat spider veins in the legs, hands, face
and any other locations on the body.
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are dilated capillary veins which are easily visible through the skin and appear as tiny webs of red, blue, or purple lines. Spider veins can become unsightly with time and age the appearance of legs. Typically a cosmetic annoyance, spider veins do not present medical risk. Spider veins are very common, developing in >55% of the population.
Spider veins are capillary veins which are easily visible through the skin, and generally appear as tiny webs of red, blue, or purple lines. Spider veins can become quite noticeable when they accumulate in sufficient number. Because of their small size and superficial location, spider veins rarely account for any symptoms in the legs. Although they are rarely a medical issue, many of our patients seek to get rid of their spider veins to enhance the aesthetic appearance of their legs.
What Causes Spider Veins?
It is not fully understood what causes these tiny unsightly vessels. They seem to be genetically inherited and can often appear with hormonal shifts such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
Who Is At Risk For Spider Veins?
Spider veins are very common. In fact, most people eventually have spider veins on their legs. Generally, they develop more often in women (50-55%) than men (40-45%). We do not really know why spider veins develop. Most of the treatments we perform for spider veins are for our female patients.
Are Spider Veins A Medical Issue or Just Cosmetic?
Spider veins are rarely a serious health problem. Very rarely spider veins will become so large and fragile that they will bleed. This usually occurs in patients with very dense spider veins around the ankles. The ankles almost appear to be purple because of the density of the veins. Other symptoms that may be present in the area of spider veins usually cannot be attributed to the veins. These sensations or symptoms have explanations other than the spider veins.
Are Spider Veins Related To Varicose Veins?
Spider veins occur independent of varicose veins and vice versa. Patients with severe varicose veins many not have any spider veins. People with terrible spider veins may have not one varicose vein. We consider the two types of veins to be independent of one another. When we treat patients with both varicose veins and spider veins we generally treat the varicose veins first so that the health of the leg is optimized.
Can Spider Veins Be Prevented?
Since the predisposition to spider veins is mainly genetic and also linked with hormonal changes and environmental elements, there is really no way to prevent spider veins from developing.
Ways to Help Reduce Your Risk
- Use sunscreen, even during the winter, and pay special attention to your face.
- Limit your exposure to smoke.
- Exercise regularly. This not only helps your leg health in general,
- but improves overall circulation.
- Walk around or stretch if you've been sitting or standing for a long period of time.
Spider Vein Treatments:
- Sclerotherapy is the gold standard of treatment for most spider veins, offering excellent results with little to no discomfort and no downtime. Sclerotherapy introduces special medications into the veins using a tiny hair-like needle. The medication causes the vessel to spasm and close, eventually disappearing as the body reabsorbs the collapsed vessel. Treated vessels will not return, however we cannot prevent new spider veins from forming. Many patients request a “spring touch up” each year to keep new spider veins at bay.
- Laser & Light Therapies help treat spider veins on the nose and cheeks as they generally respond better to laser and light therapies.