Remedy for Spider Veins
Unsightly spider veins cause embarrassment, keeping sufferers in long pants and skirts on the hottest days. According to the National Women’s Health Information Center, approximately 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men in the United States have some type of vein problem. While there are no effective home remedies for spider veins, your doctor can perform several treatments to reduce the appearance of these veins.
Called “spider” veins, because they often look a little like a spider web, these red or blue veins appear just below the surface of the skin. Spider veins may branch out from one area, like a tree, or appear as a series of short lines. These veins are commonly found on the legs or face.
Any situation that puts increased pressure on veins in the leg can contribute to the formation of spider veins. Obesity, pregnancy and standing on your feet for long hours can cause these veins, as can the effects of hormones and hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills. Injury to the skin, exposure to the sun, a history of blood clots or tumors, and even wearing girdles can increase your chances of developing spider veins. Spider veins tend to run in families and if older family members have these veins, chances are that you will eventually develop them too.
During sclerotherapy, a special solution is injected into the veins with a fine needle. This sclerosing solution works by irritating the blood vessel lining, which causes it to swell and then stick together, sealing the vessel. Over time, the blood vessel becomes scar tissue and starts to fade. Patients may notice a decrease in the appearance of spider veins by 50 to 90 percent over a period of several months. Sclerotherapy is usually performed in your doctor’s office and doesn’t require anesthesia. After sclerotherapy, you may experience red patches, stinging, cramps or bruising around the injection sites. Brown lines or fine red blood vessels may initially appear around the treated vessels, but will disappear. Larger spider veins may require more than one treatment.
Laser surgery can also be used to treat spider veins and is particularly attractive to people who don’t like the idea of needles. The laser is aimed directly at the spider vein, causing the vein to fade and eventually disappear. Lasers do cause a sensation of heat and pain and you may need several treatments in order to remove all of your spider veins. Laser treatment is most successful in spider veins that are 3 millimeters in length or less. Following laser surgery, you may experience redness or discolored skin at the treatment site. Burns are a possibility if the laser is not used correctly.
While treatment may reduce the appearance of these veins, you may still develop new spider veins. There are a few things you can do to try to prevent new veins from forming, including exercising, wearing sunscreen on your legs, losing weight if you are overweight, avoiding crossing your legs or standing for long periods of time and avoiding clothing that is tight around your groin, legs or waist.