The Lowdown on Spider Veins

Varicose veins and spider veins are not the same, and are quite different from each other.

Varicose veins are swollen blood vessels that become enlarged and raised, becoming visible through your skin. Varicose veins are found predominantly on the legs.

Spider veins on the other hand are smaller, sometimes red or purple and most often appear not just on the legs but also on the face, forming a spiderweb pattern.

Spider veins are caused by increased vein pressure. The underlying causes are yet unknown as to why some people get them and others don’t. However, doctors believe that the tendency to get spider veins can be hereditary, and you are more likely to get them as you get older. People whose professions include standing for long periods of time, like those nurses and teachers, are more likely to develop spider veins. Other symptoms of spider veins include swelling, a feeling of heaviness or tiredness of your legs.

So how can you lower the risks of getting them? A few steps you can take are:

1. Keep your weight down managable – a lower weight means your legs won’t be under immense pressure when standing up or sitting down.

2. Exercise – Avoid sitting or standing for long periods. Go for a walk or a light jog regularly to keep the blood flowing. Exercise also strengthens your leg muscles

3. Wear GOOD footwear and get support – Compression socks and comfortable shoes are a must if you’re going to be standing or sitting for long periods of time.

If you have been diagnosed for spider veins, there are treatments available. The main treatment option for spider veins is sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is a procedure that involves injecting a solution into your veins, forcing them to collapse and stop blood flow. You can see results in a few weeks after the scarring fades away.

The other method of treatment is laser treatment. This is less common but is recommended for smaller spider veins as they are harder to inject.

Spider veins are purely an aesthetic and cosmetic nuisance but if you’re unhappy about how they look, or are experiencing pain, you can visit your dermatologist for a consulation for treatment.

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