What are spider veins? And can you get rid of them?

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Millions of men and women have spider veins. They look similar to varicose veins. But they are much smaller and finer. 

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins develop in most people because of the ageing process. Veins have valves in them, which ensures that blood flows in the correct direction along the vein. When there is a fault with the vein’s valve blood backs up in the vein, and if it is near the skin’s surface the vein shows up on the skin as either red or blue. The smaller veins in the body show up as fine lines that usually radiate from one point so that they look like the thread of a spider’s web, hence the name. 

Can you get rid of spider veins?

If they bother you,  it is possible to get rid of them. Which spider veins treatment is right for you depends on several factors. That is why it is important to seek treatment from a fully trained and certified physician. They will consider the position of the veins, how big they are, your medical history and which treatment option fits in best with your lifestyle. Here are a few examples to help you to understand the decision-making process better.

Treating spider veins that are still fine

Spider veins on the face or legs look unsightly, so many people have them removed. There are several options, including, laser treatment, creams, injections, or pressure bandages. For fine veins, laser treatment is extremely popular. Partly, because most people find it to be virtually pain-free.

Treating thicker spider veins

If you have large spider veins, they cannot always be removed using a laser. Your surgeon will likely treat those using sclerotherapy, which involves a drug being injected into the vein. The vein collapses because of the drug and slowly fades away.

Once your large spider veins have been eliminated, a few of the smaller veins will disappear too. Those that remain are usually removed using the laser. To do this your surgeon slowly passes the laser over the affected veins, which causes them to collapse. A day or so after the treatment the veins will appear darker in color then begin to fade and eventually disappear usually between 2 and 6 weeks after laser treatment.

Depending on how many veins you have to treat, the first treatment can take 5 minutes to an hour. To treat all your thread veins you will need to undergo 3 sessions, which will normally be at three-monthly intervals.

Some patients experience bruising after laser treatment, but this usually clears within a week. If you have the veins on your face treated by laser any bruising can be covered using makeup within hours of the procedure having been completed. This video shows you the best way to cover up bruising using makeup.

As you can see, there is no need to put up with spider veins. If they are negatively affecting your confidence levels you can have them removed. But you should be careful and use a qualified vascular surgeon for this.

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