What are spider veins and varicose veins?
Spider veins are small thin veins that are close to the surface of the skin. They can be spider-shaped, linear or branch-like. Varicose veins are larger, darker, and tend to bulge.
What causes spider veins and varicose veins?
Causes of spider veins and varicose veins may include:
- Hormonal shifts
- Weight gain
- Occupations that require long periods of sitting or standing
- Certain medications
How are spider veins and varicose veins treated?
Sclerotherapy is the easiest and most effective spider vein treatment and requires no surgery. A sclerosing agent is injected into the vein and causes the targeted vein to immediately shrink and then dissolve over a period of weeks as the body naturally absorbs the treated vein. The two approved sclerosing agents are hypertonic saline solution and Sotradecol. Sclerotherapy recovery time and results may vary. Several treatments are often necessary. A sclerosing agent called Aetoxisclerol, which is widely used in Europe, is expected to receive FDA approval in the U.S. in approximately six months.
What should I expect from a sclerotherapy treatment?
The sclerotherapy treatment is quick and nearly painless, only feeling small pinches as Dr. Sobel injects with a very small needle. No anesthesia is required throughout this treatment. Small bandaids are applied at the injection sites and elastic bandages (ace bandages) are wrapped around the treatment area. These only need to stay on for 24 hours. Support hose are given to the patients in the office to wear over the next 3 days. One can expect possible bruising in the treatment areas that will resolve over the next few weeks.
How can I prevent spider veins and varicose veins?
Ways to help prevent spider veins and varicose veins may include:
- Exercise regularly to improve leg strength, vein strength and circulation. Walking and running are good.
- Control weight to prevent too much pressure on the legs
- Do not cross legs while sitting. Try to elevate the legs when resting.
- Do not stand in one place for long periods of time. Try to shift your weight from time to time.
- If you must sit for a long period of time take a short walk every 30 minutes
- Wear elastic stockings, avoid clothing that constricts your waist, groin or legs
- Eat high fiber foods to prevent constipation, which can contribute to leg strain
- Control salt intake as it can cause water retention and leg swelling
Your doctor can help determine the best treatment options for your case of varicose or spider veins.
If you are interested in sclerotherapy in NYC, our staff at Sobel Skin offers honest, human, forward-looking skin care to help you be your best, most refreshed self. Call 212.288.0060 fill out a form in the right-hand column of this page to book an initial treatment consultation with Dr. Sobel.