As far as vein disease is concerned, spider veins are a relatively minor problem. These small starbursts of purple or black can be covered with makeup, but it doesn’t solve the problem. However, if you feel uncomfortable wearing shorts or swimwear because of spider veins, that’s a horse of another color. And when spider veins can show up on the face, you may want to take action. Cosmetic treatment to eliminate spider veins is actually pretty easy. Here’s the skinny on spider veins and their treatment from Dr. Chris Pittman at Vein 911 in Tampa, Florida
Each time your heart beats, blood moves through the body. The force of the heartbeat keeps blood moving in the arteries. In the veins, however, the pressure is low enough that blood would move backwards in the pause between beats. Tiny flaps of tissue called valves close to keep the blood from flowing backwards. Those valves can wear out; when they don’t close completely, the blood begins to pool and distend the vein. This is how varicose veins develop, and a spider vein is just a small form of varicose vein.
Sclerotherapy is generally considered the gold standard when it comes to treating spider veins. “Sclero” means scar, and that’s how the treatment works. The doctor injects a solution or foam into the vein with a tiny needle. The solution is irritating to the vein wall, which promptly swells up and then collapses on itself. The vein walls stick together and gradually heal closed. Eventually, the vein is completely absorbed by surrounding tissue and becomes pretty much invisible.
Unlike sclerotherapy, VeinGogh does not require a needle. This technique relies on heat to seal the vein. Instead of a needle, VeinGogh uses a hair-thin fiber to deliver the heat. It is a very precise technique that can pinpoint a damaged vein. Unlike lasers, which are also sometimes used for spider veins, VeinGogh doesn’t cause the “sunburn” effect of delivering heat through the skin and tissue to the vein. If a spider vein doesn’t respond to sclerotherapy, VeinGogh is often the next choice. VeinGogh can also be used on spider veins too small for sclerotherapy.
Both sclerotherapy and VeinGogh procedures are relatively quick, lasting about 30 minutes. You may be asked not to shave the area being treated or to apply lotion. The doctor or assistant will thoroughly clean the treatment area prior to the procedure. After the procedure is completed, you may need to wear special compression stockings or a dressing to help the vein collapse. You should be able to resume your normal activities within a day at most, with the possible exception of vigorous exercise.
Which ever method you chose, spider vein treatment is quick; you won’t lose much time and the healing process is also relatively short. If you’re looking for spider vein treatment, please contact us. We can schedule an appointment or answer any questions you may have.