Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are visible through the skin as red, blue and purple vessels that twist and turn. Spider veins are usually seen on the face and legs. There are several treatments for spider veins, but doctors often try the least invasive first. These treatments are called conservative treatments and may be required by insurance companies before other treatments are tried.
Some of the most common causes of spider veins and varicose veins are:
- Standing for long periods such as may be required in nursing, teaching, hair styling and factory worker jobs
- Postmenopausal hormonal replacement
- Heredity, a major cause for spider veins. If your parents or grandparents had spider veins, there is a good chance you will too
- Obesity, a major cause because the extra weight puts pressure on the legs
- Hormonal changes such as happen during puberty, pregnancy and menopause
- A medical history of blood clots
- Using birth control pills
- Pressure in the abdomen that may be caused by constipation, tumors or wearing a girdle
- Injury to the skin
- Exposure to ultraviolet rays
You may be developing spider veins without realizing it. If you feel pain, aching or cramping in your legs, it may be a sign that the veins are weak. Other symptoms are restlessness, heaviness or tingling and throbbing in the legs. These symptoms can usually be alleviated by raising the legs when lying down or by wearing support hose.
Conservative treatments for vein disorders often gives relief from the itching, burning and general discomfort. Some conservative treatments involve lifestyle changes. The most common conservative treatments include:
- Compression stockings that help push the blood to the heart and prevent it from pooling in the legs.
- Elevating the legs above the heart several times during the day. This takes the pressure off the legs and makes it easier for the blood to reach the heart.
- Prescription medical food is flavonoids and bio-flavonoids that have been used for decades in Europe to successfully relieve the symptoms of venous insufficiency. There is medical prescription food that is regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
- Anti-inflammatory medication can treat both the pain and inflammation. It is often used in conjunction with compression stockings.
- Exercising the leg muscles will increase circulation. It is recommended to run or walk every day.
- Sunscreen if you go out into the sun without clothing protection. This is especially important if your spider veins are on your face.
Spider veins are dilated superficial blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin and usually look blue and red. They can develop on the face and legs. There are conservative treatments that will relieve symptoms, but it is recommended that you contact South Texas Vein Institute today for a consultation. Our trained technicians will be able to determine the best course of action for your particular needs.