Millions of people dread warmer weather and take extra steps to hide their legs each year when spring and summer roll around. The culprit? Spider veins that trace a blue path across the skin. If you are among the people who work to cover these minor imperfections, rest assured help is available. The knowledgeable and experienced staff at VENUS Vein Clinic in Omaha, NE, offers several options to help restore your confidence. Keep reading to learn more.
Do Spider Veins Go Away on Their Own?
No matter how much you hope it will be true, spider veins will not go away if left untreated. It would help if you first learned how and why they form to understand why not.
Why Do Spider Veins Form?
The chances are good that your behavior did nothing to encourage these venous lesions to appear. Instead, they directly result from a weakened valve within the vein. This allows blood to flow backward and causes pooling, which you see on the skin’s surface.
Most people will develop some sort of venous abnormality if they live long enough, and spider veins are among the most common to appear. They are commonly associated with a family history of the condition, pregnancy or other hormonal shifts, and weight fluctuations. However, certain lifestyle choices make developing them more likely. These include:
- Carrying excess weight around your abdomen
- Standing for long periods
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
Are They Dangerous?
Luckily, these minor imperfections are generally more of a nuisance than a health hazard. However, when they appear in large numbers, it can signify a more serious cardiovascular condition. So it is always a good idea to have a doctor examine your veins to rule that out.
What Symptoms Do They Cause?
Most people only know they have a spider vein because of its appearance. They often have no other symptoms. But, unfortunately, the embarrassment that they can cause may be enough to keep you from activities you enjoy and negatively impact your quality of life.
However, venous lesions can lead to irritation or dry, itchy skin in some people. Other people report mild discomfort in the area. These are common reasons for seeking treatment.
Can I Prevent Them?
For some people with family histories of venous insufficiency, there is little chance of preventing spider veins from appearing. However, making healthy lifestyle choices, such as staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing blood pressure levels can help limit damage to veins. Avoiding tasks that require standing for long periods is also helpful.
How Are They Treated?
There are several spider vein treatment options for individuals who want them removed. At VENUS Vein Clinic, we perform treatments right in our Omaha office, so you don’t have to worry about visiting a hospital or outpatient surgery center. In most cases, you can return to your normal activities within a day. Ask us about these treatments if you are ready to stop hiding your legs.
If you are looking for a tried-and-true outpatient option for reducing the appearance of veins on your legs, then sclerotherapy is worth a look. This minimally invasive treatment is quick — most treatments take less than 30 minutes — and has an excellent track record for success and safety.
During a sclerotherapy session, our provider will inject a small amount of salt solution into the affected veins. This causes irritation and swelling, which leads to the veins closing themselves off. They are eventually absorbed into surrounding tissue and expelled by the body through natural processes. The result is a clearer, smoother complexion.
This option uses radiofrequency waves to destroy affected veins. It is often reserved for more severe venous abnormalities, such as varicose veins. However, it can also be used when multiple affected veins are in a treatment area.
Once the radiofrequency waves are delivered to the veins, they begin to break down. The treated veins are then absorbed into surrounding tissue and expelled from the body. As a result, your blood flow will divert to nearby, healthy veins.
Many patients choose to try conservative at-home treatments first. These can successfully limit further damage or prevent spider veins in the first place. Some of the most common at-home options include:
- Elevating your feet
- Avoiding standing for long periods
- Wearing compression stockings
- Engaging in regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight
It is important to remember that none of these will eliminate existing venous abnormalities. However, they may help keep new ones from forming, which can be critical. Once you have a spider vein, you may be more susceptible to developing more.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Treatment?
Most people can safely treat venous lesions with little to no downtime. You could be a good candidate for one of the following treatment options if:
- Your spider veins cause discomfort or embarrassment
- You have a positive outlook and realistic expectations for treatment
- You are willing to make lifestyle adjustments to discourage additional damage
Where Can I Learn More?
When you are ready to say goodbye to those unsightly veins on your legs, we are here to help guide you in the right direction. Contact VENUS Vein Clinic in Omaha, NE, today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Schroeder will evaluate your condition and recommend an appropriate course of treatment so you can step out in confidence next summer.