What are spider veins?
Spider veins are enlarged veins that can be bluish, flesh-colored or red. Normally, the veins carry blood back to the heart. A spider vein occurs when the blood pools inside of the vein instead of returning to the heart. Spider veins can develop on the legs, thighs or stomach. Pregnancy, hormonal chances, obesity, sun exposure and increasing age are some of the risk factors for this condition.
What are some of the ways that spider veins can be treated?
In the past, patients would have to get surgery to remove their spider veins. Today, there is a minimally-invasive procedure called sclerotherapy that can reduce the appearance of spider veins. Not only is sclerotherapy safer, but it is also cost-effective. Sclerotherapy typically costs between $100 and $400 per session.
Additionally, this procedure may also be covered by health insurance. This procedure involves injecting a solution into the lining of the vein. This blocks the flow of blood. Eventually, the vein will disappear completely. This procedure is quick and relatively painless. There is no downtime associated with it, so patients will be able to leave the clinic as soon as the procedure has been completed.
Sclerotherapy is an extremely safe treatment, and has virtually no side effects. Patients who do experience side effects are likely to develop bruising and small sores at the injection site. These side effects will usually subside within a few days.
It is important to note that it may take anywhere from three to six weeks for a person to see the results. Treated veins will not return, but a person can still develop spider veins in other areas.
How can spider veins be prevented?
There are many simple things that people can do to prevent spider veins. Because excess body weight makes a person more susceptible to developing this condition, people should make sure that they maintain a healthy body weight. It is also important to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time because that can cause blood to pool inside of the veins.
People who will be spending a lot of time in the sun need to make sure that they apply sunscreen. Additionally, constipation can put a person at risk for developing spider veins. For that reason, people need to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods. Vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains are examples of foods that are rich in fiber.
Peter Wendt lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two dogs. He enjoys writing about health matters and preventative treatment. He suggests his readers go here to learn more about these topics.