Spider Veins: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment
Spiders veins might be a cosmetic concern but they can also lead to serious health issues. Learn the types, symptoms, and treatment options in this post to treat spider veins. By learning about the treatment options available, this will not only help you make informed decisions but also know what to expect.
Introduction to Spider Veins
Spider veins are often confused with varicose veins. However, considering that they affect more than 50 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men have spider veins, it is important to learn a few things about this medical condition. While spider veins are generally not dangerous by themselves, they can be a cosmetic concern. Fortunately, something can be done to improve their appearance.
When vein valves malfunction significantly, spider veins can also signal serious health issues. These web-like shape veins can become surprisingly noticeable and cause itching and aching pain in the affected part and become warning signs of significant venous problems.
Spider Veins Vs. Varicose Veins
Spider veins and varicose veins share many similarities. However, there are also several clear differences between the two. Spider veins tend to be smaller and more superficial than varicose veins. Additionally, spider veins are less severe and are usually not painful.
These veins that form in tiny capillaries are close to the skin’s surface and have one way valves that keep blood flowing in one direction. When valves become weak or damaged, they stop stroking resulting in blood pooling in the veins. The veins enlarge becoming visible and become spider veins. Spider veins are also known as thread veins or telangiectasias. The small veins (usually capillaries) become enlarged and are easily visible through the skin. Spider veins typically look red, blue or purple, and may appear in the form of thin lines, branches or webs. Our varicose veins and spider veins specialist in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja, explains spiders veins appearance as fine network of red or blue lines just under the skin.
What do varicose veins include? Understand the symptoms of varicose veins, different types, causes, and more with our helpful post and video on varicose veins on our blog page. It may involve several factors such as family history, hormone levels, and high blood pressure to develop varicose veins. Don’t let these blood clots last long term and become complications of varicose veins.
Types of Spider Veins
Spider veins can occur anywhere in the body and at any age. However, they usually develop in the legs and face. There are different types of spider veins: superficial, deep venous, crural and pedis.
Causes and Symptoms of Spider Veins
Spider veins develop when the valves inside veins weaken or sustain damage. Once the valves become defective, blood may have difficulty flowing in the correct direction and may back up in the veins. This creates pressure in the veins, which is transferred to the small branches, causing them to weaken, expand and show through the skin. While it is not clear why this happens, some known causes include:
- Hormonal changes
- Connective tissue diseases
- Genetic syndromes
- Injury or trauma
Spider veins do not typically cause any symptoms. However, in rare cases, the condition may cause:
- Legs that feel tired
Risk Factors for Spider Veins
Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing spider veins. They include:
Age: Aging causes wear and tear on vein valves. This can affect blood flow and result in blood pooling.
Gender: Women develop spider veins almost four times as often as men.
Genetics: Almost 90 percent of people with spider veins have a family history of the condition.
Obesity: Extra body weight puts additional pressure on veins, something that can cause them to expand.
Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and extra weight during pregnancy can contribute to spider veins.
Sedentary lifestyle: Sitting or standing for prolonged hours affects blood circulation and causes additional pressure on leg veins.
Sun damage: Exposure to UV rays can cause premature aging of the skin and weaken blood vessels, increasing the risk of spider veins.
Women are more likely to get vein conditions such as varicose veins resulting from a unique blend of genetic, hormonal, and lifestyle factors. While varicose veins can also occur in men, women face distinct risk factors that increase their susceptibility to this condition.
Assessing and Diagnosing Spider Veins
Spider veins are easy to diagnose because they are often highly visible. During your visit, a vein specialist will conduct a physical exam. They will also ask about your biological family history and your individual medical history. The healthcare provider will look for signs of CVI to establish whether the spider veins are an indication of a more serious blood flow problem.
Venous Diseases Related to Spider Veins
Spider veins can lead to significant health issues and detecting the early warning signs can possibly prevent unhealthy changes in larger veins of serious venous problems. Your spider veins doctor in Singapore will know whether it is a red flag and see if you have circulation problems in any veins.
Increased pressure in the affected vein can become venous diseases such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). In worse cases, the blood vessels can force fluids into the surrounding tissues, causing an ulcer.
Read our blog post, “Deep Vein Thrombosis: Symptoms, Signs, and Treatment”, to understand the causes and symptoms of DVT, which will help you possibly prevent it, seek timely treatment and know which treatment is best for you.
Cornona Phlebectatic is when a cluster of spider veins form around your ankle and requires an examination. Spider veins in the ankle area can develop into CVI (chronic venous insufficiency).
The cause of ankle spider veins can come from prolonged standing or sitting. They can become enlarged or visible since these sedentary activities put increased pressure on the veins in the ankles.
Spider Veins Treatment Options
Spider veins are generally harmless, and most people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. Common treatment options are:
Compression stockings: These specialized socks apply gentle pressure on the legs. This helps to improve blood flow and prevent further spider veins.
Sclerotherapy: A minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting a chemical solution into the spider vein. The procedure causes the vein to shrink and fade over time.
Laser Endovenous Treatment (EVLT): Your healthcare provider makes a small incision in the damaged vein through which they insert a laser fiber. Heat from the laser causes the vein to collapse.
VenaSeal endovenous closure system: Ultrasound guidance is used to deliver medical adhesive directly into the diseased vein to seal or close it.
Surgery: In certain cases, surgery may be required to remove the diseased blood vessels.
Prevention of Spider Veins
Spider veins are not always entirely preventable. However, you can take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of developing them. Be sure to:
- Exercise regularly to improve blood flow and prevent blood pooling
- Eat a diet rich in fiber, drink plenty of water and cut back on salt and processed sugar to improve vein health.
- Keep a healthy body weight to limit pressure on your blood vessel walls
- Avoid wearing tight clothing around the waist, pelvis or legs
- Avoid prolonged sitting or standing
- Elevate your legs when resting
At Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore, we provide cutting-edge treatments for various vascular disorders with our spider veins specialist Dr. Manish Taneja for a range of medical conditions he treats including peripheral arterial disease and other venous diseases. We emphasize accurate diagnosis, personalized treatment and proper care to help improve your quality of life. For more information, we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our treatments at our specialized varicose veins clinic and how we can help you.
Am I at Risk of Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, or Deep Vein Thrombosis?
- Those who are overweight (therefore, maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure)
- Pregnant women
- Individuals between the ages of 40 and 80
- Those who are inactive/not exercising (even sitting or standing for long periods)
- Frequent flyers
- Those who have had surgery or leg trauma
Assessment of Varicose Veins
Clinical examination and ultrasound doppler scan are most important tools in assessment and deciding management of varicose veins. This takes about 15-20 minutes to do and is usually done in the clinic itself.
Treatment of Varicose Veins
There are various techniques available to treat varicose veins depending on clinical presentation. These include:
- Conservative medical management including compression socks
- Laser endovenous treatment (EVLT)
- Radio-frequency endovenous ablation (RFA)
- Clarivein endovenous treatment
- VenaSeal endovenous closure system
- Microwave endovenous ablation
- Open surgery
- Venous avulsions
- Cryolaser and cryosclerotherapy
What are the Advantages of Minimally Invasive Treatments?
- No major surgery
- No or minimal visible scars
- Quick recovery
- Same day admission and discharge
- Clinic based treatments
Consult a Vascular Specialist for Your Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Dr. Manish Taneja, a certified vascular and varicose veins specialist in Singapore, has extensive experience in the treatment of all vascular interventions and looks after venous diseases like varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins. Come in for a further evaluation. Arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our varicose veins specialist
Varicose Veins Resources
Keep Varicose Veins and Spider Veins at Bay
If your legs feel sore persistently, achy when standing long periods, or maybe you notice blue or purple veins even bulging in the area, chances are these symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins could lead to other serious venous diseases such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), or Leg Swelling due to increased pressure forming larger blood clots over time. Varicose veins are fully treatable with minimally invasive procedures and treatments offering minimal downtime and quick recovery preventing further complications. Long term effects of untreated varicose veins can hinder your daily life and impact your health.
The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore is here to diagnose and treat varicose veins smoothening patients’ experience to find relief and comfort. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist based in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja looks after a spectrum of venous diseases, peripheral vascular malformations, and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.
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