Our body has a vast network of veins that help carry blood from all organs to the heart. The veins furthest away from the heart has to do the most work: such as the veins in our legs and face. Veins on the legs have an even tougher job to do as they have to pump blood against gravity. To prevent blood from flowing back into the legs, veins have valves that close if blood tries to flow backwards. But over time for a variety of reasons, some valves may weaken. When this happens, blood may get collected in the veins, then branch out to look like thin spider webs. This is what causes spider veins. On the face, sun damage or increased pressure can cause spider veins.
Varicose veins are caused in the same way, except they are more serious than spider veins. They are blue or purple in color and appear swollen and enlarged. Frequently, they can have a lumpy, bulging, or twisty appearance.
What are the main causes of spider and varicose veins?
Spider veins appear when blood gets collected in some of the smaller veins and branch out, resulting in a web-like appearance. In small quantities, spider veins may simply be the result of ageing. Women are more likely to develop spider and varicose veins than men. Similarly, genetics can play a role; spider and varicose veins are more likely to appear if it runs in the family. While these factors cannot be controlled, other risk factors such as lifestyle and diet can be controlled. Obesity can also be a factor in developing spider and varicose veins. If your work or lifestyle involves long hours or sitting or standing and if you don’t have sufficient exercise in your daily routine, you can fall in the risk of developing spider and varicose veins.
If you fall under these risk factors, it is important to take better care of your health and make healthy lifestyle choices. You must take the appearance of spider and varicose veins more seriously. Request an appointment at the Vein center today for advice more specific to you.
What other symptoms can you have with varicose veins?
Apart from the appearance of unsightly varicose veins, you may be experiencing the following symptoms:
- The spider and varicose veins cover a significant portion of your body: In small amounts, spider and varicose veins are usually just a sign of ageing. But if more than 20% of your legs are covered in spider and varicose veins, it could be a sign of some underlying condition.
- You are experiencing heaviness or aching in the legs: If your veins are considerably damaged, your legs will not have enough blood flow. This will cause symptoms such as heaviness or aching. This is concerning, and you must see a doctor if you experience this alongside the appearance of spider and varicose veins.
- Your leg fatigue is worsening: If your legs feel more and more tired for no obvious reason as time passes, it could mean that the damage to your veins is getting worse. To prevent further damage and to reverse the damage in your veins, you will need to consult a vein specialist.
- Your feet and ankles are swelling: This is a sign that blood is getting accumulated around your feet and ankles. This could be because of damage in your veins, and you need to see a doctor if you notice this happening frequently alongside spider and varicose veins.
- The spider and varicose veins are itchy and irritated: When spider and varicose veins appear as a normal part of ageing, they are painless. You may not even notice them as you go about your day-to-day life. But if the spider and varicose veins are itchy and irritated and if you notice that the skin over the affected veins are dry, thin, and itchy, you need to request an appointment with a vein doctor.
What are the best treatment options?
If caught early, spider veins can be easily treated by our team of expert vascular doctors. Once you meet with our doctors, they will first take your medical history, ask for your insurance coverage details, and discuss your symptoms. Doctors can use a variety of vein treatment methods that would work best for your specific needs.
Minimally invasive treatment methods include:
- Sclerotherapy: An agent called sclerosant is injected into the diseased veins that causes the veins to stick to one another and close up. The veins are then absorbed by the body, clearing the skin.
- VenaSeal: VenaSeal is a minimally invasive medical procedure in which a bio-adhesive is applied on the diseased veins using a catheter, causing the veins to seal off. The procedure takes anywhere between 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Eventually, the veins are reabsorbed by the body.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: In this procedure, a numbing agent is first applied over the area where the veins are. Then, heat is applied using radiofrequency. The heat then stops blood flow in the diseased veins, and over time the veins disappear.
Non-invasive treatment methods could include dietary restrictions and lifestyle changes such as exercise.
Our team consists of highly specialized vein doctors at the top of their fields who are double board certified and have all been trained at Ivy League universities. Our Vein center offers world-class medical infrastructure and cutting-edge technology that help our doctors use the most advanced procedures to treat their patients. But most important of all, all our doctors value patients’ comfort and treat them with friendliness, patience, and kindness. Rest assured that our highly trained doctors will look after you with utmost expertise and with the very best tools at their disposal, and that your concerns and queries will always be heard.
Our vein center at San Jose is located in a beautiful neighborhood near Palo Alto, Sunnydale, and Santa Clara. It is down the block from the Santa Clara Medical Center, and the Santana Row Shopping Mall. Our experienced Harvard-trained vein doctors can offer the best care possible to help you.