Treatments for Varicose and Spider Veins
Spider veins are small vessels that often appear red or purple and are close to the surface of the skin. They can look like little tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face and can grow to cover a very large area of skin.
Reticular veins are a larger variety of spider veins, often with a straighter and bluer appearance. Reticular veins play an important role in the formation of spider veins, serving as the source of blood that fills them. Because of this, removing reticular veins will help eliminate spider veins.
Varicose veins are abnormal veins that become large and swollen. These veins bulge out and rise above the surface appearing as rope-like structures. Varicose veins commonly develop on the legs and feet, but can occur on any part of the body. They may be painful and may require surgery or endovascular ablation.
Sclerotherapy is the injection of small doses of solution directly into unwanted veins with a very fine needle. The solution irritates the veins, causing them to swell, stick together, and then clot. Over a period of weeks, the treated veins turn into scar tissue that is absorbed by the body. Eventually the scar tissue becomes barely noticeable or invisible. Many veins require multiple treatment sessions. Sclerotherapy is the standard of care for treatment of spider and reticular veins.
Compression hose will help prevent spider vein formation over time and is an important part of treatment. Hose come in a variety of colors, styles and strengths. Many look like regular socks or tights.
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