If you have visible veins on your body, you may have felt the desire to get rid of them. Many people feel that the veins they see on their legs or other parts of their body are unsightly and believe that they would be more confident if they were gone. Both varicose veins and spider veins can affect how a person feels about their body. In some cases, varicose veins may even cause pain. Though there is no quick fix to removing these veins there are procedures available to help remove and reduce the appearance of veins. In this article we will outline the difference between spider and varicose veins, how they can be removed and what steps you can take to prevent them.
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are damaged veins that most commonly appear on legs or on the face. They are often very thin in appearance and can form in web like patterns. Spider veins are typically red, blue or purple. Though they are thin, some people find that they are unhappy with the appearance of spider veins, especially those that form on the face. But why do spider veins happen?
Many of our patients ask us, what causes spider veins? Spider veins occur when veins are damaged or stopped working correctly. Spider veins most commonly occur when a small vein bursts. This is often due to sun damage or an increase in pressure on the veins. In most cases, spider veins are harmless and do not cause pain. Some people find that spider veins can cause discomfort, but they are generally not painful.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are similar to spider veins in that they occur due to damaged or poorly functioning veins. Varicose veins are often blue or purple and can appear to bulge out from the skin. Varicose veins do not make a web pattern like spider veins but instead can appear twisted and lumpy. Unlike spider veins, varicose veins are larger and occur in deeper veins within the body.
Varicose veins are often much more noticeable than spider veins. Not only are they often unsightly, they also possess potential of more symptoms. Depending on the severity of the varicose vein they can cause swelling, pain, bleeding, itching and a feeling of heaviness. Varicose veins can also increase the risk of blood clots in some people and are in general more serious than spider veins.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Unlike spider veins varicose veins are not typically caused by a burst in the vein. Instead they are caused by an accumulation of factors that build up over time. Main causes of varicose veins include any activity or circumstance that places excessive pressure on the legs or abdomen over time. Pressure on the legs and abdomen are often a result of standing for long periods of time, obesity and pregnancy.
The excess pressure on the legs and abdomen can cause stress to your veins and make it so that the vein cannot effectively push blood back up towards the heart. This in turn makes blood pool in the vein. The pooling in the vein then adds to the pressure on the veins and can cause bulging and twisting and thus visible varicose veins.
There are a variety of risk factors that can contribute to the likelihood of developing varicose veins. Many people wonder how to prevent varicose veins and varicose veins in the legs. This is all highly dependent on a variety of lifestyle and genetic factors. You may not be able to prevent the occurrence of varicose veins but taking care to avoid excessive time on your feet and maintain a healthy body weight may help to mitigate your unique risk factors.
Risk Factors for Developing Varicose and Spider Veins
Anyone can develop spider veins or varicose veins though there are certain risk factors that will put the changes of a person developing them higher. If you fall into one of the following categories, you may be at risk of developing vein issues.
- History of vein problems – varicose and spider veins can be genetic. If someone in your direct family has either, then you are at a higher risk of developing spider or varicose veins.
- Pregnancy – pregnant women are at risk of developing varicose and spider veins. Additionally, giving birth can cause pressure and strain on veins causing spider veins to develop.
- Sedentary lifestyle – excessive sitting can contribute to the development of varicose and spider veins.
- Excessive standing – being on your feet too often can also lead to vein issues.
- Being Overweight – more weight on the body adds pressure to the veins and can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
- Old age – being older heightens the risk of developing both varicose veins and spider veins.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins
Many of our patients wonder how to prevent varicose veins in legs and during pregnancy. Though your individual risk factors will play a part in varicose vein development there are a few things you can do to both help reduce the likelihood of varicose veins and also help learn how to treat varicose veins during pregnancy. These tips can also be applied to anyone who suffers from varicose veins regularly.
- Wear compression stockings
- Wear loose fitting clothing
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t stand or sit for too long at one time
When Should I Remove Spider or Varicose Veins?
If you are not bothered by your varicose veins or spider veins there may be no medical reason to remove them. Many people wish to remove spider and varicose veins due to their appearance. Depending on the severity of the vein issues they can be unsightly – especially with twisted and bulging varicose veins. If you are experiencing painful symptoms or simply wish to have an improved appearance you can choose to have your veins removed or have their appearance reduced.
How to Remove Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Whether or not you want to remove your visible veins due to esthetics or for physical comfort there are a variety of options available to you. Consider learning about the following procedures and speak with a professional at our clinic to learn about laser vein removal.
- Laser Vein Removal – lasers are used to close off veins. Veins then fade or disappear. This technique is best suited for smaller veins.
- Sclerotherapy – involves foam being injected into the vein to close the vein. After closing the vein, the appearance will fade.
- High Ligation and Vein Stripping – is often an outpatient procedure and involves surgically removing the affected vein.
- Endoscopic vein surgery– another type of surgical vein removal that is often used for more advanced cases of varicose veins.
There are a variety of methods that can be used in order to reduce the appearance of or remove varicose and spider veins. The type of treatment that you choose will be determined by the severity of your veins as well as your desired result.
People choose to reduce their veins for a variety of reasons. Whether your veins are causing you pain or discomfort, or you simply want an improved appearance, there is a treatment path available to you. Consider reaching out to our Body Clinic and let us help you find the ideal procedure for your unique needs. There is help available to have you looking and feeling your best, inside and out.