What Are Spider Veins and What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Them?

wet spider web

Image credit: Pixabay/JordanHoliday

Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from spider veins? Spider veins are those small, thin veins that are just beneath the skin’s surface. If you have them, you know it – and you probably spend much of your time trying to hide them. Or, you’ve endured painful injections to try to get rid of them.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins are most common in the legs due to pressure and the force of gravity, but they can also appear most anywhere, even the face. There are three basic spatters in which spider veins develop. They may appear as thin separate lines, they may look like a spider with a definite central point and legs running from it, or they may resemble tiny tree branch-like shapes. They are generally red or blue. But no matter the shape or color, they are not pretty and women particularly are embarrassed by them.

A number of factors contribute to the development of spider veins including pregnancy, heredity, weight gain, having an occupation that requires prolonged standing or sitting, events that cause hormonal shifts, injuries, sun exposure and even certain medications. About 50 to 55% of American women and 40 to 45% of American men suffer from some form of vein problem. That is millions of people in the United States alone!

There is good news for those suffering from (and hiding) spider veins. Spider vein laser treatment options are available. Unlike other forms of spider vein removal which involve injections, lasers make for a more comfortable and effective treatment.

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Spider vein laser treatment

Lasers deliver a type of concentrated light in a specific wavelength of the spectrum. For spider veins, as the laser moves over skin following the length of the vein, it will pulse. Each pulse will send a beam of light through the skin which heats up the blood that is within the spider vein. The heated blood directly impacts the vessel lining. It causes it to narrow and eventually fade from view as it dissolves. It’s that simple. Treatments generally last around 20 minutes. It can take 2 to 5 treatments to remove spider veins in the legs.

Laser treatments are comfortable and safe for the skin. Since the laser delivers its energy in one smooth pulse, the skin is protected because there is no sharp rise in temperature. In addition, lasers generally have a cooling system that runs through the handpiece and down to the tip. Since the handpiece is in contact with the skin, your skin is continually cooled.

During treatment, the blood in the vein is coagulated and the vessel collapses. Basically, it seals the vessel shut. Then, the debris cleaning cells in the body will come along, digest the vessel and carry it away. Veins that are treated should not come back.

Spider vein laser treatment procedures are nearly painless and can be used on most problem areas. It can be used on small veins in the legs, abdomen, ankles, and basically all different places in the body. Most people start with the veins that bother them the most and go from there over a series of treatments. After a treatment, the blood vessels may appear darker but they will disappear within the first couple of weeks.

Laser vein treatment is gaining in popularity as word is quickly spreading about its effectiveness and its ‘no needle’ treatment of spider veins. If you are one of the millions who suffer from the web-looking veins, search your area for a laser treatment provider. Many providers even offer payment plans.

How to prevent spider veins

Once you have rid your skin of the unsightly veins, do your part to keep new ones from developing. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin, exercise regularly to keep your circulation strong, watch your weight, avoid crossing your legs when you sit, elevate your legs when you do have to sit for long periods of time, avoid standing for long periods of time, if you do have to stand for long periods of time, shift your weight around or try to walk a bit, wear support stockings, avoid high heels and eat a high-fiber, low-salt diet.

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