Standing or sitting for long periods of time, smoking, high blood pressure, and genetics all contribute to the development of circulation issues like spider veins, varicose veins, and venous insufficiency. However, it can be confusing to figure out the difference between the conditions and which spider vein treatment may be the most appropriate. While a consultation with your doctor is the best way to figure out a spider vein treatment plan, it can be helpful to understand the causes of these issues as well as the possible treatments.
Spider veins are thin, thread-like veins visible on the surface of the skin. They may be red, blue, or purple in colour, and are most common on the face and legs. Spider veins occur when tiny veins, or capillaries, are damaged, which disrupts circulation and traps blood in the vein. Many factors can lead to spider veins, including pregnancy, genetics, sun damage, and standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time. Spider veins do not usually cause discomfort or lead to health issues. However, patients may wish to treat them for cosmetic purposes.
Spider veins can be treated using lasers or visual sclerotherapy, depending on the patient’s needs. Laser treatments cause a thermal reaction, which causes the tiny veins to collapse. The body then absorbs the collapsed blood vessels over the next few weeks. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a sclerosant fluid, which irritates and then collapses the vein in a way similar to laser treatment. After either treatment, the patient can return to most of their regular activities in a few days, and will see the final results in about six weeks.
Varicose veins typically occur on the legs, appear bulging and blue or purple in color, and may cause discomfort or even pain. This condition is also caused by damaged valves in the legs veins, which causes blood to pool and stretch the vein walls. Varicose veins are caused by the same factors as spider veins.
There are many treatment options available if you are suffering from varicose veins. For varicose veins that are visible on the surface of the skin, treatments include radiofrequency (RF) ablation and phlebectomy. Varicose veins that are deeper in the leg can be treated using ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy.
Dr. Kamran Afzal is considered to be a regional expert in vein disease, and takes the time to ensure that every patient gets the very best care possible. The team at Afzal Clinics will be there for the entire process, from consultation to aftercare, and will also help you navigate the complicated insurance maze.