Spider veins

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are small, damaged veins that commonly occur on the legs, face, and neck. While spider veins are generally not painful and are not of medical concern, their appearance as thin red lines or weblike networks can cause cosmetic concern.

Why do they occur?

Spider veins occur because of weakness in the vein wall, but they can also be caused by larger feeding veins that redirect blood towards the skin. This can lead to non-functional veins that appear underneath the surface of your skin as spider veins. Spider veins are commonly hereditary, meaning that if your parents or grandparents have them, it is likely you will develop them as well.

Spider veins are not painful and are rarely cause for medical concern.

How are they treated?

Treatment for spider veins can be quick, minimally invasive and will not require a trip to the hospital. The treatment is designed to close off the feeder veins, resulting in blood returning to veins with properly working valves. The dead veins will eventually be reabsorbed into the body.

The two most common treatment options for spider veins include surface laser therapy and injection sclerotherapy.

Depending on the type and distribution of your spider veins, as well as your skin type, Doctor Cohen will likely recommend a combination of surface laser therapy alongside injection sclerotherapy. The surface laser will treat the smaller fine veins, while the injection sclerotherapy will treat the larger veins.

What is the treatment process?

Before deciding upon a treatment plan, Doctor Cohen will take some time to understand your personal history, while also looking at how your underlying veins are functioning. This will be done using a special ultrasound called a venous incompetence scan.

Most of these scans will reveal nothing abnormal, however, in some cases they will show a weakness in the underlying venous system (varicose vein) that will need to be resolved prior to treating the spider veins. If this is the case, Doctor Cohen will likely recommend waiting three months post treatment of the larger varicose veins before starting treatment for your spider veins.

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