When you hear spider veins, what comes to your mind? Is it Spiderman? It is so amazing that in medicine some conditions are named after the person who discovered it or the characteristics of the condition. Either is acceptable. Here we will talk about spider vein causes, ways to treat it, and how to prevent it.
Spider veins are the smaller version of varicose veins. Spider veins can cause discomfort to anyone who has it and it can be caused by several factors like pregnancy, standing for too long. Women tend to have a spider vein more than men.
Spider Veins Causes
Spider veins are very common. Spider veins get their name from their appearance and formation. They have dilated blood vessels which you might sometimes mistake for varicose veins. It is smaller than the varicose vein. Spider veins are more seen on your leg, but they can be seen in almost every part of the body. Spider veins do not cause medical conditions but can be gotten rid of for medical reasons or cosmetic reasons.
Spider veins occur as a result of excess pressure in your veins. The main reason why some people have spider veins and some do not have is unknown. Medical practitioners believe that heredity can be a cause of having spider veins. If your work requires long hours of standing like nurses, and teachers tend to be at high risk for spider veins. Spider veins are sometimes caused because by the backflow of blood due to unhealthy valves in the veins.
If anyone in your family has or had spider vein you are at high risk for having it also. Women have higher chances of having spider veins than men. Spider veins can get worse at old age but it does not give you severe pain. Spider veins are blue or red. They look like cords running beneath your skin. spider veins can be seen at the back of your calf, inside your legs, your vagina, your anus, your groin, and your ankle.
The major cause of spider veins is a circulatory problem. Weaken vein can also be a cause. The following are some of the causes of spider vein:
- Hormonal changes
- Birth control pills
- Leg injury
- Prolonged standing
- History of blood clots
- Tight garments
Treatments for spider veins
1. Support stockings
Wearing a properly-fitted support hose will help reduce spider vein. The vein can cause pain but you still need to put on the support stockings. Support stockings can be gotten from any pharmacy store or medical supply store. Support stockings also come in different styles; above the knee and below the knee.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure that has been in existence since the 1930s and it is one of the go-to options of treatment for spider veins. During this procedure, highly concentrated salt also known as the saline solution will be injected directly into your vein. The injection of the saline solution will make the vein disappear in like 3 to 6 weeks. Sclerotherapy is a simple procedure and it is not expensive.
3. Endovenous laser treatment
In this procedure, a small laser fiber will be inserted into your vein. The insertion of the laser fiber will deliver pulses of laser light to your vein. The pulses of laser fiber will cause your vein to collapse. Endovenous laser treatment can be done as an outpatient and with the use of local anesthesia.
4. Radiofrequency occlusion
In this procedure, a catheter will be inserted into your vein and this catheter will deliver radiofrequency energy to the wall of your vein which will make it collapse. Radiofrequency occlusion can be done as an outpatient with the use of local anesthesia.
The type of surgery that is used in treating spider vein is called ligation which is tying off of the vein or stripping which entails the removal of a segment of your vein. Ambulatory phlebectomy is another procedure that allows the removal of large vein surfaces through a small incision. This surgery can be performed with local, spinal, or general anesthesia. You can return home the same day after the surgery.
6. Lifestyle changes
If you are the type who stands a lot because of the kind of work you do, you might need to be taking a resting break in between work as much as you can. Even if you cannot sit, just move around to ease the pressure on your vein.
Tips on how to prevent spider veins
Prevention is better than cure. Here are some ways on how you can prevent having spider veins:
1. Relieve some pressure. Excess pressure on your veins is the primary cause of spider veins. To prevent spider vein you may need to relieve pressure on your vein by not standing for too long, avoid sitting for too long, and reduce your weight. It is recommended to take a 30 minutes’ walk after sitting for a very long period. Also while sitting do not cross your legs.
2. Prop up your feet. Raising your legs while sitting down is another way to prevent spider veins. Your legs should be elevated more than your heart. Ensure your leg above your heart level.
3. Treat varicose veins. Varicose is bigger than spider veins. It is important that when you have a varicose vein, get it treated to prevent excess pressure on your vein that can lead to spider vein.
4. Use sunscreen. Too much exposure to sunlight can cause spider veins, so it is important to always use sunscreen especially if you have light skin. Spider veins on light skin can appear on the nose or cheeks.
5. Keep the blood flowing. It is important to ensure blood circulation at all times. Exercise will go a long way in promoting blood circulation. Simple exercises like walking or running will help proper leg circulation.
Spider veins are a major circulation problem. Spider veins do not come with a major symptom, but sometimes you can feel heaviness in your legs or swelling in your legs. It is better to prevent spider veins from treating it.