Spider veins can be unattractive and even uncomfortable. They are also treatable, with a safe and gentle technique known as sclerotherapy. It is a nonsurgical procedure, consisting of one or a series of precision injections, directly into the affected vein. The sclerosing solution acts on the vascular walls, causing them to thicken and seal closed. Over time, the tissue is broken down and dispersed by your body. As this occurs, the visible signs of the vein gradually fade away.
What are spider veins?
The circulatory system is immense and complex, with miles of vessels carrying blood to and from tissue throughout the body. Although we are aware of this, we rarely think about it, and we certainly don’t want to see it. Fortunately, when veins are functioning properly, they are not visible. The larger ones are deep beneath the surface, and the superficial ones are so tiny that they don’t show through the skin.
When a vein malfunctions, it can swell and darken in color, often becoming highly visible. The larger ones, called varicose veins, may bulge above the skin surface. Small vessels, called spider veins, usually appear as red, blue, or purple fine lines, especially around the ankles and knees. They may develop as individual streaks, or clusters in patterns that resemble road maps, spider webs, or tree branches.
Leg veins vs. facial veins
Sclerotherapy is considered the gold standard of treatment for most spider veins and small to moderate varicose veins on the legs. However, many people develop spider veins on their faces, which is a very different situation. Facial skin is sensitive, the veins are usually very superficial, and the cosmetic result is of utmost importance in this area. Although sclerotherapy can be used for facial spider veins, light therapy is usually preferable.
When you visit Washington Dermatology Consultants, you will know that you are in good hands, with an award winning team working together to provide quality, customized care. Call us at 571-431-6175 to schedule an appointment.