Veins carry blood back to the heart from other parts of the body. They use a series of one-way valves to ensure that the blood flows in one direction only. Sometimes the valves become defective and allow blood to pool or backflow thus creating spider veins and varicose veins. Spider veins are small thin red, blue, or purplish blood vessels seen just under the skin found on the legs and face. While spider veins can be a symptom of poor circulation and can turn into varicose veins, they are usually harmless. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are stretched-out veins where blood has pooled. They often look thick and twisted in a bluish color, and bulge above the surface of the skin.
Although spider veins and varicose veins are not the same, they do have many similarities. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for both types of veins to be seen on the same leg. Sometimes varicose veins cause individuals some problems such as swelling, aching, burning, itching, heaviness, tingling or throbbing in the legs, but not always. Spider veins on the other hand, often cause no symptoms at all. The commonality is that most people agree that both spider veins and varicose veins are unsightly.
Compression stockings and regular exercise may help relieve some of the symptoms of spider and varicose veins, but this rather conservative do-it-yourself approach may not produce the desired results. When this happens, specialized medical procedures may be more effective. Sclerotherapy, a proven procedure in use since the 1930s, is an effective medical procedure that can eliminate the majority of spider veins and some varicose veins. Sclerotherapy requires no anesthesia and can be performed in your physician’s office. The doctor will inject a liquid salt solution into the affected vein, which causes the vein to collapse and fade away over time. Spider veins typically begin to fade within a few weeks, but it may take considerably longer for varicose veins to respond. It is not unusual for multiple treatment sessions to be required.
Don’t put up with unsightly legs due to spider or varicose veins. Whether your reasons for seeking treatment are cosmetic or medical, most experts agree that sclerotherapy is better than ever. The effectiveness of the procedure is high and the side effects are minimal. Call us at Parkway Plastic Surgery for more details.