Unsightly Leg Veins? There Are Effective Treatment Options

Visible leg veins not only make people self-conscious about their appearance but may also put their health at risk. Understanding spider vein causes and treatments helps put you on the right track to a better appearance and possibly better health.

What Causes Spider Veins?

Visible leg veins, like varicose and spider veins, are simply veins that are damaged. People get them when the small, one-way valves in the legs weaken over time.

Healthy veins push blood in only one direction—back to the heart. In weakened veins, the blood flows backward and stays in the vein. This extra blood puts stress on the vein walls, causing them to bulge and making them larger and more visible.

Who's At Risk For Spider Veins?

Heredity and lifestyle put people at a higher risk of developing spider veins. If you have a blood relative suffering from this condition, you are at a higher risk.

An inactive lifestyle also increases a person's risk of developing weak veins. If you have a job that requires sitting at a desk for long periods or just do not get enough exercise, you're more likely to develop visible veins.

Sunlight, hormones, and injuries also increase the risk of spider veins.

Visible veins put you at risk for other health complications. Those suffering from weak veins are more likely to develop blood clots and/or open sores on the legs.

What Are The Treatment Options For Varicose And Spider Veins?

Treatment options range from self-care at home to options offered by dermatologists. You can treat them at home with these tips. 

  • Elevate the legs when sitting
  • Exercise daily
  • Get up from your desk and walk every 30 minutes
  • Take breaks from standing every 30 minutes 

While these tips help you avoid varicose veins, you'll need spider vein treatment to get rid of existing visible veins. 

  • Sclerotherapy is an injection that treats spider veins with little or no downtime. You'll need to wear compression socks after therapy. 
  • Laser treatments direct laser light at the vein. Spider veins may disappear immediately, but larger varicose veins take longer to disappear and may need more treatments. 
  • Endovenous laser therapy is a bit more invasive. Dermatologists give patients anesthesia and make an incision to insert a catheter that destroys the vein from the inside out. 

To decide what type of spider vein treatment is right for you, talk to a dermatologist. They can explain the different procedures and recommend the best treatment options based on your personal health history.