Vein Tx
Spider Veins
What are Spider veins?

Spider veins (also called telangiectasias) are clusters of tiny blood vessels that develop close to the surface of the skin. They are often red, blue, or purple; and they have the appearance of a spiderweb. They are commonly found on the face and legs.

Red Flags?

Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems. Treatment may involve self-care measures or procedures by your doctor to close or remove veins.

Why does it happen?

Spider veins and varicose veins are caused by structural abnormalities of blood vessels. Veins carry blood back to the heart from other parts of the body. They utilize a series of one-way valves to avoid backflow of blood. For a variety of reasons, these valves can become defective, allowing the backflow of blood within veins. The subsequent pooling of blood and pressure increase within the vein, and weakens the blood vessel wall. Spider veins and varicose veins then develop from the engorgement and dilation of the affected blood vessels.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins may not cause any pain. Signs you may have with varicose veins include:

  • Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
  • Veins that appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs
  • An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
  • Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
  • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Itching around one or more of your veins
  • Bleeding from varicose veins
  • A painful cord in the vein with red discoloration of the skin
  • Color changes, hardening of the vein, inflammation of the skin or skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease that requires medical attention
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    Preventing Spider Veins

    Although spider veins and varicose veins may not always be entirely preventable, there are various measures you can take to reduce your chances of developing them. Prevention tips include:

  • exercising regularly
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • avoid prolonged sitting or standing
  • avoid crossing your legs while seated
  • elevate your legs when resting
  • avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing around your waist, groin and legs.
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    To diagnose varicose veins, your doctor will do a physical exam, including looking at your legs while you're standing to check for swelling. Your doctor may also ask you to describe any pain and aching in your legs. You also may need an ultrasound test to see if the valves in your veins are functioning normally or if there's any evidence of a blood clot. In this noninvasive test, a technician runs a small hand-held device (transducer), about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area of your body being examined. The transducer transmits images of the veins in your legs to a monitor, so a technician and your doctor can see them.