Spider Veins

What are They?

Spider veins are tiny, thin veins that can be seen very close to the skin’s surface. They look like red, blue or green spider webs just beneath the skin. Sometimes they are also described as looking like marble. Spider veins are caused by a backup of blood. These become non-functional “dead end” veins.

Spider veins are very small varicose veins. Although they don’t usually cause discomfort, the deeper veins that often accompany them can. Many vein disease sufferers have a combination of both varicose and spider veins. While they may seek treatment for cosmetic improvement, many of our patients are looking for relief from pain.

What Causes Vein Disease?

There are many myths around vein disease. For instance although pregnancy can aggravate vein disease, it doesn’t actually cause it. If you have varicose or spider veins it is likely that someone else in your family has them as well. More than 80 percent of the time it is genetic. This means they aren’t caused by long periods of standing or crossing your legs when you sit down. Even so, long periods of standing, as well as obesity, can make it worse.

Spider Vein Treatment

For spider veins and other small veins closer to the skin’s surface, ultrasound guidance is usually not necessary. In these cases, our physicians and nurses can effectively treat these veins with sclerotherapy. A typical treatment session may last for 15 to 20 minutes and will consist of microinjections.

Once the vein is closed, the blood that was circulating through the abnormal vein is naturally rerouted to other healthy veins. Over time, the treated vein is absorbed by the body.

Varicose and spider veins can be uncomfortable and may only get worse if left untreated.