About 50% of adults have varicose veins and spider veins. Some people assume that varicose and spider veins only cause cosmetic issues. In reality, spider veins can cause painful symptoms. They can even suggest that you have an underlying issue that needs medical attention from a vein doctor. Read more to learn about what causes spider veins, how to find out if they are related to an underlying illness, how to get rid of spider veins, and whether or not insurance will help cover your treatment.
What Are Spider Veins (AKA Telangiectasias)?
Spider veins, which are also known as telangiectasias, are small, dilated veins that appear near the skin’s surface. They’re usually red, purple, blue, or a combination of those colors. Most often, spider veins are located on the legs.
Some people confuse varicose veins with spider veins. Although they are very similar, varicose veins are usually larger than spider veins. Varicose veins can also push against the skin’s surface.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins are caused by weak or damaged valves within your veins. When your heart pumps blood it pushes it first through the arteries, which carry blood out to the limbs. After the oxygen is removed from the blood, it returns to the heart through your veins. The veins in your legs have one-way doors called valves that only let blood move in a single direction. After the blood passes through a valve, the valve closes, preventing the blood from falling back down to the feet with gravity.
If the valves become weak, then the blood can move backward, where it collects in the veins. Doctors call this “chronic venous insufficiency.”
While chronic venous insufficiency is the underlying cause of some varicose veins, vein experts know that several factors can contribute to spider vein development. Some of the most common causes include:
- Genetics that predispose you to the condition.
- Having a history of blood clots.
- Working a job that requires you to stand for long hours.
- Taking birth control pills.
- Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
- Taking hormone replacements during menopause.
- Having a health condition, such as constipation or tumors, that put pressure on your abdomen.
Obviously, you can only control some of these causes. If you want to avoid varicose veins and spider veins, though, you can make some lifestyle decisions that will lower your susceptibility.
Why Are Spider Veins a Problem?
Some people want to get rid of spider veins because they don’t like how they look. If spider veins make you feel self-conscious, then you may avoid activities that involve exposing your legs. That could mean that you don’t join friends and relatives when they go to the beach or visit a swimming pool. It could also harm your self-esteem and cause you to become less outgoing and adventurous.
You may also want to get rid of spider veins because of physical symptoms that you find problematic. For instance, spider veins can cause an aching feeling in your legs. If you have spider veins, you may experience muscle cramps, burning sensations, and throbbing in your lower legs. Other symptoms include:
- Bleeding from the veins.
- Skin inflammation.
- Skin ulcers.
- Pain, especially after standing or sitting for a prolonged amount of time.
Some symptoms, including hardening of the vein and inflammation, can indicate that you have a vascular disease that puts your health at risks and requires medical attention from an experienced vein doctor.
What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Spider Veins?
The best way to get rid of spider veins depends on whether you have chronic venous insufficiency. If you don’t have chronic venous insufficiency, then you should visit a vein doctor in New York or New Jersey for a cosmetic or sclerotherapy treatment.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a small amount of salt solution into your spider veins. The salt solution damages the lining of your vessel. As a result, a clot is created that blocks circulation and redirects the blood elsewhere.
Sclerotherapy usually takes about 10 to 30 minutes for a vein doctor to perform. During this time, you will have your leg elevated so the blood will run out and create room for the salt solution. You’ll want to wear compression stockings for several weeks after the treatment to stabilize the pressure in your legs.
If you have chronic venous insufficiency, then you can use sclerotherapy in combination with endogenous ablation to treat the condition. Without endogenous ablation, there is a good chance that the spider veins will return.
In this case, you will need your New York or New Jersey vein doctor to treat the underlying refluxing veins. You may need to undergo a procedure called endovenous laser ablation to get rid of spider veins. Endovenous laser ablation uses laser technology to close the vein permanently.
During the procedure, which usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, your vein doctor will use a local anesthetic to prevent any pain.. The treatment has a 97% success rate, so it’s a great option to get rid of spider veins when chronic venous insufficiency is present.
Most insurance companies will pay for treatments only if you have valvular reflux in addition to spider vein symptoms. Without valvular reflux, insurance companies typically consider the treatments cosmetic, so they won’t cover the cost.
Who Should Treat Spider Veins?
It’s important that you choose a board-certified, dedicated vein doctor to get rid of spider veins. These doctors have undergone specialized training that helps them identify the underlying cause of spider veins and other vein issues. They also have a lot of experience performing procedures that treat spider veins effectively.
You can find certified vein doctors at all of Vein Treatment Center’s locations, including the ones in New York and New Jersey. If you have any questions about spider veins, endovenous laser ablation, or other procedures that eliminate spider veins, you can contact the Vein Treatment Center online or by calling 1-877-289-0603.
Remember that removing spider veins isn’t just about vanity. You could have an underlying health problem that requires attention from a specialist.