There are numerous men and women who live with legs spider veins. Alternatively called telangiectasias or thread veins, spider veins are barely dangerous. Most of those who get rid of them do so because of feeling unattractive. So they solely remove them to improve the appearance of their skin. A few others seek spider vein treatment because of experiencing pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. As thread veins tend to affect a big area at once, they can greatly alter the appearance of your skin. Besides, if they don’t disappear on their own, chances are that they are developing due to poor blood circulation in your leg veins. So it is advisable to have your telangiectasias examined by a qualified vein doctor in your area.
Are spider veins varicose veins?
Spider veins are a type of varicose veins but they are smaller and less dangerous. Varicose veins (varicosities or varices) are swollen leg veins with a twisted, rope-like shape. Most of the times they have a blue color, but it is possible to have purple varicose veins or some that appear like your skin complexion. When they are starting out, varices can be calm and painless. As they continue to grow, however, they can bring about horrible symptoms. Enlarged and raised above the skin surface, varicose veins are more detectable than spider veins. They are mostly seen on the back of thighs, calves and inside of the leg. Even if self-help varicose and spider vein treatment options are sought earlier, they might not completely remove enlarged, swollen veins.
Spider veins are smaller capillary-like veins with red or blue color. They are too close to the skin surface and attack an extensive area at once. While most victims have them on legs, there are a few who have them on their faces. Thread veins can get so severe and if this occurs, they can hurt and cause itching, heaviness in legs and leg cramps at night. Moreover, they can develop after one suffers a serious leg injury or due to sun exposure or hormonal issues. Still, these abnormal veins can be caused by poor blood flow in your veins, just like varicose veins, and in such a case you should see a good vein doctor.
What symptoms shows you need to meet a NYC vein doctor?
There are specific thread veins symptoms that you cannot ignore. These include the following:
- Night leg cramps and pain
- A restless leg syndrome that is accompanied by cramps and disturbs your sleep.
- Heaviness in legs
- Itching that gets severe when it is hot.
- Fatigue in legs that gets better when legs are slightly raised above the heart level
- Capillary-sized veins that create the shape of a spider’s web or a tree twig. They can be a combination of blue, red and purple veins.
If you are also developing varicose veins and needs a good spider vein treatment right away, there will be more severe symptoms. Even before you notice those huge, swollen and twisted veins when standing up or sitting down with your legs dangling, there will be other tell-tale signs that you are in the process of developing varicosities. These are:
- Pain that gets worse when you have been sitting down or standing up for several hours.
- Throbbing or cramping pain
- Swollenness around the ankles area after a long, tiring day.
- Itchy skin rash might develop.
- Heaviness and fatigue in legs might worsen
- Restlessness in legs might worsen.
Sooner than later, you will notice that big, swollen veins are visible beneath your skin and that’s a sign that you really need to call a vein doctor near you.
Which problem is riskier to have? Is it spider veins or varicose veins?
Generally, spider veins are not taken seriously as they are seen as a manageable health condition. They are indeed thought to be a cosmetic concern that one can ignore for as long as it doesn’t cause intolerable discomfort. However, this is a misconception as thread veins can be had because of a serious and progressive health problem—venous reflux disease.
If this disease is the cause, the veins will only get worse and without proper spider vein treatment being sought varicose veins can also emerge. It is extremely important to know that even thread veins can make your day-to-day life difficult and eventually lead to the development of varicose veins and their terrible symptoms. Thus, it is necessary to see a vein doctor as soon as you notice that your thread veins are causing discomfort. The vascular expert might just recommend wearing medical-grade compression pantyhose, raising your legs, taking regular breaks at work and exercising to lose excess weight and improve blood circulation.
Obviously, having varicose veins is a riskier situation than having spider veins. The problem with varicosities is bigger and more serious. The appearance of these abnormal leg veins is almost always related to the venous reflux disease (venous insufficiency). It keeps on worsening and overtime it becomes chronic and triggers more severe symptoms that are difficult to treat. If you receive your spider vein treatment now, your vein specialist can examine your chances of developing varicose veins later on.
The most dangerous and stubborn symptom of late stage venous insufficiency is venous ulcers. These are open wounds or sores that attack the area right above your ankles and below your calves and on the inside of your leg. The ulcer is painful and can make your ankles swell and your skin texture and color to change. Additionally, leg sores can make your legs feel heavier and can sometimes ooze green smelly pus. Seeing a spider vein treatment doctor early might keep you from developing a chronic venous insufficiency symptom like a leg ulcer.
Apart from a venous leg ulcer, untreated varicosities can lead to vein bleeding, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), thrombophlebitis and venous eczema among other things. DVT can be life-threatening if the blood clot (thrombus) is freed and reaches your lung. It can cause pulmonary embolism, which is dangerous. Having superficial thrombophlebitis means having clots in veins that are nearest to the skin surface. These clots might cause skin redness, firmness, warmth, pain and swelling in the vein. They are not dangerous.
To avoid all the above-mentioned terrible symptoms of varicose veins that are left untreated, it is important to meet your vein doctor early enough. If you do so, the vascular expert will carry out a diagnosis and know how serious your condition really is the right spider vein treatment to recommend.
Who is at risk of having thread veins?
According to research, some people will develop a vein problem because they have a gene that makes them more susceptible. It means that there are several people in their family lineage that have had vascular problems like spider veins or varicose veins. Besides being genetically prone, females tend to be more vulnerable to vascular issues because of their reproductive hormones. So it is not surprising to notice your first spider veins or varices when you get pregnant.
These are caused by increased blood flow in your pelvic and leg areas and the good news is that vulvar varicose veins or those that form in your buttocks or legs will go away a few months after giving birth. After future pregnancies, however, the abnormal veins might have to be removed by a vein doctor. Ladies who use hormone-based contraceptives might also be more prone to vascular issues, as well as older menopausal ladies and those using hormone replacement therapy.
Do you strain a lot at work such that you have to sit down or stand up for several hours? People like teachers and nurses have to stand up most of the times and this is not only tiring but harmful to the veins. It leads to poor blood circulation that will eventually cause blood pooling in veins around your ankles. Then the swelling, pain, heaviness in legs and other symptoms will begin. If you notice these, get your spider vein treatment right away to prevent severe signs later on. People who are overweight have a bigger risk of having vascular problems as excess weight can strain their leg veins and trigger blood circulation issues.
What really happens inside your veins?
Naturally, veins are made to return deoxygenated blood to the heart and lungs. They have one-way flaps inside called valves. When these open, the blood enters and when they close they stop it from flowing backward. If these valves are damaged or weakened by an injury or the normal aging process, they may stop closing fully and allow some blood to leak. As this blood pools in veins, the pressure will buildup and cause the walls to swell. That’s when abnormal leg veins will become visible and it’s at this point that you must see a vein doctor and receive their first spider vein treatment. If you notice that your spider veins are more concentrated on your ankle area, chances are that you have a blood circulation problem and a venous reflux disease.
Do you have leg cramps at night?
If that’s true, you might be a having spider veins. Like most people, you might be tempted to think that fatigue or dehydration might be the reasons why you are having leg cramps at night. However, regular night cramps are a sign that you have a vascular problem that might require the attention of a vein doctor. Have your legs checked therefore because if thread veins or varicose veins are found early, they can be treated before they could worsen. At the same time, get medical-grade pantyhose that could compress your legs so as to boost blood circulation.
First examination with a NYC vein doctor
Once you decide to have your telangiectasias examined by a vein doctor, he or she will want to know about your symptoms and medical history. He might ask whether there are people in your family that have thread veins or varicosities as well as other risk factors. The most imperative test that will be carried out is the Doppler ultrasound one. It is done with a device that checks the current status of blood flow in your veins and if there is a problem, computer images will show it. Then the right spider vein treatment will be suggested.
Cure for spider veins
Compared to varicosities, thread veins are easier to treat. Sometimes they will disappear on their own through regular walking exercises and wearing compression stockings. The stockings are extremely useful as far as making sure the blood is moving in the right direction, which is toward your heart. If the vein doctor discovers that you have damaged valves in veins, he or she will automatically rule out compressing stockings as the only cure. So they would suggest either sclerotherapy or endovenous laser ablation (EVLA).
During sclerotherapy, the vein doctor will inject your legs with a liquid or foam sclerosant that will damage your vein for good. The walls will collapse and close and the scar tissue will then disappear permanently a few weeks later. The blood that used to flow through the treated veins will then re-route to other healthier veins. Local anesthesia injections are not necessary during sclerotherapy as the pain is too little to bother you. As the procedure is done in the doctor’s office, it ends quickly and the patient can go home.
Foam sclerotherapy will be suggested if you already have the larger varicose veins and more than two sessions might be needed to completely remove them. EVLA can also be suggested as the best spider vein treatment and it is not invasive. A device that generates strong rays of light will be placed on top of the skin that is affected by spider veins. The light will then produce heat that will destroy these unhealthy veins for good. As there can be skin burns, the vein doctor must give you a local anesthetic shot to numb the area.
EVLA has fewer side effects than sclerotherapy, but it is only effective spider vein treatment if used to treat smaller to medium-sized varicose veins that are less than 3mm big. Only mild bruising and skin discoloration can be expected and these can go away in a matter of days or weeks.