What are Spider Veins?
September 03, 2018
Advice From Our Board Certified Doctors
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins, technically known as telangiectasias, are unhealthy veins that often form as a result of vein disease deeper within the leg. A condition called venous insufficiency causes elevated pressure in veins slightly deeper within the leg, and this high pressure (known as venous hypertension) leads to the development of spider veins. When spider veins first appear, they look like a tiny net or web of red, blue, or purple vessels just under the surface of your skin. Many patients assume they are simply a cosmetic issue. However, spider veins may signal an underlying problem that is far more serious. Evaluation by a specialized vein doctor will ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and the most advanced treatment options available.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Healthy veins are generally invisible beneath your skin unless you are very fair-skinned. You can see spider veins because they have become engorged with blood. When it comes to what are spider veins’ most common causes, the answer is that this phenomenon is most often caused by damaged or diseased valves within your blood vessels.
Your veins are responsible for ensuring that once your blood delivers oxygen to your organs and muscles, it returns to the heart. Your heart then pumps blood to the lungs, where it gets a fresh supply of oxygen. The veins in the lower part of your body have to work especially hard to accomplish this task, because they are fighting against gravity to move blood up to your heart. They can defy gravity by relying on a series of one-way valves that open to let blood flow through, then close to prevent blood from trickling back down. When the valves are not functioning properly, blood leaks backward where it tends to pool in your lower extremities.
The extra blood in your veins puts a lot of pressure on the vessel walls, as well as other valves further down the vein. This pressure can quickly damage your ability to circulate blood properly, and as it collects you will start to experience a variety of symptoms that include spider veins. This condition is called venous insufficiency.
What Are Other Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency?
The best time to see a vein doctor New York or vein doctor New Jersey is when you first notice spider veins. If there is an underlying condition like venous insufficiency, you can be accurately diagnosed and treated before you begin to experience more serious issues.
One of the most common symptoms to accompany spider veins is varicose veins. These are veins have also become engorged with blood, but their appearance is markedly different. Instead of a colorful web, you will see thick, twisted, knotted veins that swell against your skin. Though they aren’t always painful when they initially develop, many patients have eventually notice a number of uncomfortable effects.
As venous insufficiency progresses, you may experience cramping in your legs. This often occurs at night, which can disrupt your sleep schedule. Swelling in the legs and ankles and a feeling of heaviness is also quite common, and your legs can start to feel week. Skin tends to become itchy and tight over the area, and you might notice thickening and discoloration. Some patients have restless leg syndrome, and in severe situations, blood clots or leg ulcers can develop.
What Are Risk Factors for Spider Veins?
The answer to what are risk factors for spider veins includes a combination of genetic tendencies and lifestyle choices. Research shows that more than 50 percent of Americans experience spider veins, varicose veins, or both at some point, and the issue can affect both men and women. Men typically develop spider veins and varicose veins as they grow older, because valves tend to wear down over time. Often, symptoms of vein disease appear after the age of 50.
Women also notice more spider veins and varicose veins as they grow older, but there are other factors that can put women at higher risk. For example, pregnancy and menopause put pressure on women’s bodies, which can lead to spider veins and varicose veins.
A family history of vein disease puts you in a higher risk category, and you might have a greater inclination towards spider veins and varicose veins if you have had cancer, blood clots, or trauma in your legs. In terms of lifestyle factors, individuals who are obese, those who are excessively sedentary, and people who smoke are at greater risk of spider veins.
What Should I Do If I Have Spider Veins?
If you have spider veins, schedule a consultation with a specialized vein doctor NY or vein doctor NJ. These physicians have the expertise necessary to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis and a customized treatment plan that considers your individual needs.
During your consultation, your vein specialist will collect a complete family medical history and your personal medical history, then review all of the symptoms you have experienced in addition to the spider veins. This ensures you receive the correct diagnosis. You can expect a thorough explanation of your condition, as well as a collaborative discussion about your treatment options.
With today’s advanced treatment methods, you no longer need to see a vein surgeon. Procedures can be performed in your doctor’s office in as few as 15 – 30 minutes. Best of all, you can return to your regular activities right away. The Vein Treatment Clinic will match you with a board-certified vein specialist who has extensive experience in this area of medicine. You can schedule an appointment online at Vein Treatment Center
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Scheduling a consultation with one of our vein treatment experts is one of the best ways to determine the proper resolution for your varicose veins. The treatments can include sclerotherapy, laser or radiofrequency ablation, a medication called Varithena, or procedures such as Venaseal, or Clarivein.
Dr. Michael Nguyen
VENOUS SPECIALIST | Harvard Medical School
Dr. Michael Nguyen is a world renowned and Harvard trained vein specialist in Manhattan. He leads the team of vein doctors offering the highest level of care at the Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment Center in New York & New Jersey.
As a pioneer in the treatment of varicose veins problems, Dr. Nguyen is considered a top vein expert for developing minimally invasive and customized treatment plans for the many symptoms of venous insufficiency, including leg cramps, skin discoloration on legs, spider vein removal, and restless leg syndrome.
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