Spider Veins: Harmless…But Unattractive
Millions of people are bothered by spider veins – small yet
unsightly clusters of red, blue or purple veins that generally
appear on the thighs, calves and ankles. In fact, it’s estimated
that about half of the adult female population is plagued
with this common cosmetic problem.
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but much smaller
and closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins.
They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their
short jagged lines.
Spider veins can cover a small or large area of skin, but
unlike varicose veins generally do not protruding from the
skin. Even though spider veins individually are very small, the
tendency to occur in clusters makes them very visible and unsightly.
While the exact cause of spider veins is not certain, pregnancy, obesity, hormonal changes, inherited factors, and exposure to the sun are believed to contribute to their formation.
While spider veins may be helped by elastic support hose, this alone will neither eliminate existing spider veins nor prevent new ones from forming. The good news is that most spider veins can be successfully treated with good cosmetic results. While new spider veins may continue to form after successful treatment, these may also be eliminated by additional “touch up” treatments.
Sclerotherapy – The “Gold Standard” of Spider Vein Treatment
In this rather simple procedure, veins are injected with a sclerosing solution, which causes them to collapse and fade from view. Although this procedure has been used in Europe for more than 50 years, it has only more recently become popular in the United States. The introduction of sclerosing agents that are mild enough to be used in small veins has made sclerotherapy predictable and relatively painless. Extensive spider veins may require multiple treatments to achieve desirable results.
As illustrated by the before and after photos below, the results of sclerotherapy are often dramatic:
The vein surgeons of Albany Surgical, PC have performed hundreds of successful sclerotherapy procedures on patients from throughout south Georgia.