Picture this: it is the late spring and the summer mood is already beckoning. You are trying out your summer dresses and shorts when you notice the unsightly swollen bulges on your legs or small reddish spots that resemble spider webs. This is a common condition that affects both men and women alike.
So, what are varicose veins and spider veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, convoluted blood vessels that typically develop in the legs and are usually visible through the skin while spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, is a condition characterized by small blood vessels (venules) forming threadlike patters on the surface of the skin. These patters which form progressively in clusters are known as spider veins because of their weblike look. Unlike varicose veins which appear on the legs and are easily concealable with clothing, spider veins appear on the legs as well as the face and fingers.
The conditions do not actually have specific symptoms for most people except for the less than flattering cosmetic look. However, aching, cramping, itching and swelling are common features especially for people with varicose veins.
How to treat and remove varicose veins and spider veins
The good news is that both varicose veins and spider veins can be easily treated and managed, most of the time even without the need for hospitalization. The treatment is more often than not an outpatient procedure with a pretty short recovery time.
The most common treatment for spider veins involves injecting a solution to each affected vein which results in its eventual collapse and consequently, fade. This procedure is known as scierotherapy.
Laser surgery is also a common preference when it comes to the treatment of spider veins which works by using high intensity beams of light to collapse the veins. The procedure usually takes around fifteen to twenty minutes and the recovery time is generally short. However, this procedure is not recommended for spider veins larger than three millimeters in length.
For smaller varicose veins, scierotherapy and laser surgery may be used but for more serious conditions, a number of other treatment options are preferred such as:
While at home, varicose veins can be managed by using compression dressing and leg elevation while sleeping. Light exercises such as taking brisk walks are also encouraged especially because they improve blood circulation.
In conclusion, varicose and spider veins are both conditions that can be easily treated and managed. It is however important to note that with the many adverts out there calling for ‘safe and painless’ methods to treat these conditions, patients are finding it more difficult to decide on which treatment options to take. This being said, click here to consult a healthcare professional before deciding on the way forward with your treatment.