Spider veins are tiny, visible veins that are located just underneath the surface of your skin. They're typically either red or purple, and they often show up in a complex spiderweb pattern. They commonly occur on your legs, but can also occur on your hands or your face. While spider veins on your legs aren't a sign of a serious medical issue, they can be a very annoying problem to deal with; you may feel like you always have to cover them up with clothing, limiting what you're able to wear.
If you have spider veins on your legs, you may have heard that compression stockings can help. Unfortunately, they're not able to eliminate spider veins that are already visible. However, compression stockings can help prevent new spider veins from appearing. Read on to learn more about what causes spider veins and how compression stockings can help.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins occur when the valves stop working properly in the veins close to the surface of your skin. Your veins carry the blood in your body back toward your heart, and they have one-way valves in them that keep blood flowing in the same direction. If the valve isn't working properly, gravity will pull it down and cause it to flow away from your heart.
When the blood in a vein starts to flow backward due to a faulty valve, blood will start to pool in the vein. This will eventually stretch out the vein, causing it to become wider. This results in a spider vein forming since the enlarged vein full of pooled blood is visible underneath your skin.
Can Compression Stockings Help Spider Veins?
Wearing compression stockings makes it easier for the blood in your veins to reach your heart by applying pressure to them. Compressing the veins increases the pressure of the blood moving through them, speeding it up and making it less likely to pool. By wearing compression stockings, you help prevent new spider veins from forming by helping blood move back up to your heart without flowing backward.
Unfortunately, wearing compression stockings won't repair a vein that has already been stretched out. They don't return to their normal size, so they'll always be visible when you take your compression stockings off. In order to get rid of the spider veins on your legs, you'll need another form of treatment.
How Do You Eliminate Spider Veins?
A treatment that's commonly used to get rid of spider veins on the legs is sclerotherapy. During the procedure, a doctor will inject a chemical called a sclerosant into the visible spider veins on your legs. The sclerosant will destroy the spider veins, and the blood in your legs will instead flow through healthy veins that have functioning valves. While sclerotherapy requires an injection, it's a quick and inexpensive procedure that can rapidly eliminate the visible spider veins on your legs.
If you have spider veins on your legs, wearing compression stockings is still a good idea even if they can't eliminate them because the compression stockings will help stop new ones from forming. If you'd like to get rid of them completely, schedule an appointment with a clinic providing spider vein treatments and ask about sclerotherapy. It's commonly used for spider veins because they're so close to the skin, which means that they're easy to reach with a needle. After treatment, you can reduce the risk of your spider veins coming back by continuing to wear your compression stockings.
Contact a doctor, such as AmeriVein - Gregory Spitz, MD Ltd, to learn more.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.