Spider veins are damaged veins that fail to carry blood back toward your heart. When this happens, pools of blood collect at the veins and rise just under the surface of your skin. These web-like networks of superficial veins are often hereditary and most commonly develop in the legs.
While some people may experience soreness and aching in the surrounding areas, spider veins are typically not painful. They’re certainly frustrating to look at, though. Fortunately, there are several minimally invasive ways to get rid of spider veins for good. Here are some popular treatment options.
Sclerotherapy is one of the most effective ways of treating spider veins. During the procedure, a solution is injected directly into the engorged vein, causing it to collapse. This solution forces the blood into healthier veins while the collapsed vein fades and gets reabsorbed by local tissue.
Since the procedure is minimally invasive, sclerotherapy is a popular method for treating spider veins. Results will start to show after a few weeks, with the spider veins completely fading after two months. In some cases, you may need several sclerotherapy sessions to achieve full results. The procedure often takes 15 minutes to an hour to complete and does not require anesthesia.
Sclerotherapy does come with a few potential side effects, including:
- Raised red areas
- Bruised skin
- Small skin sores
- Several small red blood vessels
- Darkened areas of skin in the form of spots or lines
Complications like blood clots, inflammation, and allergic reactions may occur but are rare. Some people may experience nausea or headaches due to tiny air bubbles that can enter the bloodstream during the procedure. These air bubbles typically resolve on their own. In the hands of skilled vein specialists, these risks are minimal.
2. Compression Socks or Stockings
Wearing compression socks or stockings can improve blood flow by placing pressure on the superficial leg veins. Compression socks also help reduce leg swelling and can decrease the risk of blood clots developing in the legs. Different compression stockings exist to offer varying degrees of pressure.
Support pantyhose provide light pressure on newly formed spider veins, while gradient compression socks put medium pressure around the calves, ankles, and feet. Prescription compression socks offer the most pressure to the legs and feet. These socks come in varying strengths, sizes, and styles, with some footless options available. Note that you should avoid some prescription compression stockings if you have a pre-existing heart condition.
3. Laser Treatment for Spider Veins
With the help of a healthcare professional, you can also get rid of spider veins through laser treatment. This modern therapeutic marvel can treat spider veins smaller than 3 millimeters that sit extremely close to the skin’s surface. Laser treatment uses a strong beam of focused light energy that causes spider veins to dry up through clotting.
Laser therapy doesn’t involve any skin injection, so it’s less invasive than sclerotherapy. However, there are some notable side effects of laser treatment to keep in mind, including:
- Skin burns
- Skin color changes
- Blood clotting
- Altered skin sensation due to nerve damage
Veinwave is a newer method designed to complement sclerotherapy in the treatment of spider veins. The technique eliminates spider veins through a process called thermocoagulation. A vein specialist will use an ultra-fine insulated needle that transmits high-frequency microwaves to heat the vessels under the skin. This precise application protects the surrounding tissue and skin.
5. Natural Home Remedies
If you’d prefer to treat your spider veins at home, there are many natural remedies to try. Most involve ingredients you may already have on hand. A few popular home remedies for spider veins include:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Since apple cider vinegar has the potential to increase blood flow and decrease inflammation it could help prevent and treat spider veins. No studies have been done on its effectiveness for spider veins, but some people recommend applying apple cider vinegar directly on the affected skin. Be careful, though. In its raw form, apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic and can cause skin inflammation and burning.
Some people suggest ingesting a mixture of hot water and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to help improve circulation and reduce leg pain. As with any natural remedy, it’s important to take this concoction in moderation. Consuming too much cayenne pepper can cause gut ulcers and gut irritation.
Certain essential oils can be massaged into the affected area or applied using a hot compress. Lavender oil may help ease any pain or inflammation caused by spider veins. Other essential oils like sea pine extract and horse chestnut oil can help with aches or itching, while grape vine essential oil may help reduce swelling. No matter what oil you try, remember to limit its use if it causes burning or irritation.
Massages are a simple yet effective way to improve blood circulation, reduce pain or swelling, and decrease the presence of spider veins. For best results, look for a qualified massage therapist with experience dealing with spider veins.
Visit the Vein Specialists
If you’re bothered by spider veins, visit us at Medicus Vein Care. Our team of vein specialists uses the latest diagnostic tools and remedies like sclerotherapy, laser therapy, and Veinwave for spider vein removal. With extensive years of experience in skincare, we’re able to deliver the best treatments for spider veins. Contact us today for a consultation.