Now accepting virtual appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

When You Need Spider Vein Treatment

Spider veins – the medical term is telangiectases or venulectases – don’t usually cause symptoms but their appearance bothers many people. This is particularly true when spider veins appear on the face. If you need spider vein treatment, your options are slightly different than if you need varicose vein treatment. Here’s the skinny on spider veins from Vascular and Interventional Associates.

Spider Vein Treatment – About the Problem

Spider veins really are varicose veins; they are much more common in women than in men. They are much smaller, however, and in addition to the legs, may show up on more visible places like the face. Like varicose veins, spider veins occur because tiny flaps of skin in the veins called valves fail and allow blood to back-flow and pool in the vein. Larger varicose veins become distended and tortuous; they may cause symptoms like burning, itching or leg pain. Spider veins show up as “star bursts” of clumps, or fine red, purple or blue lines. Spider veins affect the blood vessels just under the skin, so they are highly visible. Since they don’t always cause symptoms, spider vein treatment is often for cosmetic reasons. Occasionally, these small veins may cause burning or itching.

Spider Vein Treatment Options

Sclerotherapy – a minimally invasive office-based procedure – is generally considered the gold standard for spider vein treatment. Sclero means scar, which is how the procedure works. A special solution that is painless to the patient is injected into each vein with a tiny needle. The solution – which is FDA approved – irritates the vein wall, but doesn’t usually cause any pain when injected. The vein swells, collapses and sticks shut (other veins take over the task of blood return from the area). The vein gradually turns into scar tissue and is absorbed, making it disappear. In most cases, it takes a few weeks for the vein to disappear completely. You’ll need to wear compression hose after the treatments to help the veins seal shut, but you can usually resume normal activities almost immediately. You may need several treatments in the affected area to eliminate all the spider veins.

How Do I Prepare for Spider Vein Treatment?

Preparation is quite easy. If you take any medications, herbal products, vitamins or supplements, provide your doctor with a list ahead of time. Don’t shave your legs/face or apply lotion for at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. This helps reduce the risk of infection or skin irritation. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing. Once the procedure is over, you’ll be able to walk about immediately. An ice pack or over the counter pain medications should take care of any discomfort. Walking is encouraged, but vigorous exercise should wait for a while. If you’ve decided you’re ready for spider vein treatment, please contact Vascular and Interventional Associates. We can answer any questions or schedule you for an assessment with one of our skilled interventional radiologists. We’re the only comprehensive vein center in the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Sex Painful? It Could Be Fibroids

Don’t let growths on your uterus rob you of a healthy sex life. If you’re experiencing discomfort during sex, it could be fibroids. Learn more about fibroids — including your treatment options — here.

There's Blood in My Urine

It’s never a good feeling to see blood in your urine. It could be due to something minor, or it could be a cause for more concern. Learn about what can cause blood in your urine — and what to do about it.

Why You May Need to Have Your IVC Filter Removed

If you have an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter but your risk for blood clots has dissipated, you might benefit from having that filter removed. Here, you can learn how to decide if the minimally invasive removal procedure is right for you.

7 Signs That You May Have Fibroids

Uterine fibroids don’t always cause symptoms, but when they do, they can impair your quality of life. Here are the most common signs that you may have fibroids — and what we can do about them.

Prostate Artery Embolization

BPH, or enlargement of the prostate gland, is a common condition in which a noncancerous tumor causes urinary problems for men. Fortunately, minimally invasive prostate artery embolization can address these problems.