Spider veins, which are smaller varicose veins, are more than just a condition that affects your appearance. They can also be painful and cause serious complications such as blood clots. For this reason, spider vein removal is a necessary consideration for the estimated 30%-to-60% of adults who have them. Sclerotherapy is the most popular treatment for spider veins, and it can be performed at South Lake OBGYN in Clermont, FL, as can treatments using Vasculaze.
How Do You Get Rid of Spider Veins?
There are a number of ways to get rid of spider veins, some of which involve permanent removal. Other ways to reduce the appearance of spider veins are also available, including exercise, elevation, avoiding sitting or standing for too long, and using compression stockings. The pros and cons of each available treatment may help you decide which one is best for you. Also, be aware that you may not be a good candidate for one or more treatments, so understanding what is available to you individually is also important.
Clinical Treatments for Spider Vein Removal
As mentioned above, sclerotherapy is the most common way to treat spider veins because it has been perfected over the years to be more effective and safer. During this treatment, your provider will inject an irritating solution into the veins, causing them to swell. The swelling cuts off the flow of blood to the veins, causing the spider veins to shrink. This both lessens the appearance of the veins on the skin and reduces the pain associated with spider vein swelling.
A form of this treatment has been around since the 17th century, as it has long been known that spider vein swelling damages veins, making you more susceptible to venous insufficiency in which blood is prevented from flowing through the body properly. Venous insufficiency, in the worst case scenario, can lead to deep vein thrombosis, which is characterized by small clots that can travel to your lungs and even cause death.
This treatment can treat up to 80% of spider veins successfully, which can significantly improve your appearance and eliminate your pain. Moreover, more than 90% of patients respond to sclerotherapy and realize relief from both the appearance and pain of spider veins. Following the injections, you will need to wear compression stockings for about three weeks and take daily walks to ensure proper circulation throughout your veins.
A second non-invasive treatment for spider vein removal is Vasculaze, which involves the use of a laser to target the hemoglobin that is responsible for the darkness of the veins. The laser causes the pigments in the hemoglobin to break up over time, thereby lessening the appearance of spider and varicose veins. The treatment also damages the veins, making them unable to carry blood so the blood is rerouted to healthier veins in the area.
Typically patients require three or more treatments with Vasculaze to realize optimal results, but this will greatly depend on the size of the veins that need to be treated and how many veins there are. You can expect to see results immediately following the first treatment and there is no need to alter your daily life after a treatment session. However, you should wear sunscreen on the treated areas to avoid exposing laser-targeted skin to UV rays.
Vasculaze is safe for use on most body parts, but is most commonly used to treat spider veins on the face, arms, and legs. It is often a great alternative to people who are not good candidates for sclerotherapy, such as those who are allergic to the injection agent, those with a history of blood clotting conditions, and those who are bedridden. Additionally, surface laser treatments are considered safe for pregnant women, so Vasculaze can work for them as well.
Non-Clinical Treatments for Spider Vein Removal
If you’re not looking for a minor surgical treatment, such as sclerotherapy, for spider vein removal, there are some non-clinical treatments available to help reduce and prevent spider veins. The first is exercise, which improves the blood flow to your legs and helps the body pump the blood more efficiently, thereby reducing the odds of spider veins appearing in the first place. Additionally, exercise helps prevent weight gain, which is another contributing factor to spider vein development.
The types of exercise that are best for removing and preventing spider veins include walking or running, leg lifts, riding a bicycle or pumping your legs in a bicycle motion, lunges, and rocking your feet back and forth from heel to toe. However, any exercise at all that moves your legs will help improve spider veins and varicose veins since that will help improve the circulation of blood through the body. Just get up and move!
Elevate Your Legs
Elevating your legs helps prevent blood from pooling in your lower body, which can then form spider veins. It is recommended that when you are seated or lying down, raise your legs above heart level so that gravity can help improve the blood’s circulation in your legs. You can also prop your legs up on a footrest when you’re sitting at a desk to elevate your legs at least somewhat during the day, especially if you sit for long periods.
At the end of the day, lie down and prop your feet up on pillows to improve blood flow and keep the blood that may have pooled there during the day from sticking around and forming spider veins. Moreover, refrain from crossing your legs when you are sitting because this restricts the blood flow to your legs. If you are unable to prop your feet up on a footrest, keep them flat on the floor instead.
Do Not Sit or Stand For Long Periods
Whenever you sit or stand for too long, you put additional stress on your legs, and in turn on the veins in your legs. This can cause them to swell and turn into spider veins. If you sit while you work, set a timer so that you remember to get up and walk around or move your legs every 30-to-60 minutes. Just a walk down the hall or a few jumping jacks can get the blood flowing properly again.
If you stand for most of your day, try to make time to sit and put your feet up every couple of hours. You might consider getting a footstool so you can prop one foot and leg up while standing, and then switch to the other foot and leg every few minutes. Again, the goal is to move your legs so that the blood does not have an opportunity to pool. Even leg raises while you stand can help.
This is one of the most recommended non-clinical treatments for spider and varicose veins, especially for those that are painful. Compression stockings work by improving circulation in the legs and preventing blood from pooling. Physicians typically recommend that you wear compression stockings during the day to help alleviate symptoms. It may take several weeks of wearing compression stockings to reduce the appearance of your spider veins and to get full relief from any associated pain.
Compression stockings can be expensive, so if you’re only experiencing mild spider veins, you may want to try regular support pantyhose or knee socks first. These products offer some compression, but not as much as true compression stockings do. However, they may work just fine and you won’t have the added expense of prescribed compression stockings. Depending on the type of stocking you’re prescribed, they could cost as much as $100 per pair, but your insurance may cover the cost.
You may find it difficult to get used to compression stockings at first because they do squeeze your legs. This is, of course, their purpose since you want the pressure to force your veins to work properly. They should be snug-fitting, but comfortable, so if you are experiencing any type of pain related to the stockings, consult your physician. You may find that using compression stockings prevent you from needing surgery for spider vein removal.
Are You a Candidate?
To determine if you are a candidate for sclerotherapy, you will be given a physical exam that will help your provider assess whether this form of treatment is right for you. Your spider veins will be examined closely and your provider will ask about your medical history. In some cases, an ultrasound of your legs will allow the provider to see the blood flow in your legs, and abnormal blood flow can be detected through a plethysmography blood pressure test.
Once your physical exam is completed, your provider will let you know if sclerotherapy is the right treatment for your spider veins. It should be noted that pregnant women are not good candidates for this treatment, even though pregnancy is a contributing factor to spider vein development. You should wait until after you deliver your baby to seek this form of treatment. There may be other spider vein treatments available that are safe for pregnant women, such as Vasculaze.
A physical exam will be administered prior to a Vasculaze treatment as well, but most people are considered good candidates for this treatment because it is very non-invasive. It is specifically recommended for people who are not good candidates for sclerotherapy and who have tried conservative non-clinical treatments first, but found they did not work well. Vasculaze is safe for all skin types and can be combined with other treatments for maximum results.
In the United States, the average cost of this spider vein treatment is just over $300, but the actual price you’ll pay will depend on how many treatment areas you have. Additionally, this is only the cost for the treatment itself and does not include any additional clinical fees or post-treatment garments like compression stockings. Insurance will probably not cover spider vein removal treatment unless it is determined to be medically necessary. Speak with your physician about this possibility.
Laser treatments for spider veins are a bit more expensive than other treatments. Once again, though, the actual cost will depend on how many areas and the size of the areas that need to be treated. A single treatment will typically run between $200 and $300, but as mentioned above, you will probably need more than one treatment to achieve your desired results. Additionally, some providers may offer bundled pricing for multiple treatments.
Get More Information
A variety of methods exist for spider vein removal, but there are really only two clinical options, which are sclerotherapy and Vasculaze (laser treatment). To better understand which treatment is the best for you, a consultation with a provider is necessary. A consultation will allow you to learn more about each treatment, the actual costs, and which treatment will be most effective on your spider veins. No two patients are the same, so an individual treatment plan is required.
Make a Change
So, if you’ve tried all the non-clinical treatments for spider vein removal and nothing has worked for you, get in touch with us at South Lake OBGYN in Clermont, FL to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced providers to see if you’re a good candidate for one of our treatments.