SPIDER VEINS are small thin veins that are close to the surface of the skin. They can be spider shaped, linear or branch-like.
VARICOSE VEINS are larger, darker and tend to bulge.
- Hormonal shifts
- Weight gain
- Occupations that require long periods of sitting or standing
- Certain medications
- Exercise regularly to improve leg strength, vein strength and circulation. Walking and running are good.
- Control weight to prevent too much pressure on the legs
- Do not cross legs while sitting. Try to elevate the legs when resting.
- Do not stand in one place for long periods of time. Try to shift your weight from time to time.
- If you must sit for a long period of time take a short walk every 30 minutes
- Wear elastic stockings, avoid clothing that constricts your waist, groin or legs
- Eat high fiber foods to prevent constipation, which can contribute to leg strain
- Control salt intake as it can cause water retention and leg swelling
Sclerotherapy is the easiest and most effective treatment for spider veins. A sclerosing agent is injected into the vein and causes the targeted vein to immediately shrink and the dissolve over a period of weeks as the body naturally absorbs the treated vein. Several treatments are often necessary. The two approved sclerosing agents are hypertonic saline solution and Sodradecol
A sclerosing agent called Aetoxiclerol, which is widely used in Europe, is expected to receive FDA approval in the U.S. in approximately six months.
Foam Sclerotherapy is when an agent called Polidocanol is mixed with air or carbon dioxide in a syringe or mechanical pump. This increases the surface of the drug and causes a thickening of the vessel and seals off the blood flow. It is useful for longer and larger veins.
Lasers send strong burst of light into the veins. Larger varicose veins can be treated with diode technology like the Dornier 940.
The ELAS or EVLT lasers involve threading a laser fiber into the vein and firing it along the length of the vein. A “tumescent” type of local anesthetic must be injected first . It closes the vein thus preventing blood flow and the increased pressure associated with varicosities.