Varicose veins are large, noticeable veins on your legs. Some are not as visible as others, and the smaller ones are called spider veins. They are red, purple or blue, but spider veins aren’t as puffy or large. They can easily be seen due to their color. There are many causes for spider veins, but treatment options are available.
Some spider veins are hereditary while others are caused by pregnancy. Other problems include obesity or a job that requires a lot of standing. Spider veins can be caused by medications taken for postmenopausal hormone replacement, birth control pills, tumors, and constipation. If you think you may be at risk, you can try to change your lifestyle to avoid risk factors. Women are especially prone to spider veins and the risk factors increase with age.
There are treatment options available if you talk to your doctor. You can wear support stockings and properly fitting panty hose that can ease pain and discomfort. You can find these at pharmacies and surgical supply stores.
Other options for treatment include:
- Sclerotherapy – a procedure that causes spider veins to disappear gradually.
- Laser treatment – pulses of light delivered into the vein cause it to collapse.
- Lifestyle change – Stop smoking, take care of your skin, maintain a healthy weight and sleep enough.
- Radiofrequency occlusion – the heat from radiofrequency causes the vein to collapse and seal shut.
- Surgery – there are several surgical options, depending on the case. These include litigating the vein (tying it off) and removing it. Typically, surgery is reserved for the larger veins.