When you have spider veins, the last thing you want to do is wear clothing that reveals your legs. Luckily, dermatologists offer treatments that can minimize the appearance of the veins and help you feel more confident when you wear shorts or skirts. Dr. Norman Bein, your St. Louis, MO vascular surgeon at Vein Specialties, shares information about spider veins and treatment options.
What are spider veins?
Those wispy red or blue veins that appear just under your skin are caused by dilated blood vessels. They can develop when injuries, changing hormone levels or sun exposure cause an increase in the pressure in the veins close to your skin. You're also more likely to get them if you regularly stand for long periods of time.
How are spider veins treated in St. Louis?
Before your veins can be treated, your surgeon must make sure that they don't receive their blood supply from deeper feeder veins, called reticular veins. He uses a special light to illuminate your skin and identify feeder veins. If you do have feeder veins, you may need an ultrasound to determine the cause. The problem will need to be treated before your spider vein treatment can begin. Once your surgeon has performed a thorough examination and determined that you are a good candidate for treatment, he may suggest either of these treatments:
Sclerotherapy scars your spider veins, which makes them close up and disappear. When the veins close, blood flows through nearby veins instead. During sclerotherapy treatment, your doctor injects the veins with sodium tetradecyl sulfate. The treatment usually isn't painful and doesn't require any anesthesia. You will probably need three to five therapy sessions that are about three to five weeks apart. Itching and swelling can occur after treatment but can be minimized by wearing compressions stockings for three days.
Laser treatment is recommended for small surface veins and spider veins that appear on your face. When the laser light is aimed at your veins, the walls become damaged due to the heat the light generates. Eventually, the veins begin to fade away. You may experience temporary bruising, swelling and itching after laser therapy.
Would you like to get rid of your spider veins? Call Dr. Bein, your St. Louis, MO vascular surgeon at Vein Specialties, at (314) 993-8233 to schedule an appointment.