Spider Veins on Legs – Sclerotherapy Q & A

Spider Veins on Legs

Most people are familiar with varicose veins. They are the bulging, bluish veins on legs that can be seen through the skin. They are often painful and can cause swelling, itching, and aching in the legs. But there is another kind of vein issue that many people suffer from called spider veins. While spider veins are generally more of a cosmetic concern than a medical one, they can be very annoying to those who have them. We see patients every day who have spider veins on legs and would like to have them treated.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are smaller, web-like (hence the name) veins that often appear on the legs. They are usually red, blue, or purple in color and can be anywhere on the legs, but are typically near the ankles or behind the knees. They can be associated with factors such as genetics, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and prolonged periods of standing or sitting. Regardless of their origin, many patients simply want them to go away.

Are Spider Veins Hereditary?

The short answer is yes. There are many risk factors for spider veins, and one of them is genetics. Varicose veins and spider veins are both symptoms of vein disease. We know both can run in families, so there is some genetic predisposition. They also tend to be more prevalent in women than men.

What Is Venous Insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency, a type of vein disease, occurs when the valves in your veins fail to do their job. Normally, the valves in your veins make sure that blood flows toward your heart. But when these valves fail, blood can also flow backward. This can cause blood to (pool) in your leg veins putting extra pressure on your vascular system. This pressure can cause spider veins on legs and in more extreme cases, varicose veins on legs.

How Do You Get Rid of Spider Veins?

Luckily, there’s an easy way to get rid of spider veins on your legs. It’s called sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is performed by injecting a chemical solution directly into the spider vein. The solution causes the vein walls to stick together and seal shut. This stops the flow of blood. After a few weeks, the body reabsorbs the vein naturally and it fades from view. If not all of the spider veins disappear, any remaining veins can be treated. Sclerotherapy is very precise which makes it perfect for smaller veins like spider veins.

What Are the Benefits of Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins?

  • Reduction of unsightly spider veins
  • No surgery required
  • Fast/easy recovery period
  • Minimal side effects

Can Spider Veins on Legs Cause Varicose Veins?

Spider veins are a sign of poor circulation Being overweight can put added pressure on veins, causing them to spread or grow larger. Hormones like birth control and menopause treatments may also increase the risk of spider veins because estrogen can weaken vein valves. Spider veins on legs do not grow into varicose veins or cause varicose veins, however, varicose veins can cause spider veins to appear because of the pressure in the legs.

How Long Does Sclerotherapy Take?

Sclerotherapy is the best treatment for spider veins. It is non-invasive and done on an outpatient basis right here in our office. Although you should not expect perfect results, you should see visible improvement after about four to eight weeks. Two treatments can routinely be needed to get rid of all spider veins. In most cases, the results are permanent, however, new spider veins can develop later. Sclerotherapy is generally a good choice to permanently remove spider veins.

Does Insurance Cover Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins?

Sclerotherapy for the treatment of spider veins is not typically covered by insurance companies because the condition is not life-threatening or painful. If your spider veins cause pain and itching and sclerotherapy is deemed medically necessary by a doctor, it is possible that your insurance may extend coverage for the procedure.

We have many treatment options for both varicose and spider veins. Once your spider veins have been evaluated, Dr. Siroospour can help you find the best treatment option. Make an appointment for an evaluation at Colorado Laser & Vein. Give us a call at (303) 741-4060 or schedule an appointment online.