A large number of people have small, red, blue, or purple veins near the surface of the skin. These are called spider veins. They are typically harmless and do not presage serious medical conditions. Nonetheless, many people would like to have them treated, often for cosmetic reasons. If you are concerned about spider veins, Nay Htyte, MD, DSVM, FACC, FSCAI, at Brooklyn Heart offers treatments for spider veins. Call the Brooklyn Heights office New York City or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.
Spider veins are small, thin red, blue, or purple veins close to the surface of the skin. Spider veins can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the legs or face.
Spider veins affect slightly more women than men.
The exact cause of spider veins is unknown. Veins have one-way valves that regulate the flow of blood back to the heart.
If damaged, it can disrupt these valves and the one-way flow. Blood can back up, or even pool, in the veins, weakening the vessel walls and causing the veins to enlarge and distort.
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of developing spider veins. These factors include:
While spider veins may only be a cosmetic issue, you should not ignore them in case they require treatment. See Dr. Htyte at Brooklyn Heart for an evaluation.
Spider veins usually appear on the legs or thighs, but sometimes on the face, forearms or hands. Aside from cosmetic issues, there are typically no symptoms, but mild discomfort or burning sensations can occur at the site.
If symptoms do occur, they may get worse upon standing or sitting for long periods of time. Symptoms are generally relieved by resting and putting your legs up.
How are spider veins diagnosed?
Dr. Htyte starts with a physical exam and a review of your symptoms, risks, and family history. He may order additional tests, like ultrasound or other imaging tests, to check on the health of your veins.
How are spider veins treated?
The goals of treatment are to improve the appearance of the veins and to relieve symptoms. Dr. Htyte may recommend a combination of therapies to achieve these goals including:
Patients are encouraged to consider weight management, increasing physical activity, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods.
These procedures include endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), which uses high energy lasers to destroy the veins or ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, in which medication is injected to close the affected veins.
These are generally same-day, outpatient procedures, are well tolerated, do not have major side effects or long post-treatment downtimes.
It is possible that spider veins may reappear, and you may need more than one treatment.
This involves the use of compression socks/stockings or bandages to help relieve pain and discomfort.
If you are troubled by spider veins, call the office or use the online tool to make an appointment at Brooklyn Heart for a consultation and to determine the treatments that are best for you.