Spider veins can be irritating, often making people less-than-happy with their appearance or causing discomfort. At Houston Vein Specialists in Houston, Texas, board-certified vascular surgeon David D. Shin, MD, RVT, RPVI, FACS, offers in-office spider vein treatments such as sclerotherapy. The practice performs treatments using the highest-quality equipment and products to keep patients safe and provide ideal results. Call the office or book your appointment online today.
Spider veins are small red or blue blood vessels that you can see under the skin. The tiny veins often occur in a pattern, with several veins clustered together to look like a spider web, the branches of a tree, or long threads. Spider veins usually appear on the face and legs.
You can’t feel spider veins protruding from your skin, but they can still cause distress because of their appearance. Spider veins are usually asymptomatic but may cause itching or throbbing.
Spider veins can develop when the one-way valves in your veins don’t work well. Normally, the vein valves open to push blood up to your heart for recirculation. Then the valves seal tightly, preventing blood from trickling backward.
Damaged valves don’t seal well, leading to spider veins. The blood accumulates in the vein, which causes the vein walls to expand. Spider veins can also develop due to sun exposure, hormone changes, and injuries.
Although less common, saphenous vein reflux — when the main leg vein (saphenous vein) is damaged, blocked, or malfunctions — can also cause spider veins.
Varicose veins are much larger than spider veins. They protrude from the skin (usually in the legs) and look like twisted ropes. Varicose veins are much more likely to cause symptoms like leg burning, tiredness, itching, swelling, and throbbing.
Dr. Shin recommends a treatment plan based on the cause of your spider veins. Most spider veins are treatable with sclerotherapy, which involves an injected solution that causes the vein to close. Treatment usually takes a few sclerotherapy sessions.
Some vein clinics use cost-cutting measures like reusable catheters and compounded sclerosants, but Houson Vein Specialists uses only disposable catheters and standardized manufactured sclerosants to ensure your safety.
For spider veins caused by saphenous vein reflux, it’s important to treat the root cause of the veins before administering sclerotherapy. To prevent recurrent spider veins, Dr. Shin may recommend saphenous vein ablation before sclerotherapy.
To learn more about how spider vein treatment can help you, call Houston Vein Specialists or click on the online appointment maker today.