COVID-19 Announcement: For more information about our current policies and procedures. Please click here. Get the latest information from CDC: https:/www.coronavirus.gov. Get the latest research from NIH: https://www.nih.gov/coronavirus

Call (636)614-1665

Spider Veins

Spider Veins Leg Spider Veins

How You Can Get Rid of Spider Veins

Spider veins, referred to in the medical field as telangiectasia, are thin-walled veins near the surface of the skin which appear as red, blue or purple thread-like networks or patches. Spider veins differ from other veins in the body because they are dilated, making them more visible. Developing as a core pattern with many branches leading away from the center, spider veins earn their name from this unique shape.

Often appearing on the side of the thighs, directly on the calves or around the ankles, spider veins can be aesthetically displeasing to those individuals who suffer from this condition. A cluster of veins appearing on the side of the ankle is called corona phlebectatica, which means crown of veins. It is important for those who are prone to spider veins to take note if this type of cluster appears and it can be an indicator of a more serious vein disease present deeper below the surface of the skin.

spider vein diagram
corona-phlebectatica spider veins on ankle

Spider Veins Index

Causes of Spider Veins
Spider Veins on Face and Body
Consultation
Procedure Safety
Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins

Cause of Spider Veins on the Legs

 


While there is not one exclusively factor leading to the appearance of spider veins, there are who develop over time with age as vein walls begin to fluctuate. They are also linked to genetics, female hormones that affect vein walls and occupations or activities that require a person to stand for prolonged periods of time. It’s important not to ignore the development of spider veins as they may indicate related but more serious vein diseases such as venous insufficiency or varicose veins.

spider vein on leg
spider veins on side of thigh

Actual Patient – Individual Results May Vary


 

Spider Veins Appearing on the Face and Body

When treatment is being considered to remove or diminish spider veins, both location of the vein web and underlying cause must be taken into consideration. For those who suffer from spider veins that appear on the face, a laser-based approach (IPL) or radiofrequency device such as VeinWave are often recommended options. If the spider veins appearing on the face are larger and noticeably blue, it may be necessary to use sclerotherapy.

For those looking to treat spider veins on the legs, the opposite approach is taken. Spider veins on the legs are generally fed by an underlying feeder vein that should be initially treated with sclerotherapy for the most successful results to be achieved. Smaller veins closer to the surface that appear redder in color often respond well to laser-based technology or VeinWave treatments. Similarly, patients looking to treat spider veins appearing on the stomach and chest will most likely be recommended a combination of treatment types to successfully remove the appearance of these webs.


Spider Veins on the Face and Body

Spider veins can occur anywhere on the body and most commonly occur on the legs but they also commonly occur on the face and chest. Spider Veins on the face and torso have different causes. Spider Veins on the face are often caused by sun damage, rosacea, and skin diseases [lupus, scleroderma] or in response to medications like steroids. Spider veins that occur on the chest and trunk are may be caused by sun damage or they can be related to certain disease like cirrhosis of the liver or pregnancy. Or chest and trunk spider veins can be the result of a combination of the above.

spider veins on face before and after treatment
spider veins on cheek before and after

Actual Patient – Individual Results May Vary

 

Consultation as the First Step Towards Treatment

For anyone suffering with spider veins, the first step to determining an individualized treatment plan is to schedule a consultation with an experienced physician. Those specializing in vein treatment are titled phlebologists and are well-versed in recognizing specific patterns of spider veins and recommending the appropriate course of action. An initial consultation is important as a first step towards developing trust in the physician who will play a primary role in the treatment process as well as providing an opportunity for the physician to get a first-hand look at the spider veins and determine if presenting patterns are suggestive of an underlying condition that is potentially more serious.

spider angiomas pictures spider veins on chest symptoms

Actual Patient – Individual Results May Vary

 

Important Safety Notes


Modern advances in technology mean the treatment of spider veins has become an extremely effective, time-efficient and successful experience for patients. Many procedures take less than an hour and can be performed in the comfort of the attending physician’s office. Requiring little more than local anesthetic, patients undergoing these treatments don’t need to worry about an extensive hospital stay, risks associated with general anesthesia or painful side effects and recovery time. These highly effective treatments allow patients to walk out of the office unassisted after a procedure and provides the freedom to resume normal everyday activities within only a few hours. Additionally, patients experience a peace of mind knowing that these procedures are treating vein conditions at the source and not merely slowing down progress.

Insurance Coverage

For some suffering with spider veins, treating these colorful surface-level webs is primarily a cosmetic task to reduce the appearance of displeasing veins. In this case, many insurance companies will consider the procedure non-essential for overall health and treatment costs may not be covered. However, if a patient has a diagnosed underlying vein condition such as varicose veins or venous insufficiency, it is very likely that costs will be covered under an insurance plan. Similarly, if a physician notices discrepancies in spider vein patterns at the initial consultation that might indicate a more serious condition, it’s possible an insurance provider may consider treatment essential and cover the cost of the procedure. Make sure to check with your specific insurance provider when you’re considering vein treatment services to see if reduced cost options or covered treatments are a part of your plan.

On the face, IPL can treat spider veins. The Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) actually targets the hemoglobin that is found in the red blood cell as it crosses the veins. The light is absorbed by this compound which then is converted to heat. The heat actually shrinks the capillaries. The overall treatment is quite effective and safe. Multiple treatments are required.
Yes, spider veins can cause symptoms including swelling and a feeling of heaviness in the legs. Despite their small size, a large number of spider veins can contribute to Venous Insufficiency. In my opinion, sclerotherapy is clearly the St. Louis vein treatment of choice for spider veins of the legs.
Are there different types of spider veins?Spider veins usually take on one of three forms. The appearance of spider veins include: a spider shape with a group of veins radiating outward from a central point, tree branch pattern, and thin separate lines which are sometimes called thread veins.
Intense light lasers are used directly to the veins, eliminating them permanently. Bruising can occur in the area treated and last for a few weeks. It can take up to four or five treatments to eliminate the spider veins. The laser treatment rarely can some increased or decrease in the skin pigment around the treated area.The cost of laser treatment is higher than treating the veins with Sclerotherapy.
Ultrasound guided sclerofoam is a procedure done to eliminate the so called tributary branches and peforators. Occasionally is used to eliminate some of the superficial “large” varicosities. The equipment used is an ultrasound machine. These veins are for the most part located at least 0.5-1 cm below the skin level.Spider veins are superficial and no ultrasound aid is needed. No ultrasound guided procedure is done for the facial spider veins.
Spider veins do not lead to skin cancer. Spider veins are one sign of venous insufficiency.Venous insufficiency can lead to leg ulcers, however spider veins themselves do not turn into leg ulcers.
Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. Spider veins begin as tiny capillaries and appear as blue or red squiggles. They are small red, blue, or purple veins that commonly appear on the surface of the thighs, calves and ankles. 1/3of the adult female population is troubled with this common problem. They are associated with “feeder” veins and can also be associated with the larger underlying varicose veins. The medical term for spider veins is telangiectasia.
Common symptoms include: aching, heaviness, itching, and night cramps.
Sclerotherapy remains the gold standard of treatment for spider veins.No, each vein does not have to be injected. You should be seen by an experienced vein center who can discuss with you the various options, and what works best. Sclerotherapy is the most effective treatment for almost all of the veins you can see on your legs, from the bigger ropey veins to tiny purple veins that seem stuck on the top of the skin. Sometimes the very smallest spider veins that look like fine red threads stuck on the leg can be treated by the veinwave or light therapy treatments.
These may be what are commonly referred to as reticular veins. While they may be normal in patients with thin skin, they may also be due to increased venous back pressure causing them to become more prominent. The best thing to do is to see a Phlebologist a vein specialist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of vein disease.
The simple answer is it is the size of the vein. There are many similarities to varicose veins and spider veins. A Spider vein’s medical description is telangiectasia which is dilated or enlarged tiny vein called a venule. Varicose Veins are dilated or enlarged reticular veins [Reticular veins normally are mid-sized veins that run in below the surface skin in the reticular dermis normally about a few mm in diameter]. Both spider veins and varicose veins are incompetent, which means their valves do not work properly and they don’t carry blood back to the heart as well as they are supposed to. So both spider and varicose veins are enlarged and incompetent veins the big difference is the size. Spider veins are usually 1-2 mm in width and varicose veins can be up to 20 mm or greater in width or 10 times their normal size.

Got A Question?

Ask Dawn

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

A friend of our fantastic vein center In St. Louis vein center. A place where you can find great reviews of our vein center in St. Louis. Another great source for reviews for our St. Louis vein center. Another platform where our St. Louis vein center is frequently touted.