Is Spider Vein Removal Effective?

Spider veins can become painful and unsightly, leading many sufferers to search for relief. Topical solutions for these veins flood the Internet and drugstore shelves promising to restore your legs youthful appearance while simultaneously eliminating the veins. The problem is, these topical treatments aren't what they seem. While they will reduce bruising, inflammation, and swelling, they don't possess the ingredients necessary to go beneath the surface of the skin and solve the problem where the vein condition develops. These realities beg the question, is spider vein removal effective?

What are the Most Common Types of Visible Veins?

The most common type of visible vein is the spider vein. These are small, superficial veins that you can see because they're found in the outer layer of the skin between the epidermis and the dermis. It isn't uncommon for most people to get them and, under most circumstances, it's due to heredity. The reason why these veins receive their name is that they have a web-like appearance, with purple and blue lines on the legs.

Those who experience varicose veins have larger veins occurring deeper in their body. They don't appear as discoloration, but rather as a bulge when they experience stretching. There's a connection between varicose and spider veins. Under most circumstances, if you have varicose veins, you'll also find that you have spider veins as well. However, if you have spider veins, that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to experience issues with varicose veins.

Visible Veins Could Become Painful

It's common for spider and varicose veins to make your legs painful because the veins are getting inflamed. When the veins are appearing, they're becoming stretched out and dilating. These veins are sending signals to your brain for help in the only way they know how. That is by sending out inflammatory biochemicals that causes your legs to become swollen and painful.

Addressing Spider Vein Removal

Topical treatments cannot address spider veins at their source because they're unable to penetrate the skin significantly. Therefore, the only way to treat them is to entirely remove the spider veins, which is something topical solutions are unable to do. The good news is there are minimally-invasive treatments that are effective available that reach the source of the veins to eliminate them.

Types of Vein Removal Treatments

The two most common spider vein and varicose vein treatments available, which are both minimally-invasive, include the following:

Endovenous Laser Therapy (ELT): you'll find that this is an effective form of treatment for the elimination of painful and visible varicose veins. During this procedure, varicose veins receive laser energy directly until their vessel walls are heated and sealed closed. The doctor makes a micro-incision into the vein allowing delivery of the laser energy through a thin fiber.

Because the incision is incredibly small, there is no need for sutures, and there is no visible scar left behind afterward. Over time, the vessel receiving treatment is reabsorbed by the body. Local anesthesia is used while the procedure is conducted in the doctor's office. Therefore, no downtime is required.

Sclerotherapy: those receiving this treatment most often have either spider veins or small varicose veins. When veins are located further beneath the skin's surface, the doctor will use ultrasound imaging to find it and make injections. Each time the doctor injects a special solution directly into the vessel, it seals the vein and collapses. Upon doing so, the blood will naturally reroute to healthy veins nearby. No anesthesia is necessary, and this treatment can be performed in the doctor's office.

Because it only takes a few minutes to complete, there's no recovery time required. One essential thing to remember about receiving injections, though, is that they may need to be touched up every year or every two years. If you stay on top of your injections, it’s possible to keep your spider veins at bay and prevent them from reappearing.

How to Keep Visible Veins from Returning

Everyone wants to keep their veins from returning following a treatment. One of the best ways to do this is by using graduated compression stockings. Even though they're tight and sometimes challenging to get on, they're worth the effort. Not only do they help push the blood forward toward the heart, but they also prevent the blood from pooling back into your legs.

If you wear these stockings consistently throughout the day, they will significantly reduce your chances of spider veins returning. These stockings will not make spider veins that are already there go away, but they will help make those that are there slow in their advancement significantly. You can pick these stockings up at your pharmacy or from your doctor’s office.

Final Thoughts

Left untreated, spider veins will continue to multiply and become a painful problem that will be more challenging for you to treat. The best thing for you to do is to contact your doctor as soon as they become an issue so that you can receive a referral to a specialist. That way, they can discuss treatment options with you immediately. There are effective treatments for spider vein removal and, if you keep up with these treatments and follow your doctor’s advice, you’ll see lasting results.

Dr. Sidhu
Dr. Ramandeep Sidhu

Author - Dr. Ramandeep Sidhu

SPECIALTIES: Percutaneous aneurysm repair, endovascular treatment of peripheral arterial disease, treatment for varicose veins, open vascular surgical procedures, deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism treatment and aesthetic services.