Spider veins and varicose veins appear as visible veins in the legs or elsewhere on the body. They appear bluish, reddish, or purplish in color, and oftentimes varicose veins will bulge from the skin and cause certain medical symptoms such as pain or discomfort. It's not surprising that a lot of people who experience these conditions seek relief to get rid of them. Conservative methods such as losing weight or wearing compression stockings may help relieve symptoms of the condition, but do not eliminate the problem veins.
Instead, patients must turn to medical procedures such as lasers and sclerotherapy that actually destroy problem veins. Lasers work by exposing the problem veins to high levels of energy and heat which actually heats the veins so they collapse. Sclerotherapy procedures work by injecting a chemical sclerant into the veins, which irritates them so they also collapse. These procedures may be performed separately as independent treatments, while some recommend combining them for improved results and increased chances of success.
Sclerotherapy is often intended for spider veins or smaller varicose veins, while certain laser treatments may be more geared towards larger varicose veins. It is important that you receive appropriate treatment depending on the condition from which you're suffering. Talk to a vein specialist to discuss your candidacy for either treatment.
Once the veins are gone, they are gone for good. However, that does not mean that other veins will not become enlarged (varicose veins) or spider veins will not develop in other areas of the body. Some individuals may be at greater risk of developing these venous conditions, and if the causes and lifestyle elements that contributed to the development of these veins are allowed to persist, they may pop up elsewhere even after the removal or destruction of other problem veins through laser treatment or sclerotherapy.
Risk factors of varicose veins and spider veins include age (risk increases with age), sex (women are more likely to get these veins), as well as family history. Obesity may increase pressure on the veins in the legs, while sitting or standing for prolonged periods may negatively affect blood flow. If you've had treatment for venous conditions and would like to reduce your chances of developing them again, your doctor might recommend losing weight through diet and exercise, or avoiding long periods of sitting or standing. Other potential lifestyle changes may include avoiding sitting cross-legged, elevating the legs, and avoiding tight-fitting clothing and high heels.