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    Spider veins are red, purple and blue blood vessels that are visible through the skin. They occur on the face and the legs (including the thighs, calves and ankles). These veins look unsightly and are a source of embarrassment for the person who has them, who may wear only jeans or trousers to cover them up. This can be difficult in the summer when the weather is warmer and people naturally want to wear shorts or summer dresses.

    People can be prone to spider veins if they are obese or if they are in a career that involves a lot of lifting and standing, such as nursing or factory work. Women using the contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy or those who are pregnant are also more at risk of developing spider veins. If they are in your family and a close relative had them, they do have a hereditary aspect so you would be more likely to get them.

    If you think your spider veins look ugly and they are affecting your self-esteem, if you would like clear and healthy looking skin, you could consider cosmetic treatment for your spider veins. Apart from being an aesthetic worry, spider veins can cause physical symptoms such as an aching, burning pain or tingling sensation around the veins, or, less commonly, swelling and ulcers.

    How Are Spider Veins Treated?

    A good cosmetic surgeon will first offer lifestyle advice so if you’re overweight you will be given dietary and exercise advice and tips on a good skincare routine. If these measures don’t help, you might benefit from non-surgical treatment.

    Schlerotherapy – This involves injecting saline (sterile salt water) into the vein, causing it to shrink and disappear over a period of a few weeks.

    Laser Treatment – This involves firing laser beams at the affected veins so that they collapse.

    Electro cautery Coagulation – This involves using a needle that has been heated with electricity in order to cauterize the vein.

    Radiofrequency Occlusion – This involves inserting a catheter into the affected veins and targeting them with radiofrequency energy, causing them to collapse.

    Each procedure usually causes minimal pain and will not normally require the use of a local anaesthetic. If having injections you will feel a burning pain following each injection, but the needles are very fine so this is bearable.

    Afterwards you may have bruising and redness that can last for up to a month. This is entirely normal. You should not have any hot baths during this time, or do any squatting or heavy lifting. This is because strenuous activity can cause your veins to dilate and may make your procedure ineffective. You should try to remain gently active to avoid the development of blood clots in your legs.

    Having your spider veins treated will minimise or eliminate their appearance but it cannot prevent new ones from developing. This is why it is important to address any lifestyle issues that may be contributing to the development of your spider veins.


    The material on this site is for informational purpose only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treetment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.

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