Medically Reviewed by Eva M. Rzucidlo, MD
Those tiny little veins that look like webs on your legs have been given the name of spider veins. They are more common in women than men and are unattractive.
“In the past, we would bring all these patients in the hospital to stay for days while we treated their veins,” says McLeod Vascular Surgeon Eva Rzucidlo, MD. “Now, we can treat spider veins with procedures in the office. Treatments can help many problems — from simple cosmetics to more advanced procedures dealing with severe underlying disease.”
Veins carry blood that is blue, because it’s headed back to the heart for more oxygen. If we are able to scar those veins, that blue discoloration on your skin diminishes. The procedure is called Sclerotherapy and can be done in the office. The treatment takes less than a half-hour and people return to work the same day.
Another treatment, called VenaSeal, injects a glue-like substance into problem veins to block them. Blood finds another, better path back to the heart. This is also an in-office, same-day procedure. Insurance companies are starting to cover VenaSeal.
Varicose veins can run in the family. You can’t change your genes or your family history. If you are standing for long periods of time, you may develop vein problems. Yet, many times you can’t change your job.
You can’t “cure” venous disease, but you can make yourself feel better. You can wear compression stockings, special socks you can buy at a uniform store or on the web. It allows the veins to be more efficient, bringing the blood back to the heart and reducing the ache in the legs.
Exercise is also really important. Your heart is the pump of your arteries to bring the oxygen out. Your calf muscles are actually the vein pumps, helping push blood back to the heart to pick up oxygen. Anything to improve your vein calf muscle pump with exercise really helps a great deal as well.
Find a Vascular Specialist near you.