USUALLY FOUND ON THE LOWER LEGS OR THIGHS, THESE VISIBLE REDDISH-BLUE VEINS ARE OFTEN PERCEIVED AS BOTHERSOME. THEY ARE SMALL, ENLARGED VESSELS ON THE SURFACE OF THE SKIN
YOU CAN FIND FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONDITION HERE.
Photo: © Astrid Gast – stock.adobe.com
Varicose veins (varices) are dilated veins. They appear as twisted, knotty veins on the surface of the skin. Called “Krampfadern” in German, the word is misleading as they are not related to cramps. The word is derived from Old High German and changed as the language developed. This is how “crooked veins” became “varicose veins”. Varicose veins are common, increasingly so with age. Women are more often affected than men.
Spider veins are tiny veins and are a form of varicose veins. They appear as tiny, reddish-blue veins on the surface of the skin. The name is derived from their “spider-like” appearance. Spider veins develop over the course of life because of weak connective tissue. They typically appear on the legs but can also develop on the face.
As a rule, spider veins do not disappear alone. On the contrary, they tend to increase with age.
The only exception are spider veins during pregnancy, which occur because of increased female hormones. These can partially regress after pregnancy. However, if they do not go away a few months after pregnancy, treatment is recommended if they are perceived as cosmetically and aesthetically bothersome. Otherwise, they will become even more pronounced in subsequent pregnancies.
Usually, it is not necessary to have them removed. Spider veins are considered harmless. However, there are various methods of eliminating the small veins, that are often perceived as bothersome for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons.
The situation is different with varicose veins, which can trigger several complications depending on their characteristics and severity. You can find out more about varicose veins and their treatment here.
Spider veins on the legs can be treated and removed using the application of microfoam (foam sclerotherapy). To do this, a substance is injected into the vein walls of the spider veins with fine needles, which causes them to stick together. As a result, the blood vessel is no longer supplied with blood, is slowly broken down by the body and fades away within a few weeks.
Another treatment alternative that is also offered in our medical center in Vienna, is laser therapy. The laser creates flashes of light that penetrate the skin but do not harm it. The flash of light hits the enlarged blood vessel under the skin and triggers a heat pulse. As a result, the blood coagulates, the vessel wall collapses and is permanently closed. The laser used in our medical center ensures good cooling during the treatment and can also be used on slightly tanned and dark skin.
Sometimes both treatment options are combined with one another in order to achieve optimal results. Larger spider veins are often treated with microfoam sclerotherapy, and stubborn small veins are treated with the laser at the same time or at a later point in time. With both treatments, it is important to avoid sun exposure beforehand.
An assessment can only be given after a medical examination. It greatly depends on how many spider veins are present, what size they are and how they are distributed.
We do not perform aesthetic treatments on pregnant women. Laser treatment is possible during breastfeeding. The application of microfoam (foam sclerotherapy) is not possible during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
The tendency towards spider veins is a matter of predisposition. Therefore, there is a high probability that spider veins will become visible on other areas of the skin over time. Using the treatments that we offer, they can be corrected multiple times and thus kept to a minimum.
On the day of treatment, you should refrain from sporting activities, hot baths, saunas, etc. Compression treatment with bandages or stockings is proven to improve treatment results.
After laser treatment or sclerotherapy, the affected skin areas must be consistently protected with a high sun protection factor. On the contrary, changes to pigmentation can occur.