Spider Vein FAQs

What are spider veins?

Also known as telangiectasias, they are abnormally dilated small blood vessels in your skin. They usually appear on your legs, but can also occur on your face, chest, arms, and back.

Contrary to what many doctors think, spider veins can cause the same symptoms as the much larger varicose veins, including:

  • Itching

  • Heaviness

  • Burning

  • Fatigue in your legs

Although they may cause the above listed symptoms, spider veins are not a health hazard and do not lead to more serious complications like what varicose veins can cause. In rare cases, they may bleed after being injured or scraped, but otherwise that are treated mostly as a cosmetic problem.

Spider veins that occur in specific locations, such as the inside of the calf or ankle, can be a sign of a more serious vein problem such as venous insufficiency/disease. In these specific cases, they can be treated for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

What causes spider veins?

Spider veins develop in two ways:

  • Tiny pre-existing veins can enlarge and become dilated over time.

  • Your body actually grows new veins where it doesn’t need them – in your skin. Pregnancy, estrogen containing medications, and hormonal fluctuations may stimulate the body to grow these spider veins; as such, spider veins are more common in women

Spider veins are not caused by crossing your legs or by years of prolonged standing or sitting at work.

The tendency to develop these spider veins is largely hereditary and unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to prevent their appearance. Compression stockings, exercise, and dietary supplements are helpful for treatment of symptoms, but do not prevent new spider veins from forming. In some cases, the appearance of spider veins may indicate larger diseased veins underneath the skin.

The Vascular Specialists at CVVS may use an ultrasound to identify any hidden deeper diseased veins. If larger diseased veins are found, these veins need to be treated first before spider veins can be treated.

How are spider veins treated?

Your vascular specialist at CVVS will use Sclerotherapy to treat your spider veins. A clear solution or foam (sclerosing agent) is injected into your abnormal veins. Immediately following treatment, these spider veins may become inflamed and red. This is the sclerosing agent at work! Over 4-6 weeks, this will regress and the spider veins will shrink and disappear.

What should I bring to my appointment?

Please bring your ID, your insurance card, a list of your diagnoses and medications you take. If you have any tests or imaging results related to your vascular disease, please bring these with you as well. Please fill out your patient forms prior to your arrival. Otherwise, please arrive 15 minutes early to your appointment to leave time for registration and paperwork

What are my payment options?

Most insurance plans will cover for medically significant venous disease. There are requirements that must be met prior to qualifying for treatment – these requirements vary depending on the insurance carrier ,but may include wearing compression stockings for a period of time. For instances where insurance coverage is not available, or if your treatment is for cosmetic reasons – we accept Visa, Mastercard and debit cards. We do not accept cash or checks.

Call us now to learn more about how we can help you.