As you get older, you may notice more visible veins on your body, particularly in your legs. In fact, Dr. Cheryl McDonald, a physician at the National Institutes of Health states that by age 50, nearly 20% of men and 40% of women will experience some level of vein issues in their legs. These veins are commonly known as spider veins or varicose veins, although there are some differences between the two. While many people believe these veins are purely cosmetic issues, that’s not always the case. We’ve highlighted the main differences between spider veins and varicose veins, as well as the causes, treatment options and prevention tips.
Differences Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Spider veins can be defined as being small purple, blue and red veins that twist and turn and can easily be seen through the skin. Similarly, varicose veins appear to be the same, but are distinguished by being larger and more raised from the skin and appear to be swollen. Both are commonly seen on a person’s chest and face, but the most common location is the legs. The reason is because the legs are farthest from the heart, which means the veins have to work harder to move the blood back to the heart. As a result, blood pooling in the veins could occur, which leads to the red, blue and purple color in the veins. The more blood that gets pooled, the larger the veins will get and could create some discomfort if left untreated.
Common Causes of Spider Veins
According to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, pressure on the veins is the main reason why people develop spider veins. The pressure could be the result of sitting or standing for prolonged periods, excessive weight gain, pregnancy and more. Excessive and prolonged pressure can damage the valves in the veins and cause blood to back up, which in turn naturally creates even more pressure on the veins. However, spider vein development is sometimes inevitable as you get older simply because of the amount of time spent on your feet throughout your life.
When To Be Concerned About Bulging Veins
No one likes to look down at their legs to see spider veins, but the reality is most of the time they don’t signify major health concerns. However, it’s still advisable to get them checked out by a medical professional to rule out any medical issues. Most people who have spider veins rarely even know they are there until they look at them. However, if yours start bleeding, swelling excessively, becoming achy or uncomfortable or if your legs start to feel heavy or fatigued, it’s time to get them checked out. Bulging veins with these symptoms usually don’t signify a larger health issue and aren’t life-threatening, but it’s always best to take caution.
Best Treatment Option For Spider Veins
Spider veins very rarely go away on their own. If they are the result of pregnancy or other forms of excessive weight gain, then it’s possible when the weight is lost it can make them slowly fade away. However, if lifestyle changes don’t make them fade away over time, then the best non-invasive procedure to get rid of them is with laser therapy.
The QuadroStar Pro Yellow Laser is designed to effectively reduce the appearance of spider veins simply and easily. The laser therapy process works by focusing a laser beam over the skin where the spider veins are present. The beam will penetrate the skin and cause the blood in the affected vein to coagulate. The vein will then collapse, seal itself off and the body will slowly start clearing out the collapsed blood cells.
Clients typically notice significant improvements in the appearance of their spider veins after a few weeks. The great thing about laser therapy is the process is not painful and the only sensation you should feel is mild tingling. It is important to note that laser therapy is designed more for smaller spider veins rather than larger varicose veins. Your medical professional will evaluate you thoroughly before recommending the right procedure.
Preventing Spider Veins
Whether you’ve had spider veins in the past or if you’ve never experienced them, there’s always a chance they will appear. If you currently don’t have any visible spider veins, then preventing them is possible by:
- Exercising regularly
- Keeping your legs elevated when you can
- Walking around periodically when sitting for prolonged periods of time
- Sitting down periodically when standing for prolonged periods of time
- Avoiding excessively long hot baths
Sometimes getting spider veins is inevitable if you have a family history of developing them. However, practicing these tips will not only lessen the risk of developing them, but can also benefit your overall health.
Skin Deep Laser Services offers top-of-the-line laser therapy services to our clients. We want to help you achieve your skincare goals and do so with the highest quality equipment and most qualified medical professionals. We always take the time to evaluate each client thoroughly to ensure the correct treatment option is recommended to maximize the results and minimize any side effects. Spider veins can be an eyesore to look at, so feel free to contact us at any time to schedule a free evaluation and see if laser therapy is right for you.