Types of Spider Veins and Formations

Spider veins are also known as telangiectasia or thread veins and they can appear on many different areas of the body. These networks of red, purple and blue lines often resemble a starburst pattern or a spider’s web, which is how they got their name. Some spider veins do not have a specific pattern, and instead appear like streaks across the skin’s surface. Spider veins are relatively common, affecting approximately half of all women by the age of 40.  

Spider veins are often placed in the same category as varicose veins, but there are significant differences between the two. Spider veins are usually smaller and pose little more than a cosmetic concern. The causes of spider veins may also vary, with heredity, hormonal fluctuations, sun damage, skin trauma and venous insufficiency all playing a potential role in the formation of these veins.

Locations of Spider Veins

While varicose veins typically appear on the thighs and lower legs, spider veins can appear on areas other than the legs, including:

  • Face 
  • Chest
  • Abdomen 
  • Back
  • Arms 

Spider veins may be a temporary problem, particularly if they appear as a result of pregnancy or the use of some types of medication. Once the pregnancy is over or the medication stopped, the vein networks may diminish without treatment. However, most spider veins are permanent, meaning they will not go away unless they are treated. The good news is there are many effective treatments to eliminate the appearance of spider veins today.

Treating Spider Veins

Although spider veins are rarely accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms, they can present a cosmetic concern. Treatment options for spider veins include: 

Sclerotherapy – a solution is injected into the affected veins, causing them to seal shut and fade from view

Foam Sclerotherapy – a thicker solution used to treat larger spider veins or the feeder veins that led to the formation of spider veins

Laser and IPL Treatments – often the treatment of choice for spider veins on the face, back or chest, these non-invasive treatments administer laser energy to the skin’s surface to destroy veins

Endovenous Laser Therapy – a narrow fiber is inserted into the affected vein, delivering laser energy that seals the vein shut so it eventually fades from view

Spider veins can be a cosmetic nuisance, especially as warm weather approaches and clothing styles change. If you are unhappy with the look of your spider veins, contact Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan at 212-204-6501 to learn more about your options in spider vein treatment.

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