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Elderly Woman with Varicose

Spider veins are very common, particularly in individuals over the age of 50. These veins can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but effective treatment options are available. Here is what you need to know about spider veins:

Spider vs. Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large, knobby veins that become visibly swollen beneath the surface of the skin. They are most commonly found on the legs. Spider veins are similar, but are smaller and located closer to the skin’s surface. They are often red or blue in color and may be visible in tree-like networks just under the skin’s surface. Like varicose veins, they are often found in the legs, but spider veins are also common on the face.

Causes of Spider Veins

Spider veins are generally the result of the backup of blood caused by weakened blood valves. Some people are simply born with weak valves, but most people develop them with time. Factors including age, obesity, hormonal changes, and genetics can increase a person’s risk. Spider veins can also be caused by injuries or sun exposure.

Treatment of Spider Veins

Spider veins may cause discomfort or itching in the legs, but are mostly a cosmetic concern. If the appearance or discomfort caused by your veins is leaving you distressed or embarrassed, a dermatologist can recommend several treatment options. Depending on the severity of your spider veins and your treatment goals, one or more of these options may be a good fit. Compression stockings can improve circulation and are an inexpensive and noninvasive option. Sclerotherapy is a popular and very effective option in which your doctor injects a chemical into the vein, which then closes and becomes scar tissue. Laser treatments and surgery are also options for more severe cases.

If you are concerned about spider veins, a dermatologist can offer you additional information and guidance. For skincare in Salt Lake City, call Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology at 801-266-8841. You can also find out more about our services by visiting our website.