Our specialists here at Alaska Vein Care know everything there is to know about spider veins—it’s their job. As a patient, we don’t hold you to the same standard. You don’t need to know what telangiectasias means (that’s the technical term for spider veins), or how to pronounce sclerotherapy (the treatment we use to remove spider veins). A lot of the spider vein information out there today is in medical jargon; it may as well be a different language. But as a patient of Alaska Vein Care, you have the right to understand the basics in your own words. We’ve translated the most important information for you below.
What are spider veins?
• Doctor-speak: dilated superficial capillary blood vessels
• Translation: Spider veins are tiny blood vessels near the surface of your skin. When they become swollen, they create the web-like patterns you see across your legs, face, and other areas.
Why do you get them?
• Doctor-speak: heredity, actinic damage, atrophy-producing dermatoses, rosacea, elevated estrogen levels, and collagen vascular diseases
• Translation: The jury is still out about the exact causes of spider veins in different people, but they have narrowed it down to a few suspects. Your genes play a big factor; if your parents had them then you are more likely to develop them. Besides that, sun damage, prolonged and consistent standing or sitting, obesity, rosacea, and high levels of estrogen like what you may experience during pregnancy are some of the most common culprits.
How do you remove them?
• Doctor-speak: a sclerosing agent of hypertonic saline, Sotradechol, or Polidocanol is injected into the dilated vein, causing irreversible endothelial injury without disrupting surrounding vessels.
• Translation: a special salt solution or formulated detergent is injected into the spider veins to irritate their internal lining. This irritation prompts your body to grow scar tissue in the injured areas, cutting off blood flow to the offending vein. After a few weeks, the vein dies and fades form the surface of your skin.
Can you prevent them in the future?
• Doctor-speak: Alright, so the doctors probably won’t tell you anything you can’t understand when it comes to preventing spider veins. Many of the best ways to reduce your risk of spider veins are also the best ways to live a healthy life. Regular exercise will improve your circulation, a key to keeping your veins working like they should. If you have to sit or stand for a long time at your job, try to give yourself breaks or move around every hour to relieve the pressure on your veins. You can also wear compression stockings; these are hose that fit tight at the feet and gradually loosen up toward the waist, and they work wonders for your circulation.
• Translation: Take care of yourself with Alaska Vein Care.