Varicose and spider veins are both extremely common, affecting 75% of women and around half of men who are over age 60—nearly 80 million Americans. These problem veins differ in their size and extremity, with spider veins being smaller and less involved in circulation. Varicose veins are visible through the skin, raised and protruding, and usually occur on the legs. These swollen blood vessels are usually blue, twisted, and often appear bumpy or ropy. Spider veins may be red, blue, or purple. They are also visible through the skin, though raised only minimally if at all, and often look like a web or tree branch, with a “star burst” pattern of short veins occurring together on the legs, face, or other areas.
Heredity can contribute to spider and varicose vein formation, but so can lifestyle. People who stand for long periods of time at their jobs are more likely to develop these problematic veins, as are those with a medical history of blood clots. Other possible contributing factors include obesity, hormonal changes from pregnancy and menopause, chronic constipation, and some types of injuries.
Some patients report no symptoms from their varicose or spider veins, but they may cause aching or cramping pain, burning, or a tingling sensation. A feeling of heaviness and fatigue is very common as well. These symptoms are often alleviated by resting with the legs elevated above the heart, or by wearing specially-designed support or compression stockings. If the skin over the problem veins breaks down, dark patches or ulcers may form, especially around the ankles. Weight loss if advised by your doctor can help, as can appropriate exercise.
If these lifestyle changes are not enough to alleviate the symptoms that are still compromising your activities or limiting your wardrobe options, you may want to consider the many different medical treatments offered at our Nashville vein center. Dr. Siragusa will consult with you to develop the best treatment plan for your particular medical condition and life situation. The best Nashville vein care available includes careful planning, the most up-to-date medical interventions and treatments, and readily-available compassionate follow-up care to address all your concerns and questions—so you can go on with your busy life and love your legs again.
Spider Vein Treatment
In the video below, the patient was treated with a dilute concentration of Sotradecol, an FDA approved medication for the treatment of spider veins. Watch as her veins disappear upon injection!