Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that often appear blue or dark purple. They may bulge above the surface of the skin. Spider veins, similar to varicose veins, are smaller, often red or blue, and are closer to the surface of the skin. Spider veins are small, dilated blood vessels that can be blue, red, or purple and often resemble a spider web or tree branch pattern. Both varicose and spider veins mostly develop on the legs and feet, though spider veins can also form in other body areas. Spider veins that form on the face are referred to as thread veins.
Spider veins are primarily an aesthetic concern. In contrast, while varicose veins may initially present as a cosmetic issue, if left untreated, varicose veins can become uncomfortable and may lead to complications such as skin changes, ulcers, and an increased risk of blood clots. Fortunately, treatments are available for both these vascular problems, which can be administered in a clinical setting or at a medical facility.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
- 2 What causes Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
- 3 How Are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Diagnosed?
- 4 Laser Vein Treatment at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic
- 5 Results of Laser Therapy for Spider Veins
- 6 Other Treatments Options
- 7 Schedule A Consultation
What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
Varicose veins and spider veins cause different symptoms. Varicose veins are generally identified by highly visible, misshapen blue or purple vessels with a bulging, twisted, swollen appearance. Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins, appear closer to the skin’s surface, and are typically blue or red. These veins usually resemble spider webs or tree branches.
Spider veins are mostly asymptomatic, but they can sometimes cause aching or a burning sensation in the legs. Varicose veins, on the other hand, may cause the following symptoms
- Heavy, aching legs
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Burning sensation in the legs
- Thin, itchy skin over severer varicose veins
What causes Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
Varicose veins and spider veins are formed when the valves in the veins under the skin weaken, causing blood to pool and the veins to dilate. While the exact cause of varicose and spider veins is not completely understood, it is known to involve weakened valves in the veins. However, factors that heighten the risk of varicose veins and spider veins may include the following
- Sitting or standing for long durations.
- A family history of varicose or spider veins can increase your risk of developing them.
- Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing varicose and spider veins due to added pressure on the veins.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, or from birth control pills.
- Excessive sun exposure can contribute to the development of spider veins, especially on the face.
How Are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Diagnosed?
A visual inspection is often the first step in diagnosing varicose and spider veins. During this checkup, the doctor will examine your affected area. In addition to a visual inspection, your doctor will likely inquire about your medical history and any family history of varicose or spider veins.
For further evaluation, the doctor may recommend a venous Doppler ultrasound test of the leg, especially when they suspect you have varicose veins. A Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the veins, helping to assess the blood flow and identify any blockages or valve malfunctions.
Laser Vein Treatment at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic
Laser therapy is an effective treatment option for spider veins and can also be used for smaller varicose veins. It is a non-surgical procedure that lasts less than an hour, depending on the severity of the problem. While laser treatment for spider veins typically doesn’t require anesthesia, a topical anesthetic or numbing solution may be used to minimize discomfort.
The Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic utilizes Fotona laser technology, which is effective in treating spider veins and suitable for smaller varicose veins. This laser technology uses short Nd: YAG laser light bursts to heat the targeted veins, causing them to collapse. These veins fade over time as they are gradually absorbed by the body.
Preparing For the Laser Procedure
To help you prepare for laser spider/varicose veins treatment, you may need to
- It is recommended to avoid sun exposure and tanning for at least two weeks prior to the procedure to reduce the risk of skin irritation.
- Avoid NSAIDs, aspirin, and herbal supplements as advised by your doctor, as they can increase bleeding risk.
Post-Laser Vein Reduction Care
Taking care of the laser-treated area promotes smooth healing and effective reduction of spider veins and small varicose veins. Your dermatologist may give you the following post-treatment guidelines
- Keep the treated area hydrated by applying the prescribed moisturizer 3-4 times a day.
- Arnica can be applied to reduce bruising and soreness following the treatment.
- Avoid direct sunlight exposure for at least seven days post-treatment to protect the treated area and facilitate healing.
- Follow your doctor’s advice regarding the use of antibiotics to prevent infections.
- Keep your legs elevated for the first 48 hours or a duration specified by your doctor.
Results of Laser Therapy for Spider Veins
Laser treatment may cause treated veins to collapse but doesn’t make them disappear instantly. The treated veins will gradually fade and may become less visible or disappear, typically within 2-6 weeks, though individual results can vary.
Other Treatments Options
Sclerotherapy is one of the most common methods to treat varicose veins. During this treatment, a chemical solution is injected into the affected vein. The injected solution causes the vein to scar, prompting blood to reroute through healthier veins. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into local tissue and eventually fades. The treated vein shrinks and fades or disappears over time.
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
EVLT is often recommended for the patient with varicose veins. It is a minimally invasive procedure during which a dermatologist inserts a laser fiber into the affected vein. This fiber releases laser energy inside the vein, causing it to collapse. The treated vein becomes less visible or even disappears over time.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to treat varicose veins. RFA involves the use of radiofrequency energy to heat and damage the inside of the vein, causing it to collapse and seal shut. The treated vein becomes fully or almost invisible.
Microphlebectomy, also known as ambulatory phlebectomy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove varicose veins. It involves small incisions to remove large varicose veins. It is an outpatient procedure usually performed without general anesthesia. The incisions made during this procedure do not require suturing and usually fade in 6-12 months.
Vein Ligation and Stripping
Ligation and Stripping is a classic surgery to remove varicose veins. This technique involves small incisions in the skin through which the affected veins are removed. After vein ligation and stripping, blood flow is redirected to deeper veins in the leg.
Certain lifestyle changes can help you prevent varicose and spider veins from worsening. Here is what you can do:
Wear compression garments: This can help blood that has been pooling in the legs and ankles to flow in the right direction, reducing the appearance of problem veins.
Elevate your legs: Elevating your legs reduces the amount of pressure on the leg veins, increasing blood flow.
Regular exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can improve blood circulation in the legs, which helps in preventing and managing varicose and spider veins.
Limit salt intake: Reducing salt consumption can help minimize water retention and pressure on the veins.
Maintain a healthy weight: Maintaining a healthy weight reduces pressure on leg veins, thereby decreasing the risk of developing varicose veins.
Schedule A Consultation
If you have decided to undergo laser spider veins treatment, visit Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic today. We have the world’s leading laser specialists who are committed to providing the best laser spider veins treatment in Dubai. You can book a consultation with our experts to learn about the treatment in detail and you can clear your concerns as well. All you need to do is fill in the consultation form below and we will get in touch with you.
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