Choosing the right spider vein treatment

They are called spider veins for a reason--a network or web of bluish, purple or red veins have you...

They are called spider veins for a reason--a network or web of bluish, purple or red veins have you hiding your legs in pants or trying to hide parts of your face under layers of makeup. The good news is that metropolitan Atlanta offers many options for your cosmetic woes.

What are spider veins?

The venous system consists of a vast structure of veins that carry blood from the capillaries back to the heart. Veins have thin walls and a series of valves to prevent the reflux of the dark deoxygenated blood. Spider veins are created when the blood backs up and dilates the vessel, creating the labyrinth of lines you see beneath your skin that may increase in size over time.

What causes spider veins?

Both men and women are affected by spider veins. The main reason for these broken capillaries is something you cannot avoid--heredity. Eighty-percent of people who have a vein disease also have family members who suffer from the same problem. Hormones, an injury, obesity, increasing age or standing for long periods of time are also blamed for the formation of spider veins. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause them, as ultraviolet light breaks down collagen, which makes up the walls of the vein and causes it to thin and spread out.

Plastic Surgeons in Atlanta have many options for choosing a spider vein treatment, depending on the severity and location of the problem.

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is one of the most common ways of combating spider veins. It's a fairly easy, non-surgical and in-office treatment, where the doctor uses a hair-thin needle to inject a chemical solution into the vein. This irritates the lining, which in turn causes it to swell and stick together and also causes the blood to clot. Within several weeks, the closed vessels eventually fade and are hardly noticeable. The procedure may sting a little, but often a numbing cream is applied beforehand.

What is laser therapy?

Laser therapy is often recommended for smaller vessels, usually around the face. The doctor sends large bursts of light onto the vein, causing it to fade over time. Unfortunately, not all types or colors of skin can be treated in this way. Your doctor will recommend the best course to take after an initial consultation.

Prevention of spider veins

Exercise can help prevent the backflow of blood, improve circulation and help strengthen the vessel structure. Elevate your feet if you have a job that requires long periods of standing or sitting. Move around; take walks during your day if you are at a desk. Finally, protect your skin from the sun. Ultraviolet rays are damaging in so many ways, so wear sunscreen and a hat to protect the delicate skin on your face.

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