Up to 55% of women and 45% of men have spider veins. These clusters of blue veins often occur on the legs, but they can also appear on your face, in the pelvic area, or on the ankles. While they aren’t dangerous, seeing a doctor is a good idea because they can rule out more serious conditions. At North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX, we will examine your veins and let you know what your options are.
What Happens If Spider Veins Are Left Untreated?
Some people prefer not to be treated, especially if there isn’t any pain associated with their condition. On their own, spider and varicose veins aren’t dangerous, so getting them removed is optional. However, it’s important to monitor diseased veins because they could turn into a more serious health issue, or they could be an indication of an underlying problem.
If you’re concerned about the way your veins look, you’re frequently in pain, or you’re having trouble living an active lifestyle due to your varicosities, book an initial consultation at the clinic. There are several minimally invasive treatment options like sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and laser vein ablation, which can eliminate diseased veins permanently.
You Could Develop Problematic Bleeding
When you don’t get your spider and varicose veins treated, the pressure in your legs increases because more blood pools in them. Over time, the smallest blood vessels close to your skin, the capillaries, burst and cause bleeding. You’ll know you have this problem because your skin will become discolored.
In some cases, ruptured capillaries can cause inflammation in the surrounding tissue. As a result, the skin in the area becomes very brittle, and the smallest bump can rupture it. This is why people with untreated spider and varicose veins are more prone to bleeding and bruising than others.
Blood Clots Are More Likely
Scientists have recently found a link between spider or varicose veins and blood clots. Often, clots that are close to the surface of the skin are painful, but they are nothing to be worried about because they don’t cause any additional health issues. However, deeper clots can lead to a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is often life-threatening.
These blood clots are just as painful as the superficial ones, and parts of them can break off and travel to the lungs, where they cause a pulmonary embolism. A PE can be treated, especially when the clot is small and the patient seeks medical attention right away, but it can cause permanent damage to the lungs. When left untreated, a PE can be fatal.
You Might Develop Ulcers
Open wounds at the site of your spider or varicose veins are common because the ruptured capillaries sometimes aren’t able to heal on their own. As a result, you might develop permanent open sores, also called ulcers. When the varicosities cause your legs to swell, your ulcers are likely to get worse.
This is not only extremely painful, but it is also risky because untreated sores can lead to infection. You might experience bleeding and develop a potentially fatal condition called cellulitis. If you have sores on your legs, don’t hesitate to call us at the clinic. We’ll help you find the right treatment method.
You Might No Longer Be Able To Live an Active Lifestyle
When you have spider or varicose veins, you might be in pain. Varicosities often lead to inflammation, skin infections, and open sores, so they can be irritating and prevent you from leading a healthy, active lifestyle. Because your legs hurt, you might not be able to walk, exercise, do your work, or perform tasks around the house.
Additionally, many patients feel uncomfortable due to the way their legs look. Varicosities can not only change the color of your legs, but the veins often bulge out or cause swelling. This might make you feel self-conscious about wearing shorts, dresses, or skirts. If you’re worried about the appearance of your legs, it’s best to get treatment, especially since our methods offer permanent relief.
You Could Have an Underlying Condition
Spider veins are one of the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when the veins in your legs can no longer transport blood back to your heart, so it pools in your legs and ankles. It can be very painful and lead to swelling and cramps. Over time, untreated CVT can cause disability and limit your activities. To stop it in its early stages, reach out to us as soon as you notice the first spider or varicose veins.
Who Is at Risk of Spider and Varicose Veins?
Almost anyone, even people who were previously healthy, can develop spider and varicose veins. The condition is most common in people over 65, women, patients who are obese, and those who have a family history of varicosities. If you have a job or hobby that requires you to stand or sit for long periods of time, you’re also more at risk. To reduce your chances of developing painful veins, get up and walk around frequently throughout your day.
In many cases, diseased veins can’t be prevented because they appear due to factors outside your control. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk. Maintain a healthy weight by eating nutrient-dense dishes and limiting your intake of heavily processed foods. Exercising regularly helps to reduce your risk because it keeps your circulatory system healthy.
If people in your close family have varicosities, examine your legs frequently, and book an appointment with us as soon as you notice the first indications of this problem. The earlier you address it, the simpler the treatment.
How Are Spider and Varicose Veins Treated?
Once you’ve been diagnosed with spider or varicose veins, we’ll speak to you about treatment options. Although almost all of our methods are minimally invasive, we will ask you to provide us with your health history, so we can figure out which treatment is appropriate. Most patients are eligible for sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, laser vein ablation, and VenaSeal, so they can choose.
Sclerotherapy is one of the most common treatments. It involves injecting a chemical, called sclerosant, into the relevant spider or varicose veins. This makes the walls of the veins collapse and therefore closes them off. Over time, your body will recognize that the vein is no longer functional, and it will break it down.
Because this method relies on your own body’s mechanisms to get rid of the varicosities, it will take a few months until you see the results. Once the vein has been broken down, your blood will find new pathways to travel through. The results are permanent unless you develop new spider and varicose veins.
Radiofrequency and Laser Vein Ablation
Radiofrequency and laser vein ablation are both very similar to sclerotherapy, but instead of using a chemical, we will apply radiofrequency or laser energy to heat up your veins and encourage the walls to collapse.
This treatment is minimally invasive, which means that it doesn’t require surgery or a lengthy recovery period. After you’ve been treated, you might need to wear supportive stockings for a few days, but you can resume your regular routine.
VenaSeal Vein Closure
The VenaSeal Closure System is an innovative treatment that uses a medical adhesive instead of thermal energy or sclerosant. With the help of ultrasound technology, we guide the device and make sure the adhesive is injected in the right spot. Because no radiofrequency or laser energy is used, it’s even easier for patients to return to work or their regular activities right away. It’s also worth noting that there is no pain associated with this treatment.
Small spider and varicose veins don’t require surgical intervention, but if you have serious varicosities, the above-mentioned treatment options might not be enough. Fortunately, varicose vein surgery is minimally invasive. Using a process called ligation and stripping, we will remove severely damaged veins that are causing you a lot of pain.
Get Rid of Painful Spider and Varicose Veins Now
While spider veins are often nothing to be concerned about, it’s important to keep a close eye on them because they can cause more serious health conditions like blood clots and ulcers. Reach out to us at North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX, and book an appointment. We can help you figure out whether you need treatment and, if so, suggest the best approach.