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How Are Spider Veins and Varicose Veins Different and How Do I Get RID of Them?

How do I know which kind of veins I  have and, more importantly, how do I get rid of them?!

Spider Veins

Spider veins, medically called telangiectasias, are tiny 1-2 mm red and purple capillaries that often have a spider web appearance, or they may also look like tiny sunbursts, branching trees, or squiggly lines. Women are more likely to develop spider veins than men.  If your mother had them, chances are greater you will too too.  Though your spider veins may cause aching or discomfort, they are more of a cosmetic concern than a medical issue and treatment is not covered by insurance.

Spider Veins are treated with sclerotherapy using an FDA- approved medication to painlessly burn the lining of the vessel, destroying the vessel which is then slowly absorbed by your body.  Best results are obtained when compression hose are worn for 2 weeks after your treatment.  Depending on how many spider veins you have, three or more sessions, spaced 8 weeks apart, are often required to get desired results.  Like grey hairs, new spider veins will appear over time.  Some tiny red spider veins, like those occurring on the face, are too small for a needle. Those are treated in our office with a specialized FDA-cleared device manufactured for specifically treating them. The device, called VeinGogh, uses microbursts of energy to destroy the vessel.

Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins are abnormally large, ropey, bulging veins.  Not all visible veins are abnormal or varicose veins.  Varicose veins are caused by a leaky valve which lets blood flow the wrong direction.  Varicose veins with no symptoms do not require treatment and their treatment is not covered by insurance.

What about symptoms? Varicose veins can cause ankle swelling, leg pain, night cramps, and brownish discoloration of the ankle area.  Complications of varicose veins although rare, can include leg ulcers, bleeding from varicose veins and phlebitis.

If you have symptomatic varicose veins, your insurance may cover their treatment.  Most insurance companies require a 6 week or greater conservative therapy period which includes the wearing of compression hose.  A specialized ultrasound examination is also required to determine the suitability of treatment for your condition.

Treatments are done in our office under local anesthesia. The treatments are directed at the vein causing the varicose veins.  The vein may be treated with thermal energy to destroy the vein or chemicals to occlude the vein depending on the best option selected by you and your physician.  The newer minimally invasive technologies, which we have been using in our office for 20 years, have made “Vein Stripping” obsolete.

At Sky Vein & Aesthetics, we will help you through the process of treating your veins.  Dr. Danny Harrison is a general surgeon with over 30 years of  experience. He performs all  treatments in our Bowling Green office.  Call today to schedule a free vein screening and begin your journey to happy, healthy legs. 270-846-1500

Author
Shannon Harrison Shannon has a passion for skin care that works and doesn't harm the skin. She has tried it all! She has been trained by NeoCutis, EltaMD, ZO Skin Health and SkinBetter Science. She is the practice manager of Sky Vein & Aesthetics in Bowling Green, KY.

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