Spider veins (also called thread veins) are small dilated blood vessels. They are treated at Palm Clinic by microsclerotherapy or laser.
They have a red or bluish colour and appear on the surface of the skin; particularly the legs, face and elsewhere (eg chest and breasts).
Spider veins may be visible as short, unconnected lines each about the size of a large hair, they may be connected in a scraggly starburst pattern, or they may resemble a spider web or a tree with branches.
They are most common on the outside of the thighs and around the knees but can occur anywhere on the legs or face.
Spider veins are treated by Microsclerotherapy which is an injection technique using ultra fine needles or in some cases with laser or IPL.
Spider veins are also called telangiectases and these are typically fed by reticular veins which in turn can be under pressure because of chronic venous incompetence. For this reason at Palm Clinic we prefer to perform a diagnostic ultrasound of all legs before treatment to spider veins in case there are deeper veins which need to be treated first. If there are deeper veins needing to be treated we typically wait three months after the deeper treatment before treating the actual spider veins.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes spider veins?
Spider (or thread) veins can occur…
- After trauma and appear to be associated with obesity and with occupations involving prolonged standing.
- Spider veins often occur in association with underlying varicose veins often not obvious due to their deeper location in the leg.
- Generally spider veins will have been inherited genetically.
What treatments are available?
The doctors at Palm Clinic have treated thousands of patients over the last 13 years. They specialise in using the following advanced treatments for spider veins:
- Photoderm IPL
- Coolglide Excel vascular laser
- Elos Aurora (combined IPL/radiofrequency)
Photoderm or Aurora IPL are used for facial veins and microsclerotherapy (injection technique) or Coolglide Excel laser remain the mainstay of treatment for spider veins on the legs. See the links below for a full description of these techniques.
How do I prevent them?
- Wearing specialised support stockings and pantyhose may prevent dilated blood vessels from developing in some people.
- Maintaining an ideal weight and regular exercise - especially walking, may also be helpful.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes as they can restrict ankle movement and thereby affect the pumping mechanism of the large veins in the feet and calves.