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Ask A Doc – Dr. Michael Rogers

Ask a Doc: Are spider veins something to worry about and how do I get rid of them?

A weekly column addressing your most sought-after health questions, answered by Harbin Clinic’s expert healthcare professionals.

Question: Are spider veins something to worry about and how do I get rid of them?

Dr. Michael Rogers: Spider veins are small, damaged veins that appear on the surface of the legs and face. These veins can be blue and purple in color and form thin lines or branches. Having these veins not only affects your appearance but can cause serious discomfort. In those cases, there are minimally invasive treatments that get rid of them and prevent complications.

Spider veins are common among children and pregnant women, though they can happen to anyone. Other factors that increase your risk of developing spider veins are genetics, sun damage, age, being overweight, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time. They are painless most of the time, but depending on the severity, they can cause pain, itching, bleeding, swelling, and an achy or heavy feeling in the legs. For these cases, Harbin Clinic’s team of board-certified vascular surgeons are fully equipped to treat issues dealing with spider veins.

The most common procedure done to eliminate spider veins is Sclerotherapy, which consists of an injection of a solution (such as sodium chloride or a salt solution) directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, which over time, causes the vessel to turn into scar tissue that eventually fades. If you don’t want medical treatment for your veins, there are other actions you can do to prevent spider veins in the future.

Do not sit or stand for long periods of time. Being in one position for an extended period of time places pressure on the veins. Change positions every 30 minutes to increase blood flow.

Avoid excessive heat. The heat associated with long baths and hot tubs will increase vein swelling and lead to blood pooling.

Avoid overly restrictive clothing. Clothing around specific body parts can restrict circulation and lead to spider veins.

Our vein surgery team and vascular health specialists can help you alleviate discomfort, medical complications, and embarrassment caused by varicose veins, venous ulcers, and spider veins.

Published April 7, 2021

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