Spider veins, not to be confused with larger and more painful varicose veins, are clusters of tiny red, blue or purple veins. They can appear anywhere on the body, but usually are found on the face, thighs, calves and ankles. Here are some practical ways to avoid new spider veins from appearing and different methods for getting rid of the ones you already have.
Starting with the least expensive and easiest, a few spider veins can be hidden with a cover stick concealer that matches your skin tone. These are found in the cosmetics section at most stores for about $5. This is a quick, but temporary solution that will usually last the entire day.
For a more permanent solution, you’ll need to look into sclerotherapy, laser treatment, or a combination of both. These treatments are performed in a doctor’s office by a plastic surgeon or a supervised technician who has been specially trained for spider vein removal.
Sclerotherapy, also known as spider vein injection, costs between $100 to $400 per session. You can expect anywhere between two to six sessions at one to three month intervals depending on the number of spider veins and how extensive they are. Laser therapy costs between $300 – $450 per session. The cost also depends on whether a plastic surgeon or a supervised technician performs the treatment.
Spider vein injection (sclerotherapy) is the injection of a fluid into the spider veins to make them contract and collapse. A tiny needle is used and is fairly painless. This is the best treatment for medium to large spider veins.
Laser therapy is performed by applying a laser to the skin over the spider vein which stops the flow of blood into them. Spider veins on the face are usually treated with lasers rather than injections. At first, they’ll look darker, but over the next couple of weeks they disintegrate under the skin and disappear. This is also fairly painless and works best for small to medium size spider veins anywhere on the body.
If you are considering a combination of treatments, you might want to start with sclerotherapy as the smaller spider veins might disappear after the larger ones are taken care of. This will reduce your overall cost and duration of the treatments.
Although treatment will usually remove the spider veins completely and permanently, this will not keep new spider veins from popping up over time.
Prevention of New Spider Veins
Since it’s uncertain what causes spider veins, the prevention of them is uncertain, too. Spider veins are more common in women and can happen at any age, but there’s also evidence they’re hereditary. Pregnancy and a lifestyle that involves prolonged sitting or standing can be a factor in development of spider veins, too.
Here are some tips that may help avoid both spider veins and varicose veins.
- When you can, elevate your feet above heart level.
- Exercise daily. Walking or bicycling will help the circulation in your legs and reduce the pressure in the veins.
- Flex your ankles frequently if you are sitting down. 10 flexes every 10 minutes simulates walking and is enough to keep the blood pumping.
- Maintain an ideal body weight to reduce pressure on the legs.
- Avoid excessive heat on your legs from very hot showers, baths, and hot tubs.
- For long plane and car trips, wear support hose and either flex your ankles as mentioned above, or stop to take small walks at regular intervals.