Are you embarrassed by the appearance of your legs when wearing shorts or skirts? Are you struggling with spider veins that reside on your upper thighs and legs? If so, you are not alone. A common problem, especially for women, spider veins usually don’t pose a medical problem but they do almost always cause some element of cosmetic concern for countless Northern Virginia men and women. So is there a way to treat these unsightly veins on your legs? The answer is yes!
Dr. Timothy Mountcastle is a board-certified plastic surgeon and medical vein specialist serving the greater Northern Virginia area. He is the Director of the Mountcastle certified vein center in Ashburn, VA where he treats a number of vein conditions helping patients to achieve a smoother skin appearance free of visible spider veins. Spider veins CAN be eliminated so let’s take a look at this common problem and what can be done to help you feel confident wearing shorts again!
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are small, thin squiggly lines that are usually red in color but can also be blue or purple. This weblike network of veins can look like a spider web or branches on a tree. Unlike varicose veins, spider veins appear under the skin but are not raised in appearance or make the skin bulge. They are commonly seen on the ankles, legs, upper thighs, and hands but can also appear on the face. In some cases, after standing for long periods of time, spider veins can cause some discomfort but for the most part, they are medically harmless. They are mostly a cosmetic nuisance making patients feel self-conscious. Because of this, Northern Virginia men and women seek help by finding a certified vein treatment center to help remove unsightly spider veins.
Why do Spider Veins appear?
You have veins to carry blood throughout your entire body. Veins carry blood back and forth to the heart and have valves that open and close to allow for blood flow. When one of them doesn’t close properly then blood begins to build up in that vein. Over time, that blood begins to “pool” causing the vein to aesthetically appear through the skin. The exact cause as to why spider veins occur is unclear but some factors can be heredity, fluctuations in weight gain or hormones, or an injury causing damage to the veins in that area.
What are some other risks of developing spider veins?
Spider veins are veins with damaged valves preventing blood flow. They are a common issue for Northern Virginia men and women, and even though it is uncertain why spider veins occur, here are some likely factors:
- Limited activity or sitting and standing for long periods of time can inhibit blood flow or cause poor circulation leading to spider veins.
- Obesity or excessive weight puts extra pressure on veins, especially in the legs which can cause the development of spider veins.
- Aging or getting older makes veins weaken over time, which can lead to new visible spider veins; In addition, as we age, the natural thinning of the skin can make existing spider veins become more prevalent.
- An injury to a specific area can cause damage to veins causing a change in blood flow resulting in the appearance of spider veins.
- Changes in hormones for women either with menopause or even certain birth control methods can cause an increase risk of spider veins.
- Pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s veins with the extra weight as well as an increase in blood supply to support the unborn baby. This puts extra strain and pressure on the veins and may cause the appearance of spider veins. They may also increase in size or shape with each pregnancy.
Options to treat spider veins
If you are dealing with spider veins, finding a certified vein specialist to access your situation is the first part of getting treatments. Dr. Mountcastle and his professionally trained staff at Mountcastle Vein Clinic Ashburn, VA provide patients throughout Northern Virginia the latest state-of-the-art technology with removing and eliminating their unsightly vein issues. Depending on the severity of your spider veins, some conservative approaches can be done like wearing compression socks or garments to improve circulation as well as changing your lifestyle like walking more or losing weight (if needed). With some spider vein cases, there are treatments that can help remove them or decrease their appearance:
This popular technique, and the one mainly used by Dr. Mountcastle, can safely and permanently remove spider veins. By injecting an FDA approved solution (Asclera) of highly concentrated saline or salt through a tiny needle directly into the vein that will gradually cause the vein to disappear in 3-6 weeks. Depending on the number of spider veins and amount of target areas, some patients may need more than one treatment but this rather simple, outpatient procedure does not require any downtime or absence from work.
Laser or Intense Light Therapy
Another technique, that can be used on spider veins or smaller vein issues, by using pulsating laser light to produce heat. This light is delivered through a small laser fiber, inserted directly into the vein, causing it to collapse or close up. It is also another fairly simple, outpatient procedure that allows patients to return to work and requires no downtime.
Ultimately going to a certified doctor, who specializes in these options of vein care, is a key factor in getting rid of your spider veins. Spider vein removal and treatment is an option but making sure you have a certified, experienced doctor like Dr. Timothy Mountcastle is imperative to get the best results. Do your homework, research your options, and find a qualified specialist as well as a certified vein treatment center so you get the safest, suitable care you need to eliminate your unsightly spider veins so you can love the way you look! If you are interested in the Mountcastle Vein Clinic and are in the Northern Virginia or Washington, DC area, then call or schedule a consultation with Dr. Mountcastle today!