Spider veins may not present the same degree of concern as varicose veins. These dilated vessels are smaller. Because they are superficial, though, they are highly visible. Spider veins commonly occur around the ankles, on the thighs, and may even be seen on the face. There are several factors that may lead to the development of these webs of purple, red, and blue. The one that most people latch on to is weight. As a result, we are commonly asked if losing weight will get rid of spider veins. We want to discuss that here.
Understanding Spider Veins
Like varicose veins, spider veins occur when the walls of certain veins grow weak. Weakness in the walls of a blood vessel of any size allows blood to back up. When blood stagnates in a part of a vein, that area becomes swollen. In the case of superficial veins, the overlying skin also becomes discolored with the visible, pooled blood. Spider veins can become a significant cosmetic concern, but do not present serious medical concern. They typically relate to factors such as age, genetics, lifestyle, hormones, and, yes, weight.
Putting on weight is oh so easy, as much as we wish it weren’t. With age, it seems one must work harder to keep weight within a healthy range. This could be due to changes in lifestyle but, most often, it has to do with hormones and how they affect metabolism. When the body holds extra weight, all systems are subjected to increased stress. Patterns of spider veins and bulging varicose veins typically occur on the lower extremities, potentially caused or worsened by the pressure of excess weight on the lower body. Observing weight as a potential cause of problematic veins, it makes sense that one may also think the reverse could happen; that losing weight could repair the weakened veins. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Once veins have become weak and enlarged, they cannot be repaired. There are only two ways to approach spider veins and varicose veins. They can be treated and steps can be taken to prevent them. Dr. Lee offers safe, effective spider vein treatment in our Sherman Oaks office. Our patients can obtain excellent results with sclerotherapy or a combination of that technique and laser spider vein treatment. Appointments typically take less than an hour and very little, if any, downtime is needed after veins are treated.
Learn more about spider vein treatment at (818) 325-0400.