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Reno Family Physician Discusses Spider Vein Treatment Options

Spider vein treatments are designed to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications or improve the appearance of spider veins. There are four popular treatment options available today. Compression socks are a good option for individuals that want to reduce leg pain, although they can’t improve appearance. Laser treatments, surgery and sclerotherapy all improve symptoms and appearance. Usually, sclerotherapy is the best option because it has the lowest risk and the least amount of pain.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are the most affordable spider vein treatment available. These stockings put pressure on the veins in the legs and can alleviate pain and discomfort. There are three types of stockings available. Support pantyhose offer little pressure and cannot apply pressure to a specific area. Over-the-counter gradient hose provide more pressure and are usually sold in drugstores. High pressure hose may be prescribed by a Reno family physician and must be fitted to each individual. In general, compression stockings work well to alleviate discomfort but they cannot improve the appearance of spider veins.

Laser Treatments

A family physician may use surface laser treatments to treat spider veins. This procedure uses strong bursts of light that are sent throughout the skin. This causes veins to slowly fade, although the process can be very painful even though no needles or incisions are made. Laser treatments do not work for everyone because the laser only works with certain skin types and shades. It’s possible for a single spider vein to require up to five separate treatments and veins larger than 3mm cannot be treated with a laser. Potential side effects include swollen skin and discoloration that can last for months.

Surgery

Surgery is the most invasive spider vein treatment available and is reserved for large veins. This procedure involves tying veins shut or removing them completely with small incisions. Although it doesn’t affect circulation, surgery can be hard to recover from and involves many risks. The recovery takes up to a month and pain can last for many weeks. Permanent scars, infection and nerve tissue damage are possible risks of the surgery. Surgery or deep laser treatment from a vascular surgeon is the way to treat varicose veins (especially the larger veins on the ones that stick out).

Sclerotherapy as a Spider Vein Treatment

By far the most common spider vein treatment is a procedure called sclerotherapy. This treatment usually takes place in the office of a family physician. The doctor will inject a very small amount of liquid chemical into the spider vein, which causes it to swell and then stick together and seal. This stops the flow of blood through the vein and it turns to scar tissue. Within weeks the appearance usually fades completely. No anesthesia is required, although two or three treatments may be necessary for stubborn veins. Compression socks are usually worn afterwards to reduce swelling.

Spider veins can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that can improve appearances. Compression stockings prescribed by a Reno family physician are a good choice to reduce general discomfort, although most people prefer a treatment that can remove the spider veins completely. Surgery is very invasive and hard to recover from and laser treatments can be very painful and expensive. Sclerotherapy, on the other hand, can be performed in a doctor’s office and is usually successful with one or two treatments.