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Why do spider veins occur and how to recognize them?

Unlike varicose veins, which are extremely enlarged and red,blue or purple in color, spider veins are of similar color, but much smaller. Theylook like lines and are approximately the size of a hair, but since they resemblespider webs, thus their name. The main areas in which they tend to appear arethighs and ankles, although they may occur on calves as well, causing ache,feeling of heaviness, itching or even cramps at night. It is also possible forthem to appear on face (on the nose or cheeks), but regardless of the area, themain reasons why they occur are injury, exposure to the sun, hormonal changes(due to pregnancy, puberty, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy).Generally, people seem to inherit from their parents the susceptibility tospider veins.

What can be done to prevent their occurrence and can they betreated?

It is not always possible to prevent spider veins, althoughit is a fact that keeping the weight at an optimal level, as well as regularexercising may contribute a lot to the prevention. Supposedly, adding foodsthat are rich in fiber and wearing shoes that do not have high heels alsohelps, as well as an adequate protection from the sun.

As for the methods of treatment, there are several methodsavailable. For example, spider veins on face can be treated with laser, electrodessicationand intense pulsed light, and all the three methods have proven to be successful.Spider veins on other parts of the body, and legs particularly, can be treatedwith the help of sclerotherapy and laser therapy. Sclerotherapy consists of injectinga special solution into the veins in question, and this solution makes theveins disappear. No anesthesia is required with this procedure, which is doneon an outpatient basis. Depending on the case, two or three treatments areusually necessary. When treated with laser, spider veins are subjected to theintense beam of light, and two or three treatments are usually necessary hereas well for the results to be seen. There are cases in which the combination ofthese two methods is suggested. Even though these procedures are generally consideredsafe, some risks are possible, and the patient should be well informed aboutthem in advance. They include scarring, bleeding, infection, allergies, skinirregularities, discoloration and swelling, but whether ornot any of them will appear depends on several factors. Finding a good surgeonwith even better reputation will certainly diminish the risks.

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