Spider veins, also called telangiectasia, are a mild form of varicose vein in which thin, red lines or web-like networks of blood vessels appear on the surface of the skin. They are commonly seen on the legs and face and can be a source of irritation and embarrassment for the people they affect. Fortunately, spider veins can be treated in a variety of different ways. Unfortunately, there are a number of myths about the treatment of spider veins that can prevent people from getting the relief they desire. Here are the top 5 myths about spider vein removal along with the hard facts.
There Is Nothing You Can Do About Spider Veins
Perhaps the most egregious myth that prevents people from seeking care for their spider veins is the false claim that they cannot be treated. Spider veins can be treated in a variety of ways (e.g. sclerotherapy, laser surgery) and often with little or no discomfort. The procedures are so quick and painless, in fact, that many people go back to work the day after their spider vein treatment.
Spider Vein Treatment Is Dangerous
Some people believe that spider vein removal is dangerous because they remove blood vessels that your body needs. In truth, the network of small veins in human skin is so extensive and redundant that removing a few centimeters of the thousands of miles of capillaries will have no effect at all (http://web.mit.edu/hst527/www/readings/Lecture%2012/JTH%20EC%20DYNAMICS.pdf). Hundreds of thousands of people have undergone spider vein treatment and returned to normal activity the very next day. Spider vein treatment is both safe and effective.
Spider Vein Treatment Isn’t Permanent
When a spider vein is treated, the body reabsorbs the tissue and the affected vein disappears for good. While it is possible for other veins near the original area to become distended and turn into spider veins, there is never a recurrence of the problem in the original vein. What is more, patients who take the proper steps to reduce their chances of developing new spider veins after their treatment generally do not have ongoing problems. Spider vein treatments can be repeated too, so even if you do get new spider veins, you can simply have the treatment again (http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/varicose-spider-veins.html#L).
Spider Vein Treatments Damage Your Skin
The myth that claims that spider vein removal damages skin comes in one of the two forms. Either the claim is made that treatment weakens skin or that treatment will discolor skin (particularly for people with darker skin tones). Neither of these two claims is true. Certain types of spider vein treatment (specifically, certain types of laser treatment) can be problematic for some skin tones. Fortunately, there is more than one way to address spider veins and a well-qualified surgeon can work with patients to identify an appropriate treatment option. With a few simple precautions (e.g. avoiding sun exposure for two weeks prior to treatment), spider vein treatment is perfectly safe for the skin and causes no long-term discoloration.
Spider Vein Treatment Is Barbaric
Spider vein removal is actually one of the most advanced medical procedures available and it keeps getting better every year. It can now be done without cutting and without scars, which means recovery times are minimal and pain is almost non-existent. Most treatments can be done in an office setting with local or even topical anesthetic.
The Whole Truth
Spider vein removal is safe, effective, and affordable. The two basic types of treatment, sclerotherapy and laser surgery, have been extensively tested and are well understood by the medical community (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/expert-answers/spider-veins/faq-20058284). If you are considering spider vein removal, speak to a surgeon about the options available to you. There is a solution for everyone.