Spider veins and varicose veins are not only unsightly and potentially indicative of more serious medical conditions but can also lead to emotional distress and fear when considering treatment options. Many patients who wish to have either their spider or varicose veins removed are concerned with the risks and side effects of surgical or other invasive treatments. Non-invasive effective treatments are now available that do not have the risks of surgery. Read on to learn more about the importance of microcirculation in the treatment of spider and varicose veins.
What is Microcirculation?
Microcirculation refers to the smallest blood vessels in the body which consist of the arterioles, the capillaries and the venules. These tiny blood vessels deliver oxygen to the tissues and remove waste products including CO2. Abnormal microcirculation changes can result in severe damage to both the small veins and arteries and is a causative factor in both spider veins and varicose veins. Non-invasive applications with transdermal D’OXYVA (deoxyhemoglobin vasodilator) has been found to be successful in removing the appearance of both varicose veins and spider veins.1
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins2 also known as telangiectasias, are groups of tiny blood vessels that grow on the skin’s surface. They are often blue, purple or reddish in nature. They are frequently seen on the face and legs and have a spiderweb like appearance.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins3 are abnormal dilation of veins that often occur on the lower extremities. They are usually purple, blue and abnormally color the skin. They appear as dilated and bulging vessels that are above the skin’s surface.
What are the Causes of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
If the one-way valves in veins that normally prevent blood backflow become damaged or weakened, the blood may struggle to flow in the right direction and will begin to pool inside the blood vessels. This causes increased pressure in the veins which weaken their walls causing them to dilate resulting in pooling of blood that ultimately results in spider veins and varicose veins.
Comparison between Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Symptoms
Spider veins are usually small, tiny and flat, appearing blue, purple or red and are usually painless.
Varicose veins are larger and deeper than spider veins. They are twisted and have a red or fleshy color.
Varicose veins can cause itching, pain, bleeding, swelling of the legs or ankles and a heavy feeling in the legs.
Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Statistics and Risk Factors
Spider veins and varicose veins are very common with 30% to 60% of adults having either varicose veins or spider veins.4
Statistically, more women are affected with both conditions than men and the risk of both varicose veins and spider veins increases with age.
There are several risk factors that may increase the possibility of getting spider veins or varicose veins.
- Genetic factors
- Hormonal therapy (HT)
- Prior vein surgery
- Birth Control Pills
Prevention of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
The following provide some useful tips on how to prevent spider veins and varicose veins:
- Engage in regular exercise:This enables you to reduce pressure on the veins which allows blood to circulate freely.
- Wear compression socks: Compression stockings help to reduce or prevent the occurrence of spider veins and varicose veins.
- Avoid tight clothing: It is important to avoid clothes that are very restrictive especially around the waist, legs or pelvic region.
- Decrease your weight:Losing weight can help to optimize lower extremity blood flow.
Treatment of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
There are several methods to reduce the occurrence of spider veins and varicose veins in the body. They include the following:
The Use of Support Stockings
Support stockings are one of the more effective ways to reduce the symptoms of spider and varicose veins in the legs since compression improves circulation.
Compression/support stockings come in several different styles and colors.
Regular exercise such as daily walking helps alleviate the symptoms of both spider veins and varicose veins.
Ligation therapy involves surgically tying off a varicose vein and removing it.
Sclerotherapy is the process of injecting a chemical into a varicose vein which causes scarring and sclerosing of and then a collapse of the vein.
Radio Frequency Ablation
Radio Frequency Ablation involves using radio waves to cause the walls of veins to heat up and close off.
Gentle Applications on the Skin with a Deoxyhemoglobin Vasodilator
Transdermal (over-the-skin) deoxyhemoglobin vasodilators such as D’OXYVA have been found to increase the amount of blood flow to areas with low oxygen5 and in addition have been found to be a very effective treatment option for both varicose and spider veins.