Also known as telangiectasias, spider veins are networks of vessels that become visible on the skin’s surface. They get their name because they often resemble a spider’s web. Like varicose veins, spider veins may be caused by venous insufficiency, heredity, skin trauma, hormonal fluctuations or sun damage…
Although spider veins are often asymptomatic, some patients report itching and stinging overtop the vessels. In worst cases these small vessels become so engorged that they rupture spontaneously and bleed. Bleeding may also occur when shaving affected areas.Spider veins rarely cause the same physical symptoms as varicose veins. They can, however, pose a serious cosmetic concern, particularly when they appear on visible areas like the calves, face and chest. When spider veins are visible inside the knees or ankles, great saphenous vein insufficiency is often present. This underlying venous congestion causes eruption of the spider veins. An ultrasound venous scan may be advised if other symptoms such as heaviness and aching are present. The “gold standard” treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy; laser and radiofrequency energy treatments are generally much less effective.
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