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What Are Spider Veins?

Spider VeinsSpider veins are the small, dark veins that are seen just under the surface of the skin. They get their name because they can look like spider webs. Spider and varicose veins are closely related. Both are abnormal veins which develop as a result of veins with leaky valves. The main differences between spider and varicose veins are their size and location. Spider veins are smaller than, and not as deep as varicose veins. They can be itchy and painful, and because they are so close to the skin, they are more likely to bleed.

How Are Spider Veins Treated?

Spider veins are treated with sclerotherapy injections. A medicine is injected into the veins to make them go away. Most spider and varicose veins form as a result of leaky valves in other, bigger veins. 

Spider Veins May Be a Sign of a Bigger Problem

Spider VeinsImagine sitting by a campfire, with smoke blowing into your face. The smoke is irritating, but it isn’t the real issue. The smoke is coming from the fire. You could try to fan the smoke away, but as long as the fire is burning, there will be smoke. To get rid of the smoke, you need to put out the fire.

This concept applies to your veins. Spider and varicose veins are the smoke, and the deeper vein issues are the fire. As bothersome as the spider and varicose veins are, they aren’t the source of the problem. To get the best results, the fire should be put out first, by treating the issues in the bigger veins. If the surface veins are treated without first treating the bigger problems, it’s like fanning the smoke away without putting the fire out. Many patients who have had just sclerotherapy in the past are frustrated for this reason.

At McQuaid Vein Specialists, treatment of spider veins typically begins with a detailed ultrasound evaluation, to look for the problems in the bigger veins. Once the underlying problems are identified and treated, the spider veins can be treated with sclerotherapy.

Patient Testimonials

"Over the previous three to four years, Brad had experienced problems in his left leg, including aching, swelling, itching, hair loss, and skin discolorations and sores. He came to McQuaid Vein Specialists for an evaluation and had his…" -- Brad G.