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Spider Veins

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins — known in the medical world as telangiectasias or sunburst varicosities — are small, thin veins that lie close to the surface of the skin. Although these super-fine veins are connected with the larger venous system, they are not an essential part of it. They often cover the legs and even the face, are damaged veins that appear to be similar to varicose veins, only thinner. Appearing red or blue in color and similarly like thin spider webs or branches, these veins are closer to the skin surface and can spread over a range of areas on the skin; however, unlike varicose veins, spider veins are typically not raised above the skin's surface.

Some factors contribute to the development of spider veins, including heredity, pregnancy and other events that cause hormonal shifts, weight gain, occupations or activities that require prolonged sitting or standing, and the use of certain medications.

Spider veins usually take on one of three basic patterns. They may appear in a true spider shape with a group of veins radiating outward from a dark central point; they may be arborizing and will resemble tiny branch-like shapes, or they may be simple linear and appear as thin separate lines. Linear spider veins are commonly seen on the inner knee, whereas the arborizing pattern often appears on the outer thigh in a sunburst or cartwheel distribution.

Spider veins before and after

Before treatment, spider veins are quite noticeable, contrasting sharply with the surrounding skin. After treatment, spider veins are nearly invisible.

Here at The Iowa Clinic, spider veins can be treated with Sclerotherapy in our Vein Therapy Center and with a laser treatment here in the Medical Spa.

We encourage patients to schedule a consultation to determine the best treatment option for you. What is great, is you can quickly be referred between both departments to meet all your vein needs.

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