Spider veins are raised blood vessels that are blue to purple to red in color  They are smaller than varicose veins, and are often seen on the legs and face. They twist and turn, and are visible on the skin. They are more predominated in ladies than in men, and increase in frequency with age. As many as 30 to 60% of adults will have either spider veins or varicose veins.

There are many reasons as to why one might have spider veins. Many do not realize that the use of birth control pills could cause spider veins.  If you have a history of blood clots, you will want to keep an eye open for spider veins as they could easily form. People that are obese often have spider veins, or those that have a standing occupation, such as a hairdresser.  It is hereditary as well.

Symptoms of spider veins include an aching pain where the spider veins are located. Burning or throbbing may take place, and tiredness may be present.  Heaviness may be felt in the legs.

There are a few home treatments that one can use for spider vein treatment.  First off, a lifestyle change may be needed. Walking can help to prevent spider veins, or losing a few pounds could significantly reduce spider veins.

Support stockings can also be worn to relieve spider veins. They come in three different styles:  pantyhose style, below the knee, and above the knee.  They can be found at many pharmacies and can also be purchased at surgical supply stores.

Sclerotherapy can also be used for spider veins. A highly concentrated saline solution is injected into the veins.  This will make the vein disappear completely within 3 to 6 weeks. This is an outpatient procedure that is not expensive.

Radiofrequency occlusion may also be used for those that are suffering from spider veins. A catheter that is not too big is inserted into the veins. It will send out radiofrequency energy to the vein wall, which will cause it to heat.  As it heats, the vein wall with collapse and seal shut. Local anesthesia may be used, and this will be referred to as an outpatient procedure.

Surgery could be suggested for the spider veins. Surgery could involve tying off the vein( ligation) or removing a long segment of the vein(stripping).  Surgery will be performed using either local, general or spinal  anesthesia.  Surgery  is usually only done to treat large spider veins and the patient can expect to be in the hospital for a few days.

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light is an option that many  do not like, as results are often disappointing. Heat energy is used to damage the abnormal veins. There is some minor discomfort but there are no needles used. There are side effects to this, such as blister formation and discoloration.

A final treatment is endovenous laser treatment. A small laser fiber will be inserted into the vein. Pulses of light are received in the vein, which allows the vein to collapse. Local anesthesia is used in this outpatient procedure.

Spider veins are unsightly to many.  And sometimes they just hurt all together or give awful side effects.  There are many ways that one can treat spider veins, either with the use of at home treatments, such as the support stockings, to taking better care of yourself.  And doctors will always be able to offer treatments in the office for removal of spider veins.  One does not have to live with these unsightly and annoying  veins, nor do they have to live with the embarrassment they might cause.