- What are spider veins?
Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are abnormally dilated blood vessels in the skin. They usually appear on the legs but can also occur on the face, chest, arms, hands, and back.Although usually a cosmetic issue, spider veins can cause the same symptoms as much larger varicose veins, including:
• Heaviness, and
• Fatigue in the legs
- What causes spider veins?
Spider veins may develop in two ways:
1) Tiny pre-existing veins can enlarge and become dilated over time.
2) Or your body actually grows new veins where it doesn’t need them – in the skin.Pregnancy, estrogen-containing medications, and fluctuating hormones may also stimulate spider vein appearance; thus, spider veins are more common in women.The tendency to develop abnormal veins is largely hereditary, and there is not much you can do to prevent them. Support hose, exercise, and dietary supplements are helpful for symptoms, but do not prevent new spider veins (or varicose veins) from appearing. In some cases, spider veins may indicate larger diseased veins underneath the skin.Dr. Lee may use ultrasound to search for any hidden diseased veins. If larger diseased veins are found, they will need to be treated first or spider vein treatment will be ineffective.
- How are spider veins treated?
Spider veins are not essential and abnormal appearing veins. Sclerotherapy is a standard treatment for spider veins. A medication is gently injected into the abnormal veins causing them to shrink and disappear.Dr. Lee uses “Asclera” for sclerotherapy because it is very gentle and literally painless, compared to saline injection. Blood is re-routed into nearby healthy veins. Immediately following treatment, spider veins may get inflamed and/or bruised.This resolves with time as the body absorbs the veins. Typically 2-3 treatment sessions are necessary for optimal lasting results.
- Are cosmetic spider vein or hand vein evaluation and sclerotherapy treatment covered by insurance?
Dr. Lee charges a small consultation fee for cosmetic spider vein and hand vein evaluation. Cosmetic sclerotherapy procedures are not covered by health insurance. Dr. Lee’s charges are very competitively priced, and Dr. Lee is an expert in this procedure and she personally performs the procedure to assure safety and excellent results.The cost varies based on amount of veins treated and amount of medication used (determined at the consultation visit).Dr. Lee also posts special promotions in emails, Facebook, and Twitter when they are available.