What To Do About Spider Veins

If you have spider veins, you know it. Spider veins (varicose veins little cousin) are tiny capillaries that look like blue or red squiggles either radiating out from a central point, branching out and upwards like a tree, or appearing in thin wavy lines. They usually make their unwanted appearance on our thighs, calves and ankles.

Lots of women have the condition. In fact its estimated that half of us are walking around with spider veins. Even though most of the time, the only bother is cosmetic, spider veins can also cause aching, heaviness, itching and night cramps, especially if the underlying cause are larger varicose veins.


The factors that contribute to spider veins are heredity, pregnancy, hormonal factors and weight gain. In some women, spider veins make their appearance while theyre still in their early twenties but for most, the veins dont come out until the forties.


The good news is that there is treatment for this condition. Sclerotherapy is a procedure that can be done in a doctors office. The veins are injected with a solution that makes the spider veins collapse and eventually fade away. Each visit normally takes only 5 to 30 minutes, depending on how many spider veins are treated. However, it may take a few sessions before you see the benefits.

Another option is laser treatments. An intense light is directed at the veins, eliminating them permanently. Bruising usually occurs in the treated area and lasts for a few weeks. The cost of laser treatment ($400 - $800 per visit) is higher than sclerotherapy ($320 - $400 per visit.)Although many insurance companies will cover the cost of treating varicose veins, they generally wont do it for spider veins. Check with your insurance company before considering treatment options.Robin Westen is ThirdAges medical reporter. Check for her daily updates.See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.
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