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Do You Have Spider Veins?


Submitted by The Vein Specialists

Spider veins are dilated blood vessels that form just under the skin and result in red, blue, or purple clusters of veins visible near the surface of the legs. Spider veins appear due to the pressure of body weight, gravity, and the task of carrying blood from the bottom of the body to the heart. Spider veins can also appear on the feet and face. Besides the cosmetic appearance of the veins, other symptoms may include skin redness; itching; a firm, tender, and warm vein; and, for some patients, pain and swelling. Spider veins can be caused by pregnancy, heredity, weight gain, and standing or sitting for prolonged periods. These are the same factors that cause varicose veins. 

Not all the visible veins on your legs are spider veins. Some of your visible veins may be larger reticular or even varicose veins. Depending upon the severity, if you have only spider veins, walking, anti-inflammatory medications, cold compresses, and compression stockings are conservative treatment approaches. However, in most cases, sclerotherapy is the best option to eliminate spider veins.

Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins. This procedure, performed in our office, involves using a very small needle to inject a medication called sclerosant directly into the vein. For larger veins that are below the surface of the leg, the physician will use ultrasound to visualize the veins to be treated and guide injections. Smaller veins on the very surface of the leg will be treated without the use of ultrasound. The sclerosant causes the lining of the vein to swell until the vessel is sealed shut. These collapsed veins will then be dissolved and reabsorbed by the body. The number of treatments needed will vary depending upon the patient and the severity of the spider veins. Many of the veins will disappear during the first treatment and will continue to improve over time. The same vein may need to be treated more than once. Patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately after sclerotherapy.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your spider veins and would like to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians, call The Vein Specialists at 309-862-4000, or request an appointment online at We have convenient locations in Bloomington, Eureka, Peru, Springfield, and Streator.

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