What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are small-dilated veins near the surface of the skin and measure about 0.3 to 1.0 millimeters in size. They may be red, blue, purplish, or greenish in color. The medical term for spider veins is telangiectasia. Spider veins can develop anywhere on the body but are commonly found on the face and legs. There are larger superficial veins called reticular veins that may be the source of spider veins.

Reticular Veins

Reticular veins are 1 to 2 millimeters in size and are the greenish color veins and are often visible on the skin surface. In actuality, these veins are in the subdermal area of the skin and many times associated with spider veins. The Reticular veins transmit high pressure usually from a deeper source to the visible spider vein complex.

The most common pattern of spider veins is located on the lateral aspect of the thigh. Spider veins in this location are related to high pressure in the lateral reticular vein. Treatment must not only be directed at the spider veins but at the underlying reticular veins as well.

Why Do Spider Veins Keep Coming Back?

Spider veins can reoccur for many reasons. Usually, there is an underlying cause that is responsible for spider veins. Spider veins are the end result of dilatation of the cutaneous veins. This may occur from hormonal or higher transmitted pressure from the venous circulation.

If the cause of the spider vein is not properly treated, they can easily reoccur. Perforating veins can also cause spider veins to appear. Even if everything has been done properly to address spider veins and treat them, reoccurrence is always a possibility. Just as with larger veins, your body has the tendency to reform spider veins once they have already occurred. Pregnancy with its increased venous pressure and genetic susceptibility, are major factors in the formation of spider veins.

Spider Vein FAQ:

Why do I have spider veins?

Spider veins occur in up to 80% of the population. Spider veins are the result of high venous pressure in the skin circulation. This is not high blood pressure but, elevated vein pressure secondary to nonfunctioning valves at some location. They may be the result of genetics, pregnancy, deeper venous reflux, or trauma.

What is the best treatment for spider veins?

The treatment varies according to the size and the cause of the spider veins. In most cases, sclerotherapy is always needed and other therapies can be added to improve the treatment. Examples of other modalities are ohmic thermolysis, laser, and micro-surgical techniques.

Can I exercise after treatment?

If you exercise, you should not wear tight shorts or do exercise that increases venous pressure such as leg presses, etc..

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy refers to the injection of a solution into the vein to cause eventual internal scarring of the vein. Sclerotherapy has been used for years and both large and small veins can be treated. After injection, it may take a few weeks for the vein to go away or repeated injections may be needed.

Will my spider veins that are treated come back?

If the source of the spider veins is identified and treated, then there is a good chance that the veins will not come back. However, you can always form new veins in a different location.

Do I have to wear compression stockings after my treatment?

Some studies have shown that wearing stockings provides comfort and may speed the resolution of the treated veins. However, all doctors do not agree with this.

Is spider vein treatment painful?

There is minor discomfort with all forms of treatment. Sometimes doctors cool the skin with ice, cooling air or a cooling spray to minimize discomfort. Most patients tolerate the procedure very well without skin cooling.

Can I go back to work after treatment?


What can I use after treatment to help with healing?

Look for an all-natural product that can help soothe the skin and promote healing. Dermaka is an all-natural plant-based product that decreases bruising and has anti-inflammatory properties.


Sclerotherapy is a procedure where your provider injects a solution directly into spider veins or small varicose veins causing the vein walls to collapse together and reabsorb into the local tissue.

Smaller veins absorbed in 3-4 weeks and large within 3-4 months.
Patients receiving the treatment have 87% satisfaction in the results.
Based on the size and complexity of the veins, some patients require several treatments for satisfaction.

Sclerotherapy is sought by patients for cosmetic improvements of the affected site. However, some find relief from the treatment of pain, swelling, cramping, and burning in the region of the veins.

The treatment is generally 45 to 90 minutes long. The provider uses vision, touch, and usually a vein light to identify treatable veins and confirm adequate injection occurred. The site will be bandaged and compression garments will be applied to ensure the medication remains in the treatment area, reduce complications, and help compress the treated vein walls together increasing success.

Compression garments will be worn for 3-7 days depending on the size and amount of treatment required. They will then be worn periodically to prevent further spider or varicose veins.

You are encouraged to walk immediately and can participate in light exercise within 24 hours. You should avoid heavy exercise, sunbathing, hot tubs, saunas, pools, baths and lakes for 3 days after the procedure.

Possible but rare side effects are anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to the medication, “burns” or ulcers at the injection sites, localized pain, localized bleeding or bruising. Localized clotting is expected, however, very rare events of clots entering the deep vein system have occurred. Seek immediate medical care if you experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, or dizziness, or you cough up blood.

Contraindicated in pregnancy, known allergy to medication being used, acute blood clots, or known bleeding disorder.

Spider Veins Before & After