What Are Spider Veins?

Spider Veins are broken capillaries, formally named telangiectasias, which are red, blue or purple thread-like veins (less than 2mm in diameter, flat or raised) on the surface of the skin.

Though smaller than most varicose veins, spider veins are often darker and more noticeable. This is because these veins are located just below the surface of the skin. The larger variant of spider veins, reticular veins, are up to 3 mm in diameter and have a blue-green appearance, and are often associated with telangiectasias.

Are there symptoms?

More common in women, spider and reticular veins may be triggered by pregnancy or hormonal variations. Spider veins may result in itching, leg restlessness, aching and throbbing. Bleeding may also occur from traumatized spider veins from shaving or household chores.

Non-symptomatic spider veins may also be found on the face and chest as well as the legs. Although surface veins are considered by some to be a cosmetic problem, they can also be just as symptomatic as classic varicose veins.

Treating Spider Veins

The gold standard for spider and reticular vein treatment remains surface sclerotherapy. Each vein may require more than one injection. Some results may be seen immediately; some results may take weeks or even months.

Additional Diagnosis & Evaluation

Especially for patients that have had recurring veins despite previous treatment or if you are having increased venous insufficiency symptoms (i.e chronic leg aching or ankle swelling at end of day), this could be a sign of a deeper venous issue. At Region Vein, our comprehensive approach is to evaluate the health of the underlying leg veins, which may include additional ultrasound assessment.

close up of spider veins

What is Surface Sclerotherapy?

A very fine needle is used to inject a solution (sclerosant) directly into the veins. This solution causes an inflammatory reaction that the lining of the veins to swell and eventually seal off the blood vessel, preventing blood flow. Newer sclerosant medications have greatly reduced the pain, inflammation, and post-procedure discomfort previously associated with surface vein treatment.