Spider veins: Diagnosis and treatment

Spider veins are very small, but dilated veins lying in the skin. We also speak of teleangiectasis (in case of intradermal veins) or reticular varicosis (in case subdermal veins). In most cases the problem is a cosmetic one, as, by definition, spider veins do not develop into varicose veins.

But often they accompany a venous disease or they arise from operations on the venous system. Of more important diagnostic relevance is the so-called Corona phlebectatica paraplantaris. It is an accumulation of spider veins below the ankle and a common symptom and indication of an insufficiency of the veins. Therefore disturbances of this kind should always be excluded.

Endovenous foam sclerotherapy

Normally spider veins and less important dilations of the veins are atrophied. In Germany Aethoxysklerol using the agent Lauromacrogol 400 is the only remedy that is permitted for sclerotization. With the injection the inner walls of the veins are irritated and made “sticky” so that the veins close and finally dissolve completely. Even more effective is micro-foam sclerotherapy because Aethoxysklerol is foamed before injection. After the treatment compression of the leg is necessary for a couple of hours. This method is well-tolerated, pigmentation and effusions of blood (haematoma) are rare. When performed properly sclerotherapy is a leading treatment for spider veins.

Laser treatment

Alternatively, there is a therapy with long-pulsed NDYAG laser that is a little more expensive. The more delicate the structure of the vessels, the better the results. This method neither needs injections nor pressure bandages but is only applicable for spider veins that have a diameter of up to 3 mm (0.118 inches). The laser light is absorbed by the red blood cells, they swell and the blood vessel closes. Pains can be eased by cool-air treatment.

Learn more:
Varicose veins: Varicose veins: Diagnosis and treatment


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