What are spider veins?

Spider veins are the small, thread-like veins that are usually red, green or blue in color and can be easily seen on the surface of the skin. Spider veins grow from reticular veins, also known as feeder veins. These feeders exist in a dense network, and are usually a bit deeper in the skin. Spider veins may even be difficult to see in some patients because they are too deep in the skin. Many patients may not be aware that spider veins are proliferative in nature, often serving as a platform for the growth of additional veins if not treated or removed promptly.

What Causes Spider Veins?

The most apparent cause of spider veins is hormones, which can be associated with menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Increasing age, weight gain and genetics can also cause spider veins to surface. Spider veins are produced and developed by female hormones, causing them to occur mainly in women. Men are also susceptible to small veins, but these veins, which are darker and larger looking, are usually high-pressured “blow-outs” from nearby varicose veins.

Surface spider veins typically do not cause any pain, however the feeder veins deeper in the skin can cause discomfort, such as "restless legs". Many patients have a combination of both varicose and spider veins. While they may seek treatment for cosmetic improvement, most patients seek relief from pain.

Treatment Options

At Reno Vein Clinic, spider veins are treated using a proven, micro-injection procedure called Sclerotherapy. Using Sclerotherapy, Dr. Robert Merchant treats the unsightly surface spider veins as well as the feeder veins. By treating the surface and feeder veins, long term results are greatly improved. The sclerosant used during this in-office procedure is FDA-approved, and the procedure takes less than an hour to complete.