Spider Veins

The Vein Center at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center has unmatched expertise in treating spider veins. Our nationally renowned, board-certified vein specialists are leaders in vein disease medical societies. Together, we’ll develop a personalized plan to provide the best possible outcome for you.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are tiny, swollen veins close to the surface of the skin. They look like a nest of fine blue or red lines that twist and turn like a spider web. Spider veins are not usually a serious medical problem, but they can be a cosmetic concern. It some cases, they can cause symptoms of aching, burning or itching. 

Most people develop spider veins as they age and they’re often more prominent for women. Very rarely, spider veins can bleed. Despite their small size, the amount of bleeding can be substantial and requires immediate medical attention.

What Causes Spider Veins?

Spider veins are caused by structural abnormalities of blood vessels. These damaged blood vessels allow blood to backup, causing visible spider veins. Spider veins can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun and certain injuries. Risk factors for spider veins include the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain
  • Aging
  • Long periods of standing or sitting
  • Family history of spider veins
  • Hormone therapy (HT)
  • Birth control pills

Spider Vein Treatment

Treating spider veins is usually considered to be cosmetic. The only exception is if the spider veins are bleeding. Our vein specialists use a painless injection technique, known as injection sclerotherapy, to treat spider veins.

Injection Sclerotherapy

Spider veins and small reticular veins are easily treated with the injection of FDA-approved agents. These injections are done using tiny needles and unlike older injections using concentrated saline solutions, the injections are painless. Sotradecol® destroys the lining of spider veins, which are then squeezed shut so they don’t fill with clotted blood.

This outpatient procedure is done without the need of sedation. Compression hose or stockings are usually worn after the procedure to help minimize pigmentation changes in the surrounding tissue. Most patients see significant improvements almost immediately but often the same area will need to be treated multiple times for the best results.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University vein specialists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call [Dynamic_Phone_Number].

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