Ask The Experts- January 2017

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: January 11, 2017

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

My question may sound vane, excuse the pun, but it’s about spider veins. The older I get, the more they are appearing. Is this related to menopause? What is the cause and can you tell me what I can do about them?

Thank you.

Cynthia

Dear Cynthia,

Good question. They are not related to menopause. However, those red squiggly veins accumulate as we age. In fact, the older we get, the more they increase. They also can be genetic. So some women even may have them when they are in their teens. Also, if you have a job which requires you to stand a lot, this is also a reason why you might be developing more spider veins . They typically don’t hurt, nor do they swell. Their treatment is considered cosmetic. Spider veins are caused by dysfunctional valves in the veins which causes the blood to back up and the veins begin looking dark blue or black. They are quite common. In fact, over 50% of women have them. So, let’s talk about what you can do to get rid of them if they truly bother you. The most common and effective treatment for spider veins is called ‘Sclerotherapy’. With this procedure, a dermatologist or plastic surgeon injects a caustic solution or salt water directly into the spider vein with a small needle. This causes the vein to close off and disappear. One treatment usually works, however, a second or third treatment may be required. Another option, is laser treatment. Laser treatments burn the blood vessel closed while leaving the skin unharmed. Laser treatments may require four to six sessions for optimal effect. The cost is somewhat higher than sclerotherapy because the amount of extra sessions to achieve results.

Thank you for writing to us and recommend that you discuss this with your healthcare provider.

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