What treatments are available for varicose veins and spider veins?
There are many different treatments available for varicose veins. These treatments vary based upon the size and location of the varicose veins, the presence of symptoms, and in cases of accompanying skin changes (for example, swelling, dermatitis or ulceration, for example). Briefly, potential treatments may include:
- leg elevation while sitting or sleeping,
- compression dressings with single or multilayered systems,
- compression stockings,
- sclerotherapy (injection of a liquid or foam into the vein to form a clot and permanently destroy the vessel),
- laser therapy, and
- surgery (removal of the varicose veins, or vein stripping).
In general, sclerotherapy and laser therapy are helpful in treating spider veins (telangiectasias), while sclerotherapy and surgery may be a better option for larger varicose veins.
Is treatment always necessary?
No, not if varicose and spider veins are primarily a cosmetic problem. But severe cases that do not respond to compression therapy, especially those associated with ulcers and dermatitis, generally require further treatment.
Thousands of people every year consider getting treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. Advertisements for treating venous disease often tout "unique," "permanent," "painless," or "absolutely safe" methods, thus making it difficult for individuals make a decision on the best treatment option. If you are uncertain about the safety or effectiveness of any treatment check with a health care professional.