Conditions Body Veins

You might not think much about all the veins and blood vessels beneath your skin until one is suddenly visible, discolored, and swollen. Visible, damaged veins like spider veins can disrupt your complexion and make you self-conscious. As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Langdon can help you identify your unwanted veins and find the best treatment.

What are Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

Varicose and spider veins are visible twisted or webbed veins resulting from the malfunction of blood vessels. They most often occur in the legs but can affect any body part. Though similar in appearance, these vein problems are two separate vascular conditions.

Spider veins, also called telangiectases, aren’t actually veins. They affect your body’s smallest blood vessels: the capillaries, venules, and arterioles. Spider veins appear as small, web-like networks of red, blue, or purple blood vessels visible just beneath your skin. These damaged blood vessels aren’t usually harmful or painful, but they can have an unwanted effect on your appearance.

Varicose veins affect your veins themselves and are larger than spider veins. Varicose veins typically appear enlarged, twisted, and blue or purple in color. Like spider veins, they can be a frustrating cosmetic concern, but they may also have other side effects, such as pain, itching, and swelling.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The primary cause of varicose veins and spider veins is a condition known as venous insufficiency. Veins have one-way valves that help regulate blood flow back to the heart. When these valves weaken or become damaged, blood can flow backward and pool in the veins and blood vessels, causing them to enlarge and become distorted. 

Hereditary factors play a significant role in developing these conditions, as a family history of venous issues can increase the likelihood of developing varicose and spider veins. Other common risk factors include age, pregnancy, hormonal changes, obesity, and prolonged periods of standing or sitting.

The best way to lower your risk of developing varicose veins and spider veins is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and weight management. Additionally, avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting and elevating the legs periodically can help improve blood circulation.

If you already have spider veins, varicose veins, or both, there are several options to reduce their appearance. Many people try compression stockings, which improve blood flow. Or, patients may try sclerotherapy, where a chemical is injected into the vein to irritate it and cause it to close. Sclerotherapy typically requires multiple sessions.

At the Langdon Center, we offer effective laser treatments to eliminate unsightly spider veins.

Laser Vein Removal

Dr. Langdon performs laser vein removal with BroadBand Light technology. The BBL energy heats the targeted blood vessels, causing them to coagulate and break down. Over time, spider veins fade or even disappear. Laser vein treatments have minimal side effects and require no downtime. This treatment is ideal for broken capillaries and other visible facial or body veins.

Take the next step.

To learn more about veins or to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Langdon, please fill out the form on this page or call The Langdon Center at (203) 453-8625. We look forward to working with you! The Langdon Center serves patients in the Guilford & New Haven, CT areas.

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