Unsightly small veins (known as spider veins) mostly occur on women’s thighs, but can occur in men, especially in the face. Spider veins, also known as broken capillaries, are tiny blood vessels no more than 2mm in diameter. They are bluish, purple or red and often form a web-like netting just below the skin’s surface.
What causes these veins?
Spider veins occur in both men and women. Female hormones seem to play a role in their development, which may explain the higher incidence in females. Pregnancy and standing for long periods seem to accumulate the problem. Spider veins on the nose or cheeks of fair-skinned people may be related to sun exposure.
Are leg and face veins a dangerous condition?
Unsightly and embarrassing spider veins are not dangerous and are simply enlarged venules (tiny veins) which pose a cosmetic problem. Spider veins are not a sign of disease or illness.
How can they be treated?
ARC’s non-surgical treatment option consists of a program of small injections of a salt solution into the veins. It is harmless and only gives the sensation of an ant bite. Treatment takes about 30 minutes and needs to be repeated twice over a period of four weeks. The spider veins will gradually disappear over a period of two or three months. Treatment is for existing unsightly spider veins and does not act as a preventive measure.
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally the skin over the injection site may become more pigmented (darkened). This is only temporary and will disappear over a three-month period. Very occasionally a small ulcer may form at the injection site. Again this is normal and nothing of concern and will heal in about ten days.
Will they appear again?
The veins that have been treated disappear permanently. New veins can form on the legs, and these require additional treatment.