Are you worried about your thread veins? Here’s what you need to know. Also known as spider veins or telangiectasia, these are common vein conditions. The trouble begins when the small blood vessels that lie beneath your skin become dilated and visible.
Now, thread veins come in several different colors. The small ones are red, but if you avoid treatment, they will change in appearance and severity. As time goes on, the veins progress in color from purple to green. This means that they are getting larger ( or more dilated.)
Thread veins are more common in older adults, but anyone can get them. And while some people with this condition will also have varicose veins, not everyone will. Let’s explore more about this common vein condition.
Are Thread Veins a Sign of a Medical Condition?
89% of women with small, visible veins developed this problem because varicose veins were dilating their vessels. And 40% of those women also have such a severe varicose vein problem that they will likely develop other medical problems in the future.
Because these two vein concerns go hand-in-hand so often, anyone who has the former should be screened for the latter. In our Houston vein specialist office, we can screen you for varicose veins with a simple diagnostic ultrasound.
This type of screening will help determine whether your thread veins are a stand-alone problem or part of a larger issue.
Why Do Small Veins Become Visible?
Most often, genetics predisposes you to develop thread veins. If your mom and grandma had them, chances are, you will too.
Other times, thread veins develop at the sight of a bruise or injury. This is a less common cause.
Can you Prevent this Problem?
As mentioned, thread veins are often a genetic inheritance. But, since they are also tied to varicose veins, there are some measures you can take to help reduce the onset of these veins:
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly: Inactivity and obesity have been linked to problems with varicose veins.
- Avoided extended periods of sitting: When you sit for a long time, you don’t use the muscles in your legs that are in charge of pumping blood back up to your heart. This can allow blood to fall back down your leg veins and pool, leading to swelling of the legs and bulging varicose veins.
Symptoms of Dilated Vessels
When your veins become visible through your skin, cosmetic symptoms aren’t your only worry. Many patients with vein problems end up with malfunctioning valves in their veins. That means your blood has a harder time flowing against gravity and up to your heart. As a result, blood can pool in your lower legs. And that pooling blood puts more pressure on your veins.
This pressure has two effects. First, it can make existing thread or spider veins more noticeable. But it also pushes other fluid out of your veins. And, when that fluid collects in your legs, they can swell (edema.) For that reason, if your legs or feet regularly appear swollen, it’s worth seeing your local vein specialist to see if your vein conditions need treatment.
Treating Vein Conditions in Houston and Dallas
When it comes to getting rid of visible veins, over-the-counter creams don’t work. Sure, you can cover them up with makeup, but that’s clearly a temporary solution. If you really want to get rid of thread veins, you need to first clear up any underlying medical problems. Then, if you are still dealing with thread veins, you can treat them with microsclerotherapy, which involves injecting a highly diluted sclerosant solution into your veins with a teeny-tiny needle. This injection will permanently destroy your dilated blood vessels so they stop showing up beneath the skin.
If thread veins have been bothering you and you want to rule out a more serious medical issue, schedule an appointment with our interventional radiologists in Houston and Dallas. We can screen you for other medical conditions and get you started on the treatment plan that’s best for your unique situation.