Leg veins overview
As they get older, many people will notice the appearance of veins on their legs. These may be fine purple or blue veins that appear in a branched or “spiderweb” pattern (spider veins) or they may be larger, raised, and darker in color (varicose veins). While more commonly seen in women, men suffer from spider or varicose veins too.
In some cases, leg veins are merely a cosmetic nuisance, detracting from an even skin tone and making the individual look older. But in other cases, leg veins can cause physical discomfort and will require medical treatment. When seeking treatment, it is important to work with a dermatologist who is highly experienced in treating leg veins. Utilizing his vast experience and expertise, Dr. Frank has been helping people in New York find relief from leg veins with the latest techniques and therapies available.
Types of leg veins
Before treating your leg veins, Dr. Frank will first determine the type of veins that you have on your legs – spider or varicose. The type and severity of the veins will dictate the treatment required.
Also referred to as telangiectasias or angioectasias within the medical community, spider veins are typically the less severe type of leg vein. They rarely cause physical discomfort, but can be very unsightly. Spider veins are smaller and appear in a branched or twisted pattern, hence their name. They are easily visible through the skin’s surface and can be red, purple or blue in color. In addition to appearing on the legs, spider veins can be seen on the face, particularly around the nose, cheeks and mouth. On the legs, they are most commonly found on the upper thighs, under the knees, and around the ankles.
When veins become enlarged, raised, and twisted, they are referred to as varicose veins. They most frequently develop on the legs, but can be found on other parts of the body as well. Varicose veins form when there is a weakness in the vein valve, allowing blood to flow backwards and pool in the veins. Varicose veins can cause persistent soreness and become very painful, particularly when standing for prolonged periods. People often seek treatment to relieve the physical symptoms of varicose veins, as well as improve the appearance of their legs.
Watch Dr. Paul Frank discuss Sclerotherapy with Asclera for Spider Veins
Causes of leg veins
A number of factors are associated with the development of spider and varicose veins on the legs. Risk factors include:
- Being a woman – in comparison to men, women are four times more likely to develop leg veins
- Age – leg veins tend to develop past the age of 30
- Pregnancy – it is very common for veins to form on the legs during pregnancy. This is due to the extra blood that circulates in the body during pregnancy, increased weight, and pressure on the veins of the lower extremities. Leg veins occasionally resolve without treatment after pregnancy
- Hormonal influences such as puberty, menopause, and the use of birth control or hormone replacement pills
- Medical conditions such as blood clots, tumors and constipation
In some cases, the only symptom associated with leg veins is the appearance of these unsightly veins, especially when it comes to spider veins. Many people who suffer from varicose veins, however, will feel an aching or cramping in their legs. They may also complain of tingling, throbbing, burning or heaviness in their legs. In more severe cases, the legs may swell, ulcers may form, and the skin may darken. Symptoms may be exacerbated when standing, during pregnancy or at certain times of the menstrual cycle. Patients often find temporary relief by elevating their legs or wearing compression or support garments.
In order to diagnose leg veins, Dr. Frank meets with patients for an initial consultation at his fully accredited New York City office. He examines the veins and reviews the patient’s medical history to determine the type and severity of leg veins that are present. Once he has diagnosed spider veins or varicose veins, he will suggest appropriate treatment options.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from individual to individual and cannot be guaranteed*
Dr. Frank has been treating leg veins in NYC for nearly two decades. He is proud to offer sclerotherapy, laser therapy and ambulatory phlebectomy to treat leg veins.
Sclerotherapy is one of the oldest and most reliable forms of leg vein therapy. During the treatment, Dr. Frank injects a solution into the targeted veins, causing them to shrink and eventually unnoticeable. It is commonly used for spider veins and varicose veins up to 1cm in diameter and provides relief for the physical symptoms associated with these types of veins. Sclerotherapy is not suitable for all types of leg veins. For example, sclerotherapy may not be able to reduce very deep veins or extensive networks of veins. In these instances, Dr. Frank may suggest an alternate therapy.
V-Beam laser therapy
Laser therapy is less commonly used to treat leg veins, however it can be used when treating smaller spider veins that cannot be reduced with sclerotherapy. For such cases, Dr. Frank uses the V-Beam laser, which is particularly effective for use on red veins as the wavelength emitted by the V-Beam targets this color. During the treatment, Dr. Frank moves the laser across the targeted area. The laser’s energy heats the red veins beneath the surface, causing them to break into many tiny fragments and be absorbed by the body. The results of the treatment can be seen immediately and no downtime is required afterwards.
Large, protruding varicose veins can be reduced through ambulatory phlebectomy, a minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Frank performs ambulatory phlebectomy at his state-of-the-art NYC facility using only local anesthesia. During the procedure, he makes tiny incisions near the vein and surgically ties off the offending vein. That section of the vein is then removed and he moves onto the next section, if necessary. Ambulatory phlebectomy reduces unsightly leg veins, but also stops surrounding vessels from worsening. The treatment requires only minimal downtime afterwards.
Schedule a leg vein consultation
Whether you’re suffering from pain associated with leg veins or are simply unhappy with the appearance of your legs due to veins, Dr. Frank can offer the best solution for you. Contact us today to set up your initial consultation at our New York office.