Spider Veins:
Definition and Treatment


Spider Vein treatment is a common concern, that well over 80% of people in the United States get as they age. While spider veins are mostly seen among older people, you can get them when you are young. Most of a time they are a cosmetic issue, but some people do not like the look of them and want them removed. Here’s information about spider veins and what you can do to prevent and treat them.

What is the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?

Spider veins appear when small blood vessels near the surface of the skin become dilated with blood. This makes the vessels visible through the skin. The random patterns make it look somewhat like a spider’s web, which is where the name comes from.

Unlike varicose veins, spider veins are flat and don’t change the texture of the skin. They also don’t cause pain in most cases.

Where do you get spider veins?

There are two common areas where spider veins appear, the legs and the face. The face gets more because there are many tiny blood vessels in the face so the odds of occurrence are higher. The legs tend to get more because those are the vessels that have to work the hardest in the body.

Are spider veins a serious problem?

Spider veins are like a less-serious version of varicose veins. This happens when blood does not travel as quickly as it should through the blood vessels. As a result, the blood builds up in the vessel and becomes visible through the skin.

If you get treatment for spider veins you should also get examined for vein disease at the same time. This will help you find out if you are at risk for developing varicose veins.

If you experience pain and heaviness in the legs in the evenings and you have spider veins you should get examined. It could be a sign of a serious issue known as deep vein thrombosis.


While spider veins are a common condition, there are certain factors that increase the chance that spider veins will appear. These include:

  • Standing or sitting for too long
  • Family history
  • General lack of exercise
  • Age
  • Certain drugs (e.g. topical corticosteroids)
  • Pregnancy (often clears up a few months after pregnancy)
  • Smoking
  • Certain congenital diseases

The best way to decrease your chances of getting spider veins is regular exercise. Strong blood flow keeps your veins healthy and will prevent a buildup of blood in the vessels. Additionally, if you smoke, you can prevent spider veins and other health conditions by quitting.

What Spider Vein Treatment Is Available To Me?

If you do develop spider veins, they do not have to be permanent. There are several minimally invasive treatments for spider veins that do not require any surgery.

Sclerotherapy Treatment

For the legs, a medicine is injected to create a similar effect as laser therapy. This is called sclerotherapy and is performed as an outpatient procedure.

Once administered, the medicine injected into the vein begins irritating and dissolving the blood vessel walls. This irritation causes the injected vein to breakdown and disappear. The sclerosant can also be administered as a foam in order to treat a larger vein.

Sclerotherapy is a process and typically requires multiple treatments. Appointments are usually scheduled 6-8 weeks apart. With only two or three appointments, we can usually improve a patch of spider veins by 90 to 95 percent.

With new developments, there are also sclerotherapy treatments available for facial spider veins. Sclerotherapy for facial veins use a fine needle to inject the medicine into the vein.

These treatments are available for spider veins and varicose veins. Because they are minimally invasive procedures, we can complete your treatment in under and hour. You may notice some minor side effects around the treatment area, but they will fade within a few days
or a few weeks at most.

Recovery from Vein Therapy

After leg vein treatment, you will be required to wear a compression stocking for a set period of time. This prevents and reduces bruising around the injection site for sclerotherapy. There is a possibility that treated veins will need additional treatment.

As you seek treatment for your veins, make sure you ask your doctor about side effects and risks after surgery such as blood clots. Make sure you also discuss your medical history with your doctor in order to prevent allergic reactions.

If you never develop spider veins, you’re lucky. Most people will get some as they grow older. However, if you don’t like how they look or if they start to hurt, then contact one of our vascular surgeons or vein professionals at the Vein Centre for a consultation. We’ll be glad to go over treatment options with you.

Our vein clinics are located throughout the Greater Nashville Area. You can find us in Franklin, Mt. Juliet, and Belle Meade.

We should note that many insurance companies treat spider veins as a cosmetic issue, so vein treatment may not be covered.

spider vein treatment

Our Locations


125 Cool Springs Blvd, Suite 250
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone: 615-503-9895

Belle Meade

4535 Harding Pike, Suite 304
Nashville, TN 37205
Phone: 615-269-9007

Mount Juliet

660 South Mount Juliet Rd, Suite 211
Mount Juliet, TN 37122
Phone: 615-932-8346