How to Show Off Your Legs This Summer (a.k.a. Getting Rid of Spider Veins)

First off, what exactly are those annoying spider veins?

The spider vein is a vein or series of veins that resemble a small line of a spider web or tree branches and appears just below the surface of the skin. A lot of times the appearance and severity of spider veins are caused by genetics however other factors such as pregnancy can also play a part.

Spider veins, typically found in clusters on your legs and arms, are typically “harmless” – meaning they don’t bring other symptoms with them. However, they CAN be a sign of poor circulation and should always be checked out by a doctor. They are ALWAYS somewhat embarrassing and maybe forcing you to miss out on enjoying the California sunshine.

So what causes spider veins?

There are definite “risk factors” when dealing with spider veins. These include:

  • Prolonged exposure to the sun and hormonal imbalance contribute to the deterioration of vascular function.
  • Being overweight
  • Vascular diseases, again, are prone to genetic predisposition.
  • Age, older people tend to have weakened veins
  • Previous vein damage or clot
  • Sun damage

Sclerotherapy Treatments FTW!

Sclerotherapy is a common treatment for this disease, and the doctor injects small and medium veins with a solution that scars and seals the affected veins. Your body will redirect your blood circulation to healthy veins. In some cases, your doctor may ask you to give the injection again, but the procedure is relatively simple and painless. Where many offices still treat patients with saline or salt water injections, Dr. Malvehy exclusively uses Asclera, the only brand name, FDA-approved medication for spider veins, as part of a customized treatment plan. By identifying the root cause of spider veins using ultrasound, refractive light, and years of experience, and then applying the latest treatment techniques – including foam sclerotherapy and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy – Dr. Malvehy is often able to definitively treat large or resistant spider vein complexes – often in just a single treatment.

Read up on sclerotherapy here.

What about using compression stockings?

Compression stockings are one of the most recommended forms of treatment by doctors. Thanks to these stockings, they are able to prevent the flow of blood in the wrong direction, causing the appearance of spider-like veins, and can reduce the appearance and discomfort potentially caused by spider veins. These stockings do not require a prescription and are easy to find at the pharmacy.

However, before deciding on this treatment, you should consult with your doctor about how often and how long they should be worn with this you can be sure that you will get beach ready!

We recommend patients use compression stockings for 2-3 days after treatment. Usually, they sleep in them the first night and then take them off to shower and sleep beginning the day after treatment.


Dr. Albert Malvehy

Dr. Albert Malvehy

M. Albert Malvehy, MD, RVT, dABVLM is a top-rated East Bay vein doctor serving the East Bay and greater San Francisco, California area. One of the few physicians in the country who devotes his practice exclusively to vein disease, Dr. Malvehy performs over 500 major varicose vein treatments using laser vein treatment and 1,000 spider vein treatments with sclerotherapy every year.

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East Bay Vein Specialists