Spider Veins
Spider Veins
Spider Veins



The basics

Abnormal, problem-visible veins are part of the superficial system of veins and they are classified by doctors in terms of their size.


Varicose veins are bigger than 3mm in diameter.


Spider veins” is the layperson’s term for clusters of small hair-like veins (less than 1mm in diameter) visible just under the skin, often on the legs.


The medical term is “telangiectasias“. They are very common and occur in 80% of the population. “Reticular veins” are bluish and a bit bigger, 1-3 mm in diameter.


These kinds of visible veins are very common and harmless, but they may be considered unsightly and a source of unhappiness for the affected person.

What are common conditions which increase the risk of these veins?

Their development is associated with aging, hormonal changes (like pregnancy), having to stand for long periods of time, and having parents with the condition (genetics).


In most cases, the “dermal perforator” vein which connects to the deeper vein system, can be identified and blocked.


In a small percentage of cases, a problem with the deep veins may be present, so your doctor may decide to do a quick ultrasound scan to check if they are normal.

What are the treatments for spider and reticular veins?


There are several different treatments for these veins, each one with its own advantages and disadvantages, and no one method can guarantee the perfect long-term outcome.

Injection sclerotherapy is the recognized preferred initial treatment at Cape Town Vascular. A program of repeat injections is often needed to get to the desired outcome. For very fine veins, patients may be referred for laser therapy.


Rest assured you are in the best hands at Cape Town Vascular where you will be guided to the solution which is most appropriate for you.


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