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 Summer Sun, Short Shorts, and Spider Veins

​Summer staples include short shorts and swimsuits. Yet spider veins can influence summertime fashion choices.

“Removal of spider veins is a common procedure,” said Judith Lin, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “Most women (50 - 55 percent according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and many men (40 - 45 percent) suffer from some form of vein problem.”

Dr. Lin explains that blue or red close-to-the surface spider veins can be caused by: a backup of blood, hormones, exposure to the sun, or injury. Itching or burning can occur in persons who have spider veins.

“Spider veins can be removed with a procedure known as sclerotherapy,” she said. “It can be done in your physician’s office without anesthesia. Patients can return to normal activity right after the treatment.”

For more complicated conditions such as varicose veins, other minimally invasive, office-based treatments are available. “The first line of management for varicose veins is compression stockings worn daily,” said Dr. Lin.

“Other minimally invasive procedures include endovenous radiofrequency and laser ablation. Often, these can be performed in a vascular surgeon’s office. For patients who are not candidates for catheter-based procedures, a surgical procedure known as vein stripping is available.” 

To help prevent development of spider veins and varicose veins, Dr. Lin suggests:

• sunscreen,
• regular exercise,
• proper weight,
• not crossing legs when sitting for long periods of time,
• elevating legs when resting,
• not sitting or standing for long periods of time,
• wearing elastic support stockings,
• avoiding high heel shoes for long periods of time,
• eating a low-salt, high fiber diet.

Additional information about spider veins and varicose veins appears at:
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,863 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at®. Follow SVS on Twitter and Facebook.


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VascularWeb® is the prime source for all vascular health and disease information, and is presented by the Society for Vascular Surgery®. Its members are vascular surgeons, specialists, and vascular health professionals who are specialty-trained in all treatments for vascular disease including medical management, non-invasive procedures, and surgery.