What to Do If Your Child Has Spider Veins | Spider Veins in ChildrenTuesday, August 1st, 2017 Blog
Spider veins are dilated veins that show up close to the skin’s surface and may resemble spider webs. Usually they appear blue or red and are most common on the legs and face. While spider veins are smaller than varicose veins (swollen veins that are filled with pooled blood), the two conditions are sometimes found together.
While not unheard of, spider veins are rare in children.
More common in women and in older people, varicose veins are present in around 22 million American women and 11 million American men between the ages of 40 and 80, and around 2 million of these people will develop symptoms that can reduce quality of life. In children, spider veins are considerably rarer, and severe varicose veins that require treatment are relatively uncommon in children.
What if Your Child Has Spider Veins?
While spider veins are less common in children than they are in adults, they are essentially the same whatever the age of the person who has them. Spider veins are usually caused by weakened leg veins that do not work properly and allow blood to collect in the legs rather than flowing efficiently back to the heart.
Spider veins and varicose veins do not always go together, but in children, spider veins should be examined to determine whether varicose veins are also present. If so, and if they are caught early, simple home treatment can be all that is necessary to ease symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.
Do Children with Spider Veins Require Treatment?
In children, spider veins in the absence of other symptoms do not usually require treatment. However, the presence of spider veins as well as symptoms like bulging or pain may require treatment. Trust St Johns Vein Center to determine if varicose veins are present and if they should be treated with ultrasound, which is non-invasive and painless.
When spider veins in children are not accompanied by other symptoms and when a doctor has not found evidence of varicose veins, the spider veins may simply warrant regular monitoring, unless and until further symptoms arise.
What Types of Treatments Can Help?
Treatment may simply consist of a plan to regularly elevate the legs and avoid standing or sitting still for long periods. Regular exercise is also recommended. Children who are overweight or obese can benefit from losing excess weight and increasing physical activity. Losing excess weight can help reduce pressure on the leg veins and can help reduce varicose veins too.
Just as in adults, regular physical activity in kids can improve symptoms and help delay development of new varicose veins.
If these simple treatment options are insufficient, compression hose or stockings may be recommended, and modern, non-invasive treatments are now available, including laser therapy, which can close off problematic veins. In some cases, a procedure called phlebectomy is used to remove varicose veins, but less-invasive procedures are often successful.
The good news is that spider veins respond to the same treatments in children as in adults. The steps adults take to reduce varicose veins and prevent new ones work just as well in children.
Why Might Parents Choose to Treat Children’s Spider Veins?
A parent who has varicose veins with unpleasant symptoms may worry about discovering that his or her child has spider veins. Our specialists at St Johns Vein Center can diagnose whether varicose veins are also present, and if the condition requires treatment. Do not assume that a child is simply “too young” to have varicose veins. They are rare in children, but possible. Determining the severity of the problem does not require invasive or painful procedures, and not all treatments are invasive.
While varicose veins generally cannot be prevented from forming, there is much that a person of any age can do to keep existing ones from worsening. There are also simple steps that can delay the formation of additional varicose veins, like avoiding sitting or standing for long periods and regularly elevating the legs above the level of the heart. Weight control and regular exercise are beneficial as well, as is avoiding high-heeled shoes.
Do not be alarmed if you notice your child has spider veins. Dr. James St George and the team at St Johns Vein can determine the seriousness of the problem, and even if treatment is necessary, it is often simple and non-invasive. There is no such thing as “too young” to have spider or varicose veins, and children with varicose veins respond as well to treatment as adults do. If you have any questions about spider veins in children, please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more.