Superficial Vein Conditions

Greenwich Health

Interventional Pain Management Specialists, Venous Medicine Specialists, and Cosmetic Medicine Specialists located in Midtown, New York, NY, Darien, CT & Greenwich, CT

Varicose and spider veins are unsightly when they become prominent and can lead to painful, uncomfortable leg problems (e.g., heaviness, cramping, swelling, skin changes) if left untreated. Julie Huang-Lionnet, MD, and the physicians at Greenwich Health, located in Fairfield County, Manhattan, and the Greater New York City communities, are leading specialists in venous medicine and provide advanced treatment options for superficial vein conditions that eliminate the need for surgery. Call Greenwich Health today to find out how our safe and effective treatments can help address your varicose and spider veins, or book an appointment online.

Superficial Vein Conditions Q & A

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What are Superficial Vein Conditions?

Varicose veins and spider veins are superficial vein conditions that can be caused by a deeper vein etiology that can progress and lead to health problems that cause veins to become more visible or swollen under your skin. At best, it can be unsightly and can be uncomfortable or painful in the long term.

Normal veins have valves along their length, directing blood to flow in one way, and preventing it from flowing back in the opposite direction. If the valves start to weaken, it can lead to leakage in the one-way system that causes blood to collect below the valve. This means pressure builds up in the vein, causing superficial vein conditions:



Spider Veins

Spider and reticular veins are small blood vessels that form in groups just below the skin’s surface, showing as a network of red, blue, or purple in color. You can develop spider and reticular veins most commonly on your face and legs although they can develop in other areas of the body.

Spider veins may present without symptoms or may show early signs of aching, throbbing, swelling, and restless legs. While spider and reticular veins are smaller in size compared to varicose veins, they are sometimes located together.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged and unhealthy blood vessels that usually arise due to high pressure in slightly deeper veins within the leg, forming twisted or tortuous ropes of red and purple bulges from under the skin. They most commonly present on your legs although can also present in other areas of the body.

They may cause a feeling of heaviness or a dull ache, and it may be uncomfortable to stand for any length of time. If left untreated, they can cause swelling, cramping, heaviness, and even skin changes and ulcers.

What Causes Superficial Vein Conditions?

The valves in your blood vessels naturally begin to weaken as you age, so varicose and spider veins are more common in your late 50s and above. Additional factors that make you more likely to develop spider veins and varicose veins include:

  • Advanced Age
  • Genetics
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Multiple Pregnancies
  • Gender
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Having a history of blood clots
  • Being immobile
  • Standing or sitting for prolonged periods
  • Family history of superficial vein conditions
  • Family history of blood clots


Women are more likely to develop superficial vein conditions than men.  You should be evaluated for venous reflux especially when presenting with signs and symptoms, including:

  • Varicose veins
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Leg heaviness and fatigue
  • Leg pain, aching, or cramping
  • Burning or itching of the skin
  • Restless legs
  • Skin changes or rashes
  • Ulcers, open wounds, or sores

What Treatments are Available for Superficial Vein Conditions?

There’s a range of treatments available to help eradicate your spider and varicose veins secondary to venous insufficiency. The physicians and team at Greenwich Health perform vein mapping using ultrasound technology to assess the affected blood vessels and personalize the best treatment plan for you. Due to recent developments in minimally invasive procedures and advances in treatments, patients can be treated on an outpatient basis without needing sedation. Options include:


A mеdісаl рrосеdurе thаt involves thе іnjесtіоn оf a ѕаlt solution саllеd thе sclerosant іntо a vеіn tо соmрlеtеlу оblіtеrаtе іt.

Laser Therapy

Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Thеrmаl closure system that requires tumescent anesthesia and closes veins by damage to the endothelial walls of the vein by heat.

Non-Thermal, Non-Tumescent, Non-Sclerosant Closure Systems

  • Venaseal, alѕо known аѕ vein gluе, is a ѕаfе, unіquе, аnd mіnіmаllу-invasive mеdісаl аdhеѕіvе that can treat superficial vein conditions quickly and effectively without tumescent anesthesia and need for compression post-procedure.
  • Clarivein іѕ a mechanochemical-based еndоvаѕсulаr tесhnіquе that trеаtѕ certain vаrісоѕе veins mоrе quickly and еffесtіvеlу.
  • Varithena is the fіrѕt FDA-approved іnjесtаblе foam that improves ѕуmрtоmѕ associated with vаrісоѕе vеіnѕ and dramatically reduces their unsightly арреаrаnсе.

Endovenous Laser Ablation Treatment (EVLT)

A hіghlу effective аnd minimally іnvаѕіvе procedure which uses laser energy to cause the vein to соllарse quickly аnd еvеntuаllу dіѕарреаr.

These treatments work by blocking off or damaging the affected vein, causing a rerouting of blood to veins with healthy valves. If you’ve noticed signs of superficial vein problems, the physicians and team at Greenwich Health can help determine the cause of your symptoms and treat the underlying etiology before they worsen or progress further. Call Greenwich Health today or book an appointment online.