JOPLIN, Mo. — As a patient ages, they may have trouble with varicose veins. It doesn’t look good, but it can also be associated with tired, heavy, or achy legs. You can tackle potential issues with the earlier-stage spider veins.

“Spider Veins are typically hereditary. We don’t really know exactly who is more at risk but it tends to run in families. And it can be associated with patients that have leaky veins, varicose veins, things of that nature,” said Dr. Joseph Newman, Freeman Wound & Hyperbaric Ctr.

More serious cases, like varicose veins, can cause issues like itching, swelling, or fatigue. Spider veins are less obvious and frequently less problematic.

“What we’re talking about now is more of a cosmetic procedure where we’re taking care of the tiny little spider veins.”Michelle Peterson, Freeman Wound & Hyperbaric Ctr.

Treating those spider veins can involve a kind of detergent called Sclera.

“And what we do is we inject very small quantities of this and these really teeny tiny veins with a teeny tiny needle. It’s quite amazing because it makes them disappear almost instantaneously,” said Dr. Newman.

The procedure is relatively quick.

“Depending on how many spider veins you have, how serious of it is. It can take, one session takes about 20 – 30 minutes somewhere in there. If we have to do several sessions of course we’d have you come back for more visits to get that all taken care of,” said Peterson.

Previously, doctors treated patients with hypertonic saline – which worked but could have side effects.

“Sometimes the vein will blow or pop,” said Dr. Newman.

But even the treatment with Sclera won’t last forever.

“Venous disease in general is something that we don’t cure at all. All we’re doing is treating the symptoms. So it definitely if you live long enough, you’re going to have more recurrences over time,” he added.