For about 55 percent of women and 45 percent of men in the United States, insufficient blood flow in the legs causes broken veins, aching legs, leg fatigue and skin discoloration. According to the Society of Interventional Radiology, older people, women--especially pregnant women who have had multiple pregnancies--and those with a family history of venous problems are at greatest risk for developing spider and varicose veins.
Wear compression stockings. Compression stockings are available in various strengths. Support pantyhose provide the least vein support, but you can buy them at a grocery or drugstore. Compression hose, available over the counter at medical supply stores, offer stronger support. Your doctor may recommend prescription-strength compression stockings for maximum venous support. According to the National Women's Health Information Center, wearing supportive stockings can reduce the appearance of spider and varicose veins because the firm mesh fabric of the stocking helps prop up the veins and improve blood flow.
Undergo sclerotherapy at a doctor's office. Using a thin needle, doctors inject a special solution into the blood vessels of the leg in this procedure. The sclerotherapy solution irritates the blood vessel lining and causes the blood to clot. A few weeks after sclerotherapy injections, spider and varicose veins fade. In some cases, spider or varicose veins require several injections before they disappear, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Have laser treatments to treat spider or varicose veins in your leg. In two to five 20-minute therapy sessions, doctors direct strong pulses of light at your leg, causing small spider and varicose veins to disappear. Laser therapy for broken leg veins may cause pain, redness and discolored skin, although you can return to your regular activities immediately after having the treatment.
Undergo endovenous techniques. For immediate relief of broken leg veins, a nonsurgical outpatient procedure called vein ablation treatment is available. According to the Society of Interventional Radiology, vein ablation requires less than an hour, allows immediate return to everyday activities and has a success rate of between 93 and 95 percent. When performing vein ablation, a radiologist inserts a thin tube into the vein in the leg and threads it up the vein in the thigh. A laser or radiofrequency wave heats the inside of the vein, causing it to seal the vein closed and cutting off blood flow. As a result, blood no longer pools there and broken leg veins disappear.
Schedule surgery for the largest broken leg veins. Doctors make tiny cuts in the leg to remove the veins surgically. According to the National Women's Health Information Center, surgery for spider or varicose veins is safe, but there are numerous risks, including bleeding, reactions to anesthesia, wound infection, scarring, nerve damage and blood clots. The recovery time for this treatment is also lengthy, ranging from one to four weeks.