What Causes Spider Veins?

Spider veins are common and affect millions of people across the United States. When an individual notices the symptoms of this condition, one of the first questions he or she may ask is "What causes spider veins?" Below is some information to help you understand how and why spider veins develop. 

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins in that they are blood vessels that are more dilated than they should be. However, they are smaller and located closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Spider veins tend to be red, blue or purple in color. They often appear in web-like formations, and they are most common on the legs and chest. 

Causes of Spider Veins

Spider veins develop when the veins don’t function like they should. In many cases, a failure of the valves within the vein is the primary cause of the issue. A number of different factors can contribute to the development of spider veins, including:

  • Increasing age. 
  • History of pregnancy. 
  • Spending a lot of time on your feet. 
  • History of blood clots. 
  • Genetic factors. 
  • Using hormone replacement after menopause. 
  • Being overweight or obese. 

Treating Spider Veins

Because spider veins can be unsightly and uncomfortable, many people with this condition seek treatment. If spider veins are located in the legs and are not severe, wearing compression stockings and/or elevating the legs may help to alleviate symptoms. If you are overweight, losing weight may also be beneficial. 

If conservative measures such as weight loss and compression stockings don’t work, patients with this condition may benefit from other treatment measures. The most common treatment method recommended to patients with spider veins is sclerotherapy. This treatment works by introducing a special solution into the abnormal veins. This solution irritates the walls of the veins, causing them to stick together. Eventually, the veins will fade from view. 

How Do I Learn More?

If you think you may have spider veins, you can learn more about treating your veins and preventing recurrence by contacting the experts at Columbus Vein Center.