With nearly 55% of women and 45% of men having some sort of vein disease, spider veins are common. Spider veins are smaller red, blue, or purple veins, typically found on the legs or face, that can look like spiderwebs and are closer to the skin than normal veins. Varicose veins, while similar and often confused with spider veins, are much larger and look like bulging or twisting rope.
The Cause of Spider Veins
Spider veins are caused by a backup of blood that can result from hormone changes, exposure to the sun, or trauma to the leg. They are often found in the legs because of the intense pressure on the veins to carry blood back up to the heart.
Other factors such as age, heredity, and hormonal changes such as pregnancy can also increase your risk of having spider veins, so it is important to take preventative measures.
Preventing Spider Veins
Some steps you can take to prevent spider veins from occurring include:
- Wearing sunscreen regularly
- Exercising consistently and maintaining a healthy weight, which can help reduce pressure put on the veins in your legs
- Taking breaks from either sitting or standing for long periods
- Limiting the amount of time you wear high heels, or shoes with steep inclines
Spider Vein Symptoms
Aside from their discolored nature, spider veins on legs may also cause symptoms including aching, burning sensations, or itchiness. Though generally considered harmless, spider vein symptoms may cause discomfort, especially after an extended period of standing.
Many people find that the cosmetic impact of spider veins causes feelings of self-consciousness, promoting changes in lifestyle and clothing choice. Prompt treatment at the sight of spider veins can help improve appearance and ensure that symptoms do not worsen over time.
Sclerotherapy is the most common form of treatment for spider veins, and has been widely used for decades. The process involves the injection of scleroscent that will cause the lining of the blood vessel to collapse and stick together. The blood then begins to clot, and the vessel turns to scar tissue over time, allowing the vein to gradually fade.
Schedule an appointment at our office for an evaluation of your spider veins and to learn more about treatment options.