Spider veins, known medically as telangiectasia or venulectasias, are a mild form of varicose veins that appear on the surface of the skin as thin red, purple lines often in web-like patterns. Spider veins commonly appear on the surface of the thighs, calves and ankles but can also appear on the face. Spider veins aren’t always just an aesthetic concern, but can occasionally cause symptoms like swelling, itching, night cramps, fatigue, aching and/or burning.
There are typically three spider vein patterns:
- A spider web shape, where veins radiate out from a central hub
- An arborizing pattern that resembles branches on a tree
- Thin, separate lines
Spider veins are typically caused by abnormal blood flow in the veins and weakened vein walls. Other factors that contribute to the development of spider veins include:
Age: The likelihood of developing spider veins increases with age.
Genetics: Spider veins tend to run in families.
Prolonged Standing or Sitting: Not moving around enough can lead to vein damage or make existing vein conditions worse.
Blunt Trauma: Physical damage to your veins can cause them to not work properly and develop spider veins and varicose veins.
Sun Damage: This can lead to spider veins on the face, especially if you’re fair skinned.
Pregnancy and Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy can increase estrogen (the female sex hormone) in your body, which may weaken your vein walls and contribute to the development of spider veins.
Obesity: Being overweight puts extra pressure and stress on your circulatory system.
Spider veins don’t typically go away on their own and usually require treatment. If you experience spider veins, there are minimally-invasive procedures to effectively remove or reduce the appearance of your spider veins. The two kinds of treatments available for spider veins use either chemical injections or light to shrink your veins so that they eventually fade away and disappear.
Spider Veins Part Two to be continued…