Do you feel that your legs are now discolored when they once were not? It may be due to spider veins. Spider veins are smaller veins that are found closer to the skin surface that leave a purple to red color on the skin that have similar appearance to spider legs, hence their name. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, in that they are veins that no longer work properly, leading to swelling and increased blood in the vein. But what causes spider veins?
Unlike varicose veins, spider veins usually do not cause symptoms of pain and are usually only a concern for their appearance.
Spider Veins Causes & Risk Factors
Just like varicose veins, spider veins are caused by specific factors, which are similar to those causes of varicose veins. Some of these risk factors for spider veins include:
Genetics, which play a large role in developing many different diseases and spider veins are no exception. They are seen in multiple different family members, so if your parents have them, you may also have them too.
Age, The older someone is the more likely they are to have spider veins, due to the fact that as we age, our body systems do not function as well.
Gender, women are also more likely to have spider veins. This is largely from hormonal changes that occur every month due to a woman’s cycle and also the hormone fluctuations that occur while pregnant.
Hormones, taking hormones may also increase the chance of spider veins. Women more commonly take hormones for birth control methods or during menopause to reduce symptoms.
Weight, being at a higher weight or obese places pressure on the veins in the legs.
Can spider veins be prevented?
There are some ways to reduce the potential to develop spider veins.
Exercise at least 3-4 days per week to allow for the muscles to appropriately squeeze blood through the vessels. Exercise also can contribute to weight control and weight loss. Try low impact exercises like walking, swimming, and bike riding for best results.
Elevate your legs at the end of the day which can help with blood flow toward the heart to help the blood flow from the veins.
Move more throughout the day, especially if you find yourself sitting or standing at your job for long periods of time. Try to step away at least twice an hour to walk to improve circulation in the legs.
Even though there are ways to prevent spider veins, many different factors that cause spider veins cannot be changed, such as age and gender. If you already suffer from spider veins, there are options available for further treatment. Please speak with your doctor about other treatments that may be appropriate to treat your spider veins.
Talk to a Vein Specialist
Speak with Dr. Julian Javier, a board certified interventional cardiologist and endovascular specialist in Naples, Florida. He will discuss your medical history, perform a thorough exam, and determine if you are experiencing spider veins and explain what factors are causing your spider veins, and what treatment options are available and right for you to help you get rid of those symptoms!