To understand what spider veins are, let’s first talk about varicose veins. These are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that bulge from the skin and usually develop in the legs. Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They often look like tree branches or spider webs (hence the name) and can be found on the legs and face in large or very small areas of the skin.
Although age is a factor in the development of spider veins, they can form for a number of reasons:
- Pregnancy. When you’re pregnant more pressure is put on the blood vessels which can interfere with proper blood flow. Pregnancy also alters hormone levels and cause spider veins. Other factors that influence hormone levels include menopause or taking birth control.
- Family history. You can still get spider veins without a family history of having them, but if one or both of your parents has spider veins, your chances of also developing them increases.
- Obesity. Studies have shown that people who are obese are at greater risk of developing spider veins. While it’s always good to maintain a healthy weight, weight loss isn’t likely to relieve the symptoms of spider veins once they develop.
- Standing for long periods of time. Jobs that require a lot of time on your feet, such as nurses, hair stylists, teachers, and factory workers are more prone to getting spider veins.
- History of blood clots. If you’ve had a blood clot in one of your deep veins, which lie in groups of muscles, you may be at higher risk for spider veins.
While spider veins are unsightly, the good news is they’re not typically cause for concern from a medical standpoint. However, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor to discuss the available options for treating spider veins.
To learn more about treating varicose and spider veins, or if you’re interested in any of the other dermatologic services we provide, contact Westerville Dermatology online or by calling 614.895.0400 today to schedule an appointment.