What Can Cause Spider Veins?
With the warm weather upon us, it is usually a call for shorts, swimsuits, and summer apparel that allows us to stay cool. For many men and women, this summer season is the season to wear what you want and show off your legs and body, and feel confident – especially if you have been working out! However, for quite a few individuals, summer isn’t always a celebrated time, and wearing those fun summer clothes and swimsuits can actually cause self-confidence issues. The culprit? Spider veins. These pesky little veins can crop up on anyone for a variety of reasons, and they can be quite unsightly and worrisome. While often not anything to worry about, they can make the summer season a nightmare for those who are self-conscious about them. But what exactly causes spider veins?
What Are Spider Veins?
First off, let’s talk about what spider veins actually are. Usually a symptom of mild varicose vein disease, spider veins are these small clusters of veins, usually dark red, purple, or blue, that almost resemble a spider web or a firework. Unlike regular veins, these are almost thread-like in appearance – very thin and almost wispy looking. These vein clusters are often found on hands and legs, although they can be present in other areas of the body, as well. While these are usually not painful or concerning, those who are suffering from spider veins typically find them to be unsightly or annoying, and quite damaging to self-confidence. Some individuals, however, may notice burning, itching, and cramping in the legs affected by spider veins.
What Causes Spider Veins?
Spider veins are actually caused by faulty “feeder veins”.” When these veins have faulty valves inside, it allows the blood to flow backward, or up and towards the heart. Because of this, some blood can actually back up inside them and create non-functional veins, or dead-end veins that appear just under the surface of the skin. These veins are called spider veins. While these veins are not the main veins, they are often dark blue, purple, or red in color, and can be bothersome to some individuals.
Who is Affected by Spider Veins?
Anyone can be affected by spider veins. Both men and women alike suffer from spider veins, and they can appear at any age. Spider veins are hereditary, and if your parents or grandparents have suffered from vein issues, you are more likely to face them in your life, as well. Women who are pregnant are also at higher risk for spider veins.
Risk Factors for Spider Veins
As with any other medical condition, there are things that can put you at a higher risk of developing spider veins. Some of these things include:
- Being Obese – Carrying around excess body weight can really take its toll on vein health, and those who are obese have a higher risk of developing spider veins.
- Sedentary Lifestyle – A lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting or standing, and little exercise, can put you at higher risk for developing spider veins.
- Pregnancy – Due to blood volume doubling in order to support the baby during pregnancy, veins become enlarged, which can lead to the appearance of spider veins.
- Age – Although men and women of any age can develop spider veins, it does develop more and more over time, so older individuals may have worse spider veins than younger people. This is due to the fact that over time, more and more wear is put on the veins.
- Genetics – If you have family members who have had spider veins, you are at a higher risk of developing them, too.
- Gender – Spider veins often occur in women more than men due to hormonal changes and imbalances.
Treatment for Spider Veins
Although they can be pesky and unsightly, there are treatments available to reduce or eliminate spider veins. One of these treatments is Sclerotherapy, which is done in your doctor’s office. The doctor will inject a sclerosing solution, such as Asclera, into the spider veins, which will cause them to collapse and disappear. While this treatment is highly effective, it may take several sessions in order to completely remove the spider veins. Sclerotherapy is a wonderful treatment to aid those who suffer from spider veins and requires little downtime and only between fifteen and forty-five minutes per session.