Spider veins are small, red, purple, and blue vessels that twist and turn. They are easily visible through the skin and typically appear on the legs and face. Women are more likely to get spider veins than men. Spider veins are more common in women over the age of 50.
Spider veins are a result of weak or damaged valves in the veins. When the valves don’t open to allow blood to leave the veins, blood backs up and the veins swell. Below is a list of factors that increase your chances of developing spider veins –
- Occupations that involve a lot of standing
- Hormonal influences of pregnancy, puberty and menopause
- Use of birth control pills
- Postmenopausal hormonal replacement
- A history of blood clots
- Conditions that cause increased pressure in the abdomen
- Trauma or injury to the skin
Those who have experienced spider veins have complained about pain, described as an aching or cramping in the legs. The legs often feel tired, restless, and heavy or have a burning, throbbing, tingling sensation. Less common symptoms include swelling, ulcers and darkening skin.
Pain from spider veins is often relieved by elevating the legs or by wearing a support hose.
There are several methods of treating spider veins. Changing your lifestyle to include healthy eating and walking could help treat spider veins. Wearing support stockings is another method of treatment. More invasive forms of treatment include Sclerotherapy, Endovenous Laser Treatment, Radiofrequency Occlusion, Surgery, and Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light. Treatments are usually easy and highly successful
Spider veins are generally not a serious health condition. They are more of a cosmetic issue and can be left alone if they don’t bother you.