5 Risk Factors for Developing Spider Veins

Up to 41% of women older than 50 have spider veins on their lower body or face. Spider veins don’t pose a danger to your health, but these twisted reddish-purple veins can take a toll on your self-esteem and comfort out in public, especially in sunny Florida. 

That’s why our vein experts at Premier Vein & Vascular in Tampa and Largo, Florida, help you get rid of — or better yet prevent — unsightly spider veins.

How veins become spidery

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are small, dysfunctional veins that lie close to the skin’s surface. They become visible when blood backs up and accumulates in the veins, enlarging them. 

They look like a cluster of reddish-purple lines that branch out or resemble a spider web.

Healthy veins have one-way valves that pump blood back up to your heart. When these valves don’t work properly, blood goes in the wrong direction, gets stuck between valves, and builds up, creating engorged veins. 

Your veins’ valves may malfunction because of pressure from surrounding veins or trauma.

Why you have spider veins

You may have spider veins because of an underlying problem in your vascular system called venous insufficiency. This occurs when the valves in larger veins in your legs are dysfunctional and allow blood to pool. Risk factors for venous insufficiency and spider veins include:

You inherited them

Your genes can put you at a greater risk of developing vein problems in general. If your mom, dad, aunt, or other close relative has or had spider veins, you probably will, too.

You’re aging

Not everyone develops spider veins as they age, but your risk increases with time. Aging affects your veins just like the rest of your body. The vein walls become weaker and more susceptible to expanding, allowing blood to back up. 

You’re pregnant

Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy weaken vein walls. The veins then dilate, which pulls at the valves and lets blood flow in the wrong direction. 

As your baby grows, the extra weight exerts more downward pressure on your leg veins. You also experience an increase in blood volume when you’re pregnant, placing extra pressure against the vein wall and valve. 

You sit or stand a lot

If you must sit or stand for long periods of time, circulation slows down in your legs. You can develop venous hypertension, which causes additional pressure on the veins in your legs. 

Prevent spider veins by getting up every half hour and taking a short walk or sitting down if you must be on your feet all day.

You’re overweight

Carrying extra weight puts pressure on your leg veins. The resulting expansion and bulging can cause spider veins to form.

Banish your spider veins

Wanting to look better is enough reason to seek treatment for spider veins.. But spider veins can sometimes make your skin itch, cause a slight burning sensation, or may bleed when you shave over them.

We eliminate spider veins with safe and effective treatments such as sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablation. To schedule an evaluation and talk about your options, call our office nearest you or use our online tool to request a consultation.

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