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What Causes Spider Veins and How Can I Get Rid of Them?

Looking down at your legs and noticing spider veins can be troubling; whether you’re worried about the health aspect of it or you’re self-conscious about how they look. These thin, superficial veins are usually purple, blue, or red, and are mostly harmless. In more severe cases though, they may cause aching, swelling, or itching. At Vascular Vein Centers, with multiple locations in Central Florida, we have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat your spider veins. 

What are spider veins?

Spider veins (also called telangiectasias) are small superficial blood vessels in the skin. They get their name because their appearance is similar to that of a spider web. They most commonly appear as blue or purple spider web-like patterns on the inner and outer thighs, calves, back of the knees and the ankle area.

Underlying vein disease is usually the cause and the “spider veins” are the tip of the iceberg. Most of the time, spider veins are harmless. However, depending on the severity of your condition, you might experience aches, pain, swelling, or itching. Some people complain of warmth or discomfort over spider patterns. Some people with spider veins on the ankle or foot are vulnerable to them rupturing and bleeding if the skin gets dry.

What causes spider veins?

Your veins return blood to your heart and have valves that help push blood on its return journey. 

The valves should be one-way, but weakness of the vein wall or damage to the valves can cause them to fail and allow blood to leak backward — a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or venous hypertension. 

As a result, blood can pool in the veins of the lower leg. This stagnant blood makes your veins bulge, leak fluid into the tissue or transmit pressure into the small veins in the skin. 

Several factors may contribute to your chances of developing spider veins:

You can reduce your risk of spider veins by staying active and maintaining a healthy weight. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, wear compression stockings to support vein health. 

How are spider veins treated?

Our providers at Vascular Vein Centers employ several treatment methods for spider veins. The most conservative method is support or compression stockings. 

Your visit to Vascular Vein Centers begins with a consultation and exam, which includes ultrasound imaging of your legs, to evaluate your vein health. 

Treatment of spider veins is considered cosmetic however insurance typically covers the treatment of the underlying veins which cause spider veins.

Your provider may also recommend lifestyle changes to improve your vein and leg health and reduce your risk of developing more spider veins in the future. 

Whether you want to eliminate your spiderveins for cosmetic reasons or to reduce other chronic venous insufficiency signs & symptoms, the team of providers at Vascular Vein Centers can determine which treatment option is best for you. Visit one of our many Florida locations today, or book an appointment through our website.

Author
Samuel P. Martin, MD, FACS Founder and Medical Director at Vascular Vein Centers

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