Spider and varicose veins are incredibly common. Spider veins are smaller versions of varicose veins, which develop when the vein valves that keep blood flowing in one direction toward the heart stop working as they should.
This causes increased pressure inside veins, causing the veins to develop an unsightly appearance. They can develop anywhere, but most often appear on the legs. Many people with spider veins report feeling self-conscious about wearing shorts or showing their legs.
It is safe to say that many of our patients here at Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates want to get rid of their spider veins. If you're embarrassed by your spider veins, our interventional vascular physician, Nader Chadda, MD, FACC, can offer you several effective solutions to get rid of them.
How do spider veins form?
Spider veins develop in tiny veins that are close to the surface of the skin. Blood pooling and building up in the veins cause them to enlarge, which makes them visible. They have a characteristic reddish-purple spider web appearance, hence the name spider veins.
Vein valves commonly malfunction because the pressure in the larger veins affects the smaller veins and causes them to enlarge as well. These tiny, superficial veins dilate to the point where the valves stop closing when subjected to prolonged pressure. Spider veins can also develop as a result of vein trauma or valve damage.
Spider veins may be a sign of other vein issues
Spider veins are more than an unsightly cosmetic issue. They can be a sign of vein problems. Spider veins are often the first indication of venous insufficiency, a vascular issue that occurs when vein valves stop working efficiently.
Spider vein risk factors
The top five things that make you more likely to get spider veins include:
Your genes play a role in your propensity to have spider veins. Your likelihood of developing spider veins significantly increases if you have a family history of the condition.
Although having spider veins is not a given as you age, your risk does rise with time. Veins, like the rest of your body, are affected by aging. Blood can back up because vein walls weaken and become more prone to expanding. Weak vein walls are more common as you age.
Pregnant women are three times more likely to develop spider veins. To begin with, the normal hormonal changes weaken vein walls and cause veins to enlarge, pulling on the valves and allowing blood to flow against its natural course.
The downward pressure on your leg veins as the baby grows larger is the second risk factor that develops during pregnancy. Last, but not least, carrying a child causes your blood volume to increase, which puts more pressure on the vein wall and valve. These factors come together to raise the chances of developing spider veins.
Prolonged sitting or standing
The circulation in your legs is impacted by prolonged standing or sitting, which also leads to venous hypertension and increased pressure on the veins in your legs. If you spend most of your day standing or sitting, getting up every half-hour and taking a quick walk can help prevent spider veins.
Spider veins can develop as a result of any situation that puts additional strain on the veins in the legs. That kind of pressure is added by carrying extra weight, whether you're standing or sitting.
Eliminating spider veins
There are effective solutions for getting rid of spider veins. At Advanced Heart and Vascular Associates, we offer safe spider vein removal procedures like radiofrequency ablation and sclerotherapy. Reach out to our expert team to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chadda and discuss your symptoms. We have offices in Hudson, Brooksville, and Land O’ Lakes, Florida. Book over the phone or online today. Prospective and existing patients can schedule in-person and telehealth appointments.