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What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are a condition where the veins (blood vessels carrying impure blood from body parts to the heart) are swollen, twisted, and visibly appear under the surface of the skin. Spider veins appear red or blue and occur more often on the legs but may also be seen on the face and other body parts. The condition is referred to as 'Spider Veins' because of the appearance which is similar to a spider web.

Spider veins appear both in men and women and become visible only when there is a heavy pressure exerted on these veins. They appear most commonly in women because of hormonal imbalance during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Puberty, hormonal changes, weight gain, lack of physical activity, pregnancy, birth control pills, sitting or standing for a long time are some of the factors that cause spider veins or varicose veins. They even occur when the skin is tied up tightly with any elastic band. In some cases, these veins occur on the face and cheeks of fair-skinned people when they are exposed to the sun.

Causes of Spider Veins

The actual cause for spider veins remains unknown. One of the probable causes is an impaired circulation of impure blood. This is caused when the venous blood (impure blood) that flows through these veins gets deviated. Due to this deviation, the circulation is interrupted or the blood flow gets restricted causing the vein to swell up. Spider veins are also caused due to weakness in the blood vessel walls that are close to the surface of the skin.

Treatment for Spider Veins

The treatment for spider veins on other parts of the body would be injection procedure (sclerotherapy). This therapy is safe, simple, and quick. The sclerosing/irritant solution is injected into the target site where the spider veins are present. This causes the blood vessel to swell up, blood clots in this area, and after some days the blood vessels will become a scar and fade away. Spider veins on the face are treated with laser therapy.

Other conventional methods for treatment of Spider Veins would include:

Lifestyle changes:

  • Avoid sitting or standing for long hours without taking a break.
  • Physical activity should be included in your daily routine. This will help improve circulation in the veins.
  • Obesity will increase the risk of pressure being exerted on the blood walls. Lose weight if you are obese.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes which may interrupt the circulation.
  • Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. Calf muscles put in a lot of energy when you try to walk in heels. Thus when the calf muscles are at rest the circulation will improve.