Spider veins are small and damaged veins that can appear on the surface of the face or legs. Usually, they are not painful or harmful, but some people may wish to treat them for cosmetic reasons. They can be purple, red, or blue and may appear in the form of thin lines, webs, or branches.

Spider Veins
Human spider veins

How do they form?

The one way valves in the veins prevent the blood from backward flow in the gap between heartbeats. The insufficiency of these one-way valves cause the blood to collect in the vein near the surface of the skin.

  • While someone can have both varicose veins and spider veins, it’s important to point out that the latter do not always turn into varicose veins.
  • If people get treatment then it is usually for cosmetic purposes.

What Causes Spider Veins?

  • Obesity: Increased blood pressure in the vessels.
  • Skin trauma: If many layers of skin has gone through major physical injury and if veins are affected.
  • Heredity: It is another factor, because it affects the working of the veins. If the gene is present then chances of developing it are a little higher but regular exercise and other measures could prevent it.
  • As women undergo major fluctuations in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause the veins may respond adversely leading to spider veins. 

SYMPTOMS

Spider veins are non-threatening. Nonetheless, there are few symptoms which differentiate the condition such as:

  • Web-like patterns develop right under the skin, coloured either red, blue or purple.
  • The patient may feel a heaviness, aching or even a burning sensation where the spider veins are located. This usually happens after remaining in the same position for a long period of time.
  • As a result of blood pooling and enlarging the vein, rashes along with skin ulcers may form.

Spider Veins Treatment 

Mostly, they do not require any treatment. There are options present for patients who may want to treat it for cosmetic purpose or even painful symptoms. There are various treatments to treat the symptoms and they include:

  1. Vascular Laser Treatment: A laser is used to close the affected veins under the skin.
  2. Sclerotherapy: A chemical solution is administered into the problematic vein and causes the vein walls to collapse.

Prevention of Spider Veins

For the most part, it can be easily prevented without any medical aid. Basic activities which help to prevent it are:

  1. Regularly exercising and keeping fit helps increase circulation and prevents the blood to pool.  
  2. A good diet involving healthier portions of food that reduces the weight and increases fitness, thus helping reduce the blood pressure in the blood vessels and alleviating the condition.
  3. Compression stockings provide needed pressure in the legs to help the blood flow upwards in the vein thereby reducing chances of developing spider veins.

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