8 Things You Didn’t Know about Spider Veins

Before and after photos of a person's leg from varicose vein treatment.

Whatever your age, having spider veins can make you want to cover up and hide your arms, legs, face or chest, though nobody – not even the rich and famous – is immune to developing spider veins. The familiar spider-shaped veins are the result of weakened valves within the veins allowing blood to pool and weaken the walls of the veins themselves causing the metamorphosis familiarly known as spider veins. Knowledge is power, so before you fly into a panic, take a look at 8 things you didn’t know about spider veins.

Spider Vein Facts

  1. Spider veins are slightly more common in women than in men.
  2. Youth won’t protect you. Spider veins can develop any time, though they’re more likely to occur as you age.
  3. Obesity can definitely be a factor in developing spider veins as excess weight overworks vein valves and walls, causing them to weaken.
  4. Your profession may contribute to the likelihood that you’ll develop spider veins. People whose jobs require them to stand for long periods of time may be more susceptible.
  5. Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during puberty, pregnancy and menopause can have an adverse effect on veins and cause spider veins to develop. Along the same lines, drugs that contain hormones, such as birth-control pills and HRT drugs taken at menopause can also up the chances for spider veins
  6. Too much sun can cause spider veins, and so can too much exposure to ultraviolet light from tanning beds.
  7. An injury causing trauma to your skin is another possible cause of spider veins.
  8. Spider veins do not lead to varicose veins, even though their causes are similar.

Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins

Spider veins, which are closer to the surface of the skin, are not the same as varicose veins. Varicose veins appear as gnarled or twisted cords or ropes, sometimes bulging above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins usually worsen over time and can lead to leg swelling, ulcers and pain. While spider veins may cause some minor discomfort they are not a medical threat, and are more a cosmetic concern than anything else.

If you’re considering treatment for spider veins, Check out this guide!