Spider Veins 101

A hand giving a laser treatment to a patient's leg.

spider veins under a magnifying glass

Perhaps you’ve seen it: a delicate cluster of purple-tinted veins spreading across your skin, anywhere from your chest to your legs or face. These are spider veins, and despite the scary-sounding name, they’re among the most common vein problems. Named for their delicate appearance, spider veins are largely hereditary and are exceptionally prone to bursting, potentially causing pain and irritation. They can appear anywhere on the body, including legs, ankles, knees, and face, and at any age. But what are they, and how can they be treated? We treat spider veins every day at The Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Spider Veins?

graphic of spider veinSpider veins are actually broken capillaries. Capillaries are fine blood vessels that lie very close to the surface, making them prone to breakage and – when they do – due to the fine lines they leave, they resemble spider webs. 

 Who Gets Spider Veins?

Although anyone can get spider veins, there are several factors that may predispose a person to develop them: 

  • On average, more women get spider veins than men.
  • Although spider veins are more common as you age, anyone can get them – at any age.
  • Obesity can be a factor in the development of spider veins. 
  • Profession can also play a part in whether or not you develop spider veins – particularly if you spend a lot of time on your feet. Teachers, nurses, and people in other highly active professions are particularly susceptible to developing spider veins.
  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy or as a result of medication, can also increase your risk of spider veins.
  • Extensive sun exposure, whether from time outdoors or ultraviolet light in tanning beds, can also lead to skin thinning and increase vein visibility. 

Can Spider Veins Become Varicose Veins?

No. Although they have similar causes, spider veins and varicose veins are different. Spider veins lie close to the surface, while varicose veins are much deeper and may appear gnarled and bulky. Additionally, while varicose veins may worsen over time and pose potential health risks, spider veins do not pose a health threat.

How Can I Treat my Spider Veins?

If you’re interested in treating your spider veins, there are a number of treatment options available through Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City.

  • Sclerotherapy involves using a tiny needle to inject a concentrated solution into the lining of the blood vessel. This causes the vein to collapse and stick together, leading the blood to clot and eventually be reabsorbed naturally by the body.
  • Laser therapy treats the surface of the skin using laser pulses, reducing the overall appearance of spider veins. You may need multiple treatments to remove all traces of the veins, but many opt for laser therapy because it is non-invasive.

I Want to Treat my Spider Veins!

At Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City, we’re proud to present effective vein solutions perfect for freeing your skin from spider veins for good. If you’d like to get rid of your spider veins safely and effectively, call us at (913) 541-3377 or contact us online! We’d love to answer all of your questions.

do you have a vein disorder e book