Find a Doctor

Spider Veins


Spider veins, the bundles of small red or blue veins that form near the surface of the skin, are an often embarrassing but common condition found in millions of adult women. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins; however, they are smaller in size and don’t cause the pain generally associated with varicose veins. Read on to learn about the causes and prevention of spider veins, as well as the options for spider vein treatment.

Causes of Spider Veins

Spider veins are usually found on the legs and face. They can be spider-shaped or branch-shaped or appear as thin, short jagged lines. The three primary causes of spider veins are heredity, pregnancy, and prolonged sitting or standing. If other women in your family have spider veins, then you are likely to develop them as well. Shifts in hormonal levels during pregnancy can cause poor blood circulation, leading to spider vein growth. Finally, if your occupation or lifestyle entails standing up or sitting down for long periods of time, then your vein walls can experience increased pressure, and spider veins may develop as a result.

Other causes of spider veins include excess sun exposure, chronic constipation, certain medications and birth control pills, weight gain, and wearing high heeled shoes or tight clothing.

Prevention of Spider Veins

Several steps can be taken toward the prevention of spider veins. Avoid sitting down or standing up for long periods of time. If your job requires you to constantly sit or stand, try to take short walks every few hours. If you are unable to do so, move your feet up and down 10 times and repeat every 10 minutes. Keep your legs elevated whenever possible and do not cross them. Exercise regularly. Wear support hose and clothing that does not inhibit circulation. Avoid excessive sun exposure and heat on the legs, such as from hot tubs and hot baths. Make sure your diet includes enough fiber and try to maintain your ideal body weight. All of these preventive measures may delay or offset the development of spider veins.

Spider Vein Treatment

Several spider vein treatment options are available, including:

  • Laser vein removal treatment: This treatment involves the use of a laser to shrink spider and varicose veins, thereby reducing their appearance.
  • Sclerotherapy: In this treatment approach, a sclerosing solution is injected into the vein, causing it to harden (and it appearance to fade) over time.
  • Surgery: In vein removal surgery, or ambulatory phlebectomy, varicose veins are surgically removed from the body.
  • Natural treatments: Natural treatments and home remedies involves the use of creams and herbs that are applied to the affected areas. Natural treatments are not proven effective, and may not produce desired results.

Each of these treatments is designed to restore a healthier, more youthful appearance to the legs. A cosmetic dermatologist can help you determine which treatment is best suited to your individual needs.

Find a Doctor

If you have questions about the causes and prevention of spider veins, or if you are seeking spider vein treatment, use DocShop to locate and contact a cosmetic dermatologist in your area today.

Want More Information?

Contact a Doctor Near You.