What Might Be the Cause of Spider Veins in Your Legs?

What Might Be the Cause of Spider Veins in Your Legs?
September 03 13:04 2021

Veins are important vessels that transport blood from the body to the heart. Although their appearance on the skin’s surface is not usually painful, some patients want to treat them for cosmetic reasons. Upper East Side Cardiology offers individualized treatment of spider veins in New York, to help patients regain their self-esteem.

What Are Spider Veins?

One particular type of unsightly veins is spider veins which appear on the legs or the face and are usually blue, red, or purple depending on the patient’s skin tone. These veins form web-like thin lines or branches on the surface of the skin. Spider veins are also known as thread veins.

Veins Mechanism of Action

The best way to understand the cause of these unsightly veins would be first to appreciate the function of the veins in your body. The blood in your veins is not usually in high pressure like it is in arteries which transport blood from the heart to other body parts. Because of the low blood pressure, blood backflow can occur, and veins in different locations shut to prevent blood from flowing backward.

What Causes Spider Veins?

When valves malfunction due to damage or general weakening, blood struggles to flow in the right direction and may ultimately pool at a particular point inside the vein. As time passes, the vein increases in size, bulges, and shows on the skin. This cause is common for spider veins that appear in the peripheral region. The cause of thread veins on the face is sun-related. Sun damage can cause the tiny blood vessels on the front to burst due to increased pressure, which causes the surrounding veins to take on more load and thus increase size.

The Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

Although both conditions occur due to malfunctioning in the veins, also known as venous insufficiency, they exhibit different symptoms.  Varicose veins are more prominent and are flesh-colored or red. Spider veins are usually not painless. However, varicose veins have symptoms that vary depending on the severity of the patient’s condition. Pain, itching, bleeding, and swelling in joints for patients with varicose veins. Moreover, these painful veins increase a person’s risk of developing blood clots, a severe circulation problem leading to stroke or even death.

Who Is at Risk of Having Spider Veins?

Certain factors increase your risk of developing these unsightly veins, for example:

  • Genetics- Most patients with spider veins have had someone in their family with the condition.
  • Gender- Spider veins commonly occur in females more than males.
  • Age- The older you get, the more your veins weaken, primarily due to overuse, and the higher your risk of developing spider veins.
  • Pregnancy- Fetal weight causes increased pressure in the legs, which increases blood flow to the legs that can cause thread veins to appear. However, most women notice that the spider veins disappear after giving birth.
  • Sitting or standing for long periods- Can make it difficult for your veins to pump blood up to the heart.
  • Being overweight- Can put pressure on the veins in the legs, thus causing them to malfunction.

Contact Upper East Side Cardiology to learn about the treatment options available to eliminate spider veins.

 

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