Spider and varicose veins have a similar cause: weakened valves in the circulatory system. When veins are not able to work as they should, pressure inevitably builds, causing veins to become discolored. In the case of varicose veins (which are the more severe version of this problem) the pressure even causes the veins to swell up and become large and twisted. In addition to creating a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can also cause discomfort. For both of these reasons, those suffering from spider and varicose veins are eager to know both the causes of, and the potential solutions to, this common problem.
In the paragraph above, we covered the basic physiology of how varicose veins are formed: but, of course, those suffering from this condition are generally more interested in the why than in the how. Here are a few of the most common risk factors for developing spider and/or varicose veins:
● Genetics. Some people are predisposed to a risk for spider and varicose veins: the condition tends to run in families.
● Age. Spider and varicose veins also become more common with age.
● Gender. Women are more likely to develop spider and varicose veins than their male counterparts.
● Weight. This is perhaps the largest contributing factor to the development of spider and/or varicose veins. The more weight that your legs must support, the more likely they are to experience the types of circulatory issues that lead to spider and varicose veins.
● Pregnancy. For both hormonal reasons and reasons associated with the weight gain of pregnancy, pregnant women are also at an increased risk for varicose and spider veins.
● Time spent standing. Once again, this is a question of how much we force our legs to work. People who spend a significant portion of their day standing (for work, generally) are at an increased risk for experiencing circulatory problems in the legs; ergo, they are at an increased risk for varicose and spider veins.
Cosmetically, spider veins manifest themselves as thin red lines in the legs; whereas varicose veins are dark blue, swollen, and twisted in appearance.. Apart from these cosmetic issues, varicose veins can cause:
● Discomfort and pain
● A susceptibility to bleeding
Common treatments for varicose and spider veins include:
● Reducing time spent standing
● Losing weight
● Wearing supportive stockings
● Sclerotherapy and surgical removal
More about the surgical treatment of spider and varicose veins
Many people, for cosmetic and/or medical reasons, opt to have their spider and/or varicose veins removed surgically. This is generally performed on an outpatient basis, and most patients can continue walking immediately after surgery. We refer these procedures out to vascular surgeons. For routine spider veins and more information about sclerotherapy, call us today!