Veins transport deoxygenated blood from the body back to the heart and lungs using one-way valves to prevent backwards blood flow. These valves can become compromised and allow blood to pool which can lead to spider veins, red to blue-colored webs less than one millimeter thick that appear on the face or legs, just under the surface of the skin.
Spider Vein Causes
There are many factors that can cause the valves to weaken, but this is generally the result of the vein walls weakening because of factors including:
Genetics: There is a higher likelihood of you developing spider veins if you have a family history of spider veins.
Age: Spider veins are much more common as you get older because the walls of your veins will naturally weaken and become more elastic over time.
Standing Continuously: Standing increases the pressure in your veins which will weaken the valves. Movement also encourages blood flow so stationary sitting or standing for long periods of time will increase your likelihood for experiencing spider veins.
Excess weight: Similar to standing, being overweight increases the pressure on your vein walls and creates weakness in the valves.
Pregnancy: During pregnancy the total volume of blood in your body increases and blood is redirected away from your pelvis. These changes will increase the pressure on veins in your legs and increase your likelihood for spider veins.
Spider Vein Treatment
Spider vein symptoms are primarily cosmetic so patients will usually have them treated because they want to restore a healthy look in their legs or face. Minimally Invasive treatment techniques include Sclerotherapy, injection of a compound that dissolves the problem veins, and Endovenous Laser Treatment, using a laser to heat and collapse the problem veins. Both treatment options only take an hour and recovery is much faster than traditional vein stripping. Sclerotherapy is considered the gold standard for vein treatment today.
If you have questions about your specific veins or the best treatment options, schedule a FREE vein consult at either of our locations in Chicago, IL or our location in Elgin, IL.