Visible spider veins often show up as you age. They are frequently related to your genetics, following you into adulthood if one or both of your parents suffered from them. However, you may be wondering whether or not they are dangerous and how much you should worry about them.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins usually appear as narrow red, blue or purple lines just beneath your skin. They can occur anywhere on your body although they are most commonly found on the legs where blood more easily pools. While genetics plays a role in the formation of spider veins, they can also be related to pregnancy, injuries, excessive sitting or standing, and even hormonal changes.
The Most Common Causes of Spider Veins
Spider veins are caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, pregnancy, injuries, prolonged sitting or standing, and hormonal changes. Some other possible causes include poor blood circulation, damage to the veins from previous surgeries or procedures, or underlying medical conditions like obesity or diabetes. While most cases of spider veins are harmless and do not require treatment, it could be something that concerns you.
Since poor blood circulation is a common cause of spider veins, you may be wondering what causes that. Poor blood circulation is often the result of factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption, or certain medical conditions like obesity or diabetes. These things can cause plaque to build up in the arteries and veins, decreasing blood flow and disrupting the normal functioning of various organs throughout the body.
Are Spider Veins Dangerous?
True spider veins are thankfully not dangerous to your health and only affect your appearance. However, they can be confused with more visible veins known as varicose veins. If you are having trouble telling the difference between these vein types or are concerned about any visible veins, be sure to speak with a vein specialist who can quickly and easily diagnose the problem and recommend any treatments that may be necessary.
Do Spider Veins Hurt?
Spider veins are usually painless and do not cause any discomfort. However, in some cases, they may be itchy or feel sore to the touch. If you experience any pain or discomfort due to your spider veins, it is important to speak with a medical professional in order to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity of the pain, your doctor may recommend a treatment or even a change in your lifestyle to prevent them from getting worse.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Spider Veins and Other Visible Veins?
As mentioned, spider veins are usually quite narrow and are so named because of their web-like appearance. They should not cause any pain. On the other hand, varicose veins are typically wider and tend to bulge from beneath the surface of the skin. They can also be blue or red, but have a knotty or twisted appearance. Plus, varicose veins are most likely to form on the inner or lower legs. Although some varicose veins do not require treatment, they may end up causing you discomfort if you do not have them removed.
Can Spider Veins Be Treated?
If your spider veins are causing you embarrassment and are making you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, there are certainly ways that a vein specialist can help you get rid of them. Of course, certain forms of at-home care, such as elevating your legs, exercising and taking short walking breaks during long periods of sitting, can help decrease the incidence of future spider veins. Additionally, a specialist can use a minimally invasive treatment known as sclerotherapy or laser treatment to remove spider veins permanently.
Some people consider using makeup for covering up things like spider veins temporarily. Though this may work, it is best suited for situations like a photo shoot where you have control over where you are sitting and what is touching the makeup. Since spider veins are typically on the inside of a leg, it is likely that the person will have a lot of rubbing against the other leg. This will quickly remove most makeup and is thus only useful for a few moments. If you are doing a photo shoot, however, it’s likely better to go in photoshop and simply remove them in the photo if it shows up. That way you don’t get makeup on your clothes or anywhere else.
How to Prevent Spider Veins
Though there is no perfect way of preventing spider veins and your genetics may cause your spider veins, there are some things you can do to minimize that chance. One of the best ways to prevent spider veins is by improving your blood circulation. This can be done in a number of ways, such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding excessive sitting or standing for long periods of time. Other lifestyle factors that may increase your risk of spider veins include smoking, being overweight or obese, and sitting for long periods of time.
While spider veins are not typically symptomatic of some worse physical ailment, they can affect your self-confidence unless you have them removed. Plus, if you have visible veins that are causing pain, you will want to see a vein specialist to help you address your symptoms permanently. To be sure what type of visible veins you have, you must be diagnosed by a skilled clinician.