Spider Veins: Five Causes That You Might Not Know About

Spider veins are affecting millions of Americans each year. In fact, more than 40% of women have this venous condition and its prevalence increases, as the population grows older.

By age 80, at least 80% of women will have spider veins or another form of venous disease.


But while the exact cause of spider veins is still unknown, these five factors have been linked to contributing to the venous condition that will eventually require spider vein removal:



Family History, Age, and Gender

Studies have shown that up to 90% of patients suffering from spider veins have a family history of the condition. Women are also affected more than men and age contributes to the risk factor of getting spider veins. This is due to the valves in the veins getting weaker as the patient grows older.




Many women who become pregnant get spider veins due to the extra pressure on the leg veins with the addition of the weight of the fetus. Spider veins may disappear after pregnancy, but some could become permanent.



Obesity and Hormones

People who weigh more than their ideal body could suffer from spider veins due to the added pressure on their leg veins. Women who are taking birth control or undergoing hormonal treatments for menopause also have an increased risk for spider veins because of the estrogen that weakens their vein valves.



Prolonged Sitting or Standing

When a person remains in the same position for extended periods of time, the leg veins have to work extra hard to pump blood towards the heart. This added pressure could cause spider veins in people who are standing or sitting for hours.



Sun Damage or Previous Blood Clot

Being exposed to the damaging ultraviolet light from the sun causes damage to the skin, especially on the face and will put a patient at a higher risk for developing spider veins. A previous blood clot or vein damage also causes the veins to not work properly, which could lead to the same condition.


All these predisposing factors would eventually lead to the need for spider vein removal, especially if a patient is already suffering from pain or the look of those ugly spider veins on her legs or face is already bothering her.


Doctors might advise wearing compression stockings or socks to put pressure on the veins of the lower extremities and improve blood flow. Laser treatments, sclerotherapy and endovenous laser therapy (EVL) are also some of the most popular forms of spider vein removal today.


But since prevention is still the best way to stay away from spider veins, it’s very important to wear sunscreen all the time, avoid sitting or standing for extended periods, maintain a good weight, exercise regularly and elevate the legs at the end of a busy day.


It’s also best to avoid wearing clothes that are too tight around the legs or waste because it restricts blood flow and to avoid overusing saunas and hot tubs because too much heat can cause the veins to bulge.


We specialize in diagnosis and treatment for any and all vascular health issues for patients in San Diego County, Orange County, and Riverside County. For more information or to set an appointment, please contact us.