What are the causes of spider veins? Spider veins are damaged veins that may be a sign or symptom of an underlying medical condition pertaining to your circulatory system. The network of blood vessels in our body is enormous and includes arteries and veins.
While spider veins may pose health risks, some people get medical and surgical treatment for cosmetic reasons. This is because the spider veins affect the appearance of the skin, making people conscious.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins may be red, blue, or even purple in appearance. They appear as a cluster of small veins that spread out like spider webs or branches. People may often refer to spider veins as thread veins.
What Are the Causes of Spider Veins?
Spider veins can appear on the legs when the valves inside the veins are unable to function properly. Veins are responsible for carrying the blood back to the heart. The valves are necessary to enable a one-way movement of the blood flow (i.e., towards the heart). In function, the valve closes as the blood passes through.
Once the valves inside the veins weaken or suffer damage, they may not be able to prevent the backward flow of blood. Eventually, the blood does not flow in the correct direction, creating a blood pool inside the vein.
This results in a bulge, which leads to the veins branching out in a spider-web or sunburst fashion. Spider veins can also occur when smaller veins burst inside the body. There are numerous causes and factors that can lead to the development of spider veins in the body:
- Excessive standing (due to long working hours as a teacher, factory worker, nurse, etc.)
- Overweight (obesity)
- Postmenopausal Hormone replacement
- Health conditions that increase abdominal pressure, including constipation
- Tight garments around body parts
- Puberty, menopause, or pregnancy
- Persistent blood clot conditions that may even be genetic
- Birth control pills usage
- Previous surgeries (vein surgeries)
- Injury, trauma, or any physical damage to the skin
- Excessive exposure to UV light
What Are the Risk Factors of Developing Spider Veins?
Here are some factors that doctors and vascular surgeons believe increase the risk of spider and varicose veins in people. They are as follows:
- Pregnancy: Due to the additional weight of the fetus and increased blood flow, some women tend to experience extreme weight pressure when standing. This leads to severe pressure on the veins in their legs, and thus spider veins appear. However, generally, such veins disappear post-pregnancy but carry the risk of being permanent.
- Gender factor: Females experience spider veins more than men
- Old age: As people age, the valves inside their veins weaken. Further, the calf muscles, which act as support to the veins, also lose strength over time.
- Genetics: People with a family history of spider veins are prone to developing spider veins.
- Face pressure: It may be a result of forceful sneezing, coughing, or vomiting. Childbirth pain can result in excessive face pressure as well.
- Overweight: Bodyweight plays a significant role in the pressure that your legs endure. Increased body weight would result in more pressure on the leg and the veins.
- Previous vein damage: It can result in the weakening of the veins and valves.
- Hormones: Estrogen in the body can weaken vein valves due to hormonal treatments of menopause or birth control.
- Sunlight Exposure: Exposure to the sun can make the smaller veins burst or break, which ultimately leads to the emergence of spider veins on the skin.
- Standing for Long periods: The veins in your legs experience intense exhaustion when you stand for long periods.
What Are the Treatment Options for Spider Veins?
Weight loss, healthy walking, and excellent skin hygiene can help in treating spider as well as varicose veins.
In sclerotherapy, your vascular surgeon creates a small incision on the skin area with spider veins to administer the sclerosing agents. These chemicals form a foam or liquid solution that seals the vein.
Eventually, the body absorbs this damaged and dead vein while the blood redirects to other healthy veins for appropriate flow function.
Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy
The surgeon inserts a small fiber wire into the damaged vein (usually larger varicose veins) to shrink them by heating through radiation. Subsequently, the walls collapse due to heating, and the veins shrink, which leads to the closure of the damaged vein.
Surgical techniques include ligation and stripping, which means that your vascular surgeon will tie the ends and remove the damaged parts of the vein.
There are various other treatment options that your vascular surgeon may suggest after diagnostics and evaluation of your condition.
With the variety of treatment options, especially non-invasive surgical procedures, many people are getting cosmetic treatments. These help to minimize the appearance and the visual defect of the skin due to spider veins.
Causes of Spider Veins: Conclusion
Are you looking for the best vascular surgeon for your spider veins? Dr. Norman Chideckel, MD at the Vascular Surgery and Vein Center can help you with the treatment of spider and varicose veins.
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