What Causes Spider Veins?

Most people confuse spider veins, also referred to as telangiectasia, with varicose veins. Spider veins are tiny clusters of blood vessels that develop near the skin’s surface and create the appearance of a bulging vein. Spider veins are thin and appear red, blue or purple in color forming a “spider web.” Occasionally confused with varicose veins, spider veins are much smaller in size. People usually notice spider veins on their legs but they can also appear on their face. Though spider veins do not affect an individual’s health, these imperfections cause angst for many people because of their visibility. Luckily, the board-certified dermatologists of Short Hills Dermatology understand the causes of spider veins and the best treatment methods to diminish their appearance.

How Spider Veins Form In The Body

The two major vessels, veins and arteries, transport blood (back and forth) throughout your body. However, when blood travels in the opposite direction, a backflow of blood arises. As a result, blood vessel walls weaken and cause veins to enlarge, giving it a spider-like appearance on the surface of the skin. In some cases, certain people are more genetically inclined to develop such visual blemishes. For those people, it is inevitable that spider veins will appear as the individual ages.

How You Can Contract Spider Veins

Women account for 70-80% of spider vein cases albeit men are also susceptible to developing this skin condition. An individual’s occupation may also be a contributing factor. Jobs that require an extended amount of time standing or even sitting might drastically increase your chance of forming spider veins. Nurses, teachers, hairdressers, and waiters are among the few jobs requiring prolonged standing. Alternately, office employees sitting at a desk for the majority of their workday also have a higher chance of forming spider veins.

Furthermore, athletes, specifically long-distance runners, may acquire spider veins from inadequate footwear. Constant pounding on hard surfaces, mixed with the wrong shoes can increase the likelihood of veins swelling. Investing in a quality pair of running sneakers will help decrease the impact of the pavement or treadmill and may help prevent the formation of spider veins. With proper arch support, not only will your feet feel more comfortable, the correct shoes can alleviate some of the pressure off of your legs.

How To Prevent Spider Veins

While predominantly affecting the leg area, spider veins can also appear on the face, particularly the cheek or nose. In order to reduce the likelihood of spider veins forming, make sure to apply a generous amount of sunscreen, especially if you have fair skin and are prone to burning.

To help prevent Spider veins you can take these precautionary measures:

  • Relieve pressure. You can manage your body weight to ease weight on joints or muscle strain.
  • If standing or sitting for long periods of time, get up and walk around to help circulate blood flow. While at home go for a simple walk, jog or run. This will also help with strengthening leg muscles.
  • Wear compression socks to decrease leg swelling, ultimately helping with the formation of spider veins.
  • Uncross legs. Pressure sitting in this position can greatly hinder blood circulation. Instead of crossing at the knees, modify by crossing your legs at the ankles to reduce the amount of pressure.

Symptoms of Spider Veins

How can you tell if you have spider veins? While spider vein symptoms differ from person to person, the most common symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the legs
  • A feeling of heaviness, liquid filled
  • Leg fatigue, difficultly moving
  • Itching at the site
  • Tingling
  • Cramping or tightening in the area

Spider Vein Treatment Options

To help diminish the appearance of spider veins, individuals may first opt for non-procedural treatment methods. Compression stockings will help alleviate symptoms felt within the legs. The stockings put slight pressure on the lower body, thus increasing blood circulation. Also, creating an exercise routine can help individuals maintain a healthy body weight, while reducing any signs of spider veins.


Alternatively, to completely diminish spider veins some individuals turn to various surgical methods such as Sclerotherapy and laser therapy. Sclerotherapy is the most common technique used to remove spider veins. This procedure involves the injection of a liquid solution into the effected vein, causing the vein to collapse and fade away over time. Meanwhile, laser therapy uses light to heat and damage the blood vessel, causing it to break apart and fade.

Safely Diminishing Spider Veins

Through of combination of approaches, you can diminish unwanted spider veins, giving you the glowing skin healthy you want. Learn more about this skin condition, by contacting a top New Jersey dermatologist near you. Schedule a consultation with a trusted dermatologist today.

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