Varicose veins are those large bluish or reddish veins that pop up on the thighs, back of calves, and the inside of your legs. Some veins might be swollen and raised high above the skin. Spider veins are a smaller version of varicose veins but just as bothersome. Spider veins refer to the way that the red and bluish veins spread like a spider's web across the surface of the skin. The spider veins are usually found on the person's legs or face.
Varicose veins are caused by weakened or damaged valves in the veins. Spider veins are thought to be caused by hormones, injury, or too much sun exposure.
High Risk Factors
The following circumstances increases the chances that you might develop varicose veins or spider veins.
Getting Older - As we age the valves in the veins in our legs get weaker and might not work as efficiently. This leads to developing varicose veins.
Heredity - Those with family members who have varicose veins are more likely to also develop Varicose veins.
Hormones - A change in the level of hormones in the body during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause contributes to developing varicose veins.
Pregnancy - Blood levels in the body increase dramatically during pregnancy. This causes veins in the legs to enlarge. Veins usually return to normal within 3 months after the pregnancy.
Weight - Gaining too much weight puts too much pressure on the legs and might lead to developing varicose veins.
Sedentary Lifestyle - Not moving around much forces your veins to work harder to pump the blood. This blood buildup leads to varicose veins.
Sun Exposure - Too much sun can cause spider veins across the face and body.
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Treatments
Here are a few popular methods used to treat varicose veins and spider veins. Let's begin with support pantyhose which place helpful pressure on the veins in the legs. Next is Sclerotherapy where the doctor injects the veins with a liquid that seals the veins. This stops the flow of blood and the veins fade. Laser treatment uses small burst of light through the skin into the veins. After treatment the veins slowly disappear. Surgery is used to treat larger varicose veins.
Not everyone can be treated with the above methods. Contact your doctor for more specific information about varicose veins or spider veins.