Spider veins

Causes of – and treatment solutions for – spider veins

Struggling with spider veins? Here’s what causes them as well as treatment options to restore your skin to smooth

As we age, it’s normal that your veins start to become more pronounced and noticeable, particularly on the lower legs. The primary cause of this is the weakening of vein walls and valves over time as these veins work to bring blood back to the heart, but a variety of factors can contribute to this occurrence as well.  These causes include sun exposure, which can thin skin, hormonal influences, genetics, obesity, trauma, prolonged periods of sitting or standing, and several other causes.

Varicose and spider veins are very common and it is estimated that 12.5% of the population – of over 40 million people – suffer from these diagnoses, according to the Vein Care Center of Illinois. Women are more susceptible to them than men, but the latter can still develop them.

While spider veins aren’t usually a cause for concern, they can be a source of emotional distress for patients. But what exactly is the difference between varicose and spider veins? And is there anything you can do to prevent, treat or get rid of them?

Spider veins

Spider veins VS varicose veins

Many people incorrectly use the terms ‘varicose veins’ and ‘spider veins’ interchangeably. They are similar and usually coexist, but there are some notable differences.

Spider veins are small, damaged veins that are visible under the skin. Often, they are flush against the skin and not raised. These veins are smaller than varicose veins and are generally without symptoms. Some patients seek cosmetic treatment of them, as they are usually purple or red in color and easily visible.

Varicose veins, while usually not indicative of anything serious, are more severe than spider veins. These veins are typically deeper, larger, blue/purple in color, and can become twisted or bulging. These veins may develop symptoms of aching or discomfort over time, which should prompt medical evaluation. The development of these veins often can’t be prevented. But maintaining good muscle tone, improving circulation, and wearing compression stockings daily may help to minimize their appearance.

Sadly, there is no way to completely prevent spider veins. But maintaining good muscle tone, improving your circulation, and wearing compression stockings daily will help to minimize their appearance.

What are the Treatment options?

Sadly, complete prevention isn’t always an option. The appearance of some veins can however be improved with non-invasive treatment options. Sclerotherapy is a procedure where a solution is injected into the veins to help them be reabsorbed by the body, and laser treatments are highly successful for improving the appearance of these veins with minimal downtime.

Want to speak to a dermatology provider about which treatment option is best for your veins? Click here to locate your nearest APDerm provider and schedule an appointment today.

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