Spider veins are a type of varicose veins, which are enlarged veins that are commonly blue, red, or flesh-colored.
Typically raised or bulging, these veins can be swollen and even raised above the surface of the skin. Spider veins are very similar to varicose veins, but smaller in size and closer to the surface. Spider veins are typically found on the legs and face.
The causes of Spider veins can range from the backup of blood, hormonal changes, sun exposure and trauma to the body. Other factors that can contribute to spider veins include:
- Aging: As we age, valves in our veins can weaken and function less robustly.
- Genetics: Some people are born with weak vein valves which increases risk for both varicose and spider veins. Having a family member with vein problems also increases your risk.
- Hormones: Fluctuating hormones during puberty, pregnancy and menopause are thought to contribute to spider veins, as does taking birth control pills or other hormone-based medicines.
- Pregnancy: There is an increase in the amount of total blood in the body during pregnancy which can cause veins to enlarge. Fortunately, varicose or spider veins often diminish within three months of delivery.
- Weight: Excess weight can put pressure on your veins, which can cause varicose or spider veins.
- Lack of movement: Staying in the same position, either sitting or standing for extended periods of time forces veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart. This is exacerbated by crossing your legs while sitting.
- Sun Damage: Especially in fairer skinned people, sun damage can cause spider veins to appear on the cheeks or nose.
Below are some additional resources about Spider Veins.
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