Spider Veins 101: What You Need To Know

Spider veins are extremely common and generally not painful, but they can be unappealing and you may find yourself wondering how to get rid of spider veins as a result. There are many different causes, prevention methods, and even spider vein treatment options. When you’re concerned about your spider veins, contact The Vein and Laser Center of Northern Colorado for a vein doctor you can trust.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins generally look very similar to varicose veins in color and shape, but they’re much smaller. While varicose veins are large and swollen, spider veins are dilated superficial blood vessels that are closer to the skin.

Our patients often have spider veins behind their knees, but they really can appear anywhere on your body — including your face. They’re easy to recognize for the reason they got their name: the red or blue veins spreading across your legs can look similar to a spider web.

Though you and others will see the veins through your skin, you may also notice spider veins because your legs are swollen, feel heavy, or are extremely tired.

What causes spider veins?

These webs of veins will spread more across your legs as you get older, which is caused by increased vein pressure as you age. They’re hereditary and more common for women than for men (though men can frequently still get them). People who stand for long amounts of time — such as nurses, teachers, hair stylists, etc. — are more likely to get spider veins.

Are there prevention methods?

Just like with many illnesses or skin concerns, there is often a lot you can do to prevent negative side effects. If you know you have a hereditary predisposition to spider veins or you stand for long amounts of time, it’s never too early to take precautions. This could save you both pain and money down the road.

  • Prop up your feet. Who doesn’t love relaxing with feet up at the end of the day? Now you have an excuse to do it more often. For best results, elevate your legs higher than your heart.
  • Wear sunscreen. Here’s yet another reason to wear sunscreen: spider veins are more likely on your cheeks or nose if you have light skin that’s prone to sun damage.
  • Relieve pressure. If you must sit for long amounts of time, try taking even just a short walk every 30 minutes and avoid crossing your legs when sitting. If you stand for long periods, try sitting down and decreasing pressure every now and then.
  • Support your legs. Medical compression socks aren’t just for after surgery. If you’re prone to spider veins, wear compression stockings to decrease swelling and prevent them.
  • Use your legs. You obviously use your legs every day, but keep the blood flowing by running, walking, or exercising often. Increasing leg circulation and strengthening leg muscles helps.

Of course, prevention won’t always do the trick. There are vein treatments available that can help your legs return to a healthier, more sightly condition, and our next blog post will cover these different spider vein treatments. When you need laser spider vein removal, get in touch with The Vein and Laser Center of Northern Colorado. Whether you’re in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, or somewhere in between, we can’t wait to help. Contact our vein treatment center today for a free screening!

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