The Circulation is dedicated to informing you about different venous issues that can occur in our bodies. This week, we’re sharing facts about the causes of spider veins and how these painful, swollen vessels can be avoided.
Spider veins are very similar to varicose veins in that they are a result of poor circulation in the lower extremities. However, spider veins tend to be smaller with more twists and turns. The name “spider veins” is derived from the spider-like web of enlarged blood vessels that appear just beneath the surface of the skin. Spider veins often manifest behind the knee, but can occur anywhere on the body.
Spider veins are very common and believed to be caused by increased pressure in the veins. However, there are several factors that may be linked to spider veins. WomensHealth.gov lists the following six factors:
- Age – As we get older, our veins weaken and often result in venous insufficiencies
- Family history – Nearly 50 percent of those with vein issues have a family member with them as well
- Pregnancy – An increase in blood flood flow throughout the body causes veins to enlarge
- Obesity – Extra weight can put additional pressure on your veins
- Sedentary career – Sitting or standing for extended periods of time forces our veins to work overtime
- Sunlight – Sun exposure can result in spider veins, especially in people with a light complexion
As with varicose veins, leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing spider veins. For more information on spider veins and treatments such as sclerotherapy, visit our Vein Clinic. Or, schedule an appointment by calling 907-563-8346 (VEIN).